(CHARLOTTE, NC) – May 17, 2020, NASCAR hosted its first-ever race at the Darlington Raceway without spectators amid the COVID-19 pandemic. NASCAR teamed up with “The Real Heroes Project” to recognize and honor the courage of front-line workers throughout the current pandemic and named Sunday night’s race the Real Heroes 400.

Kevin Harvick with Stuart-Haas Racing recognized Dr. Joshua Hughes, an emergency medicine physician with the Mid-Atlantic Emergency Medical Associates (MEMA) and the assistant medical director of the emergency department at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte as a “real hero” and as Harvick won the race, it was Dr. Hughes’ name pasted across the back of Harvick’s suit and car.

Hughes and Harvick are personal friends and in a video on Harvick’s twitter account, he shares that “listening to his friend, Dr. Hughes’ stories and the things they’re up against in the hospitals and seeing how it has affected his daily life is something that is scary and inspiring.”

The Real Heroes 400 marks the 116th Cup race hosted by Darlington Raceway in the series’ history. Darlington Raceway is 1.366 miles long and the Real Heroes 400 is a 400-mile race that requites 292 laps to complete.

READ: Dr. Josh Hughes featured in The Real Heroes Project