1978 Southern 500
|Race 22 of 30 in the 1978 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season|
|Date||September 4, 1978|
|Location||Darlington Raceway (Darlington, South Carolina, USA)|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
1.375 mi (2.212 km)
|Distance||367 laps, 500.5 mi (805.4 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching up to 88 °F (31 °C) with 0.28 inches (7.1 mm) of rain within 24 hours of the race; wind speeds up to 8.9 miles per hour (14.3 km/h)|
|Average speed||116.828 miles per hour (188.016 km/h)|
|Driver||David Pearson||Wood Brothers Racing|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Cale Yarborough||Junior Johnson & Associates|
||Junior Johnson & Associates|
|Television in the United States|
By 1980, NASCAR had completely stopped tracking the year model of all the vehicles and most teams did not take stock cars to the track under their own power anymore.
There were forty American-born competitors who competed in this 367-lap race. A crowd of 65000 racing fans would cheer them on for four hours and seventeen minutes. NASCAR officials would signal nine cautions for an outstanding 72 laps; 21 changes for the first-place position were made.
Cale Yarborough would defeat future NASCAR on Fox personality Darrell Waltrip by three seconds while Richard Petty, rookie driver Terry Labonte, and Bobby Allison would round out the top five finishers. Yarborough's win would become the fourth ever at the Southern 500. He would also retain the lead in championship points right after this race. Bruce Hill would finish in last place on lap 80 due to a problem with his vehicle's rear end. David Pearson would get the pole position with a top speed of 153.685 miles per hour (247.332 km/h). D. K. Ulrich would bring nitrous oxide into his racing vehicle and lost the rest of the 1978 Winston Cup Series season. Neil Bonnett had the most unfortunate incident by hitting the telephone wires while exiting pit road; nobody was injured.
The total prize purse of the race was $200,170 ($723,777.95 when considering inflation); Yarborough received $30,175 of it for winning the race in first-place ($109,107.26 when considering inflation).
Top ten finishers
- Cale Yarborough – #11
- Darrell Waltrip – #88
- Richard Petty – #43
- Terry Labonte – #92
- Bobby Allison – #15
- Bill Elliott – #9
- James Hylton – #48
- Buddy Arrington – #67
- Ronnie Thomas – #25
- Benny Parsons – #72
Standings after the race
- Weather information for the 1978 Southern 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
- 1978 Southern 500 at Racing Reference. Accessed 2012-03-05. Archived 2012-03-07.
- 1978 Southern 500 racing information at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. Accessed 2012-03-05. Archived 2012-03-07.
- 1978 SOUTHERN 500 - Yarborough makes it four at YouTube
1978 Volunteer 500
|NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1978 Capital City 400
|Southern 500 races