Showtime Networks to sponsor Darlington race

Darlington, SC - DARLINGTON, SC (AP) - Showtime Networks Inc. will sponsor Darlington Raceway's Southern 500 NASCAR race.

Track president Chris Browning told The Associated Press that the cable network has agreed to a multiyear deal as title sponsor for the raceway's only Sprint Cup race.

The track has been searching for a backer since the end of last year's race.

Showtime executives say this is the first time they've lent their name to a NASCAR race.

The network debuted their "Inside NASCAR" program this year and says this is another step to connect with NASCAR.

The Showtime Southern 500 will take place May 8.

Mark Martin is the defending champion.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.