By Matt Courson, Staff Writer
“We are extremely proud of our long-running association with NASCAR, and very happy to celebrate our 2,000th Cup winner this weekend at Atlanta,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “It’s amazing if you think about how much race tires have evolved over the decades.
“Back in the 1950s we were literally running street tires on stock cars. Through all the years and all the testing and development, we have worked with NASCAR and the best teams and drivers in the world to get where we are today. Most recently, moving to the 18-inch bead diameter tire in the Cup Series has been a massive project, and we have even advanced that with several developments since the beginning of last season. This weekend we will celebrate our 2,000th winner at Atlanta as we look forward to 2,000 more in the future.”
Stu Grant, Goodyear’s general manager of global race tires, spoke about the evolution of race tires since Jim Reed won the first race on Goodyear tires in 1959.
“We started out in the sport running a Police Special street tire and then we evolved to a purpose-built race tire by the time we won our first race on our Blue Streak Special with Jim Reed at Darlington in 1959. Through the years we have gone from a tire with a tread pattern to racing slicks in 1972, from bias ply tires to radials in 1989, and, most recently, the whole transition to the 18-inch bead diameter tire in Cup in 2022.
“To be around and succeeding in the sport through all that is a very proud accomplishment for our company. And to have this 2000th win come in our 70th year in the sport and our 125th year as a company, as well as in NASCAR’s 75th year is just fantastic.”
— Josh Hamilton (@joshahamilton) July 9, 2023
Mike Dunlap, who builds the Goodyear Gold Car for each Cup champion, designed a new trophy for Sunday’s race winner at Atlanta. The trophy is a one-fifth scale tire with all sidewall markings from the race at Atlanta plated on Rhodium. The trophy will be presented to the winner of Sunday’s Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
List of Goodyear Milestone NASCAR Cup Series Winners
#1 – Jim Reed at Darlington Raceway September 1959
#1,000 Jeff Gordon at Bristol Motor Speedway April 1995
#1,500 Brian Vickers at Michigan International Speedway August 2009
#2,000 ??? at Atlanta Motor Speedway July 2023
Other Goodyear Milestone NASCAR Cup Series winners include Dale Earnhardt at North Wilkesboro Speedway in April 1989, the first time a Goodyear Radial tire went to victory lane. Austin Cindric was the first to win a points-paying race on the Goodyear’s 18-inch tire.