1979 Southern 500
|Race 23 of 31 in the 1979 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season|
|Date||September 3, 1979|
|Location||Darlington Raceway (Darlington, South Carolina)|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
1.366 mi (2.198 km)
|Distance||367 laps, 501.3 mi (806.7 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching a maximum of 88.9 °F (31.6 °C); with wind speeds up to 9.9 miles per hour (15.9 km/h)|
|Average speed||126.259 miles per hour (203.194 km/h)|
|Driver||Bobby Allison||Bud Moore Engineering|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Darrell Waltrip||DiGard Motorsports|
|Television in the United States|
The 1979 Southern 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series (now Sprint Cup Series) race that took place on September 3, 1979, at Darlington Raceway in the American community of Darlington, South Carolina.
By the following season, 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.
Three hundred and sixty seven laps were done on a paved oval track spanning 1.366 miles (2.198 km) for a grand total of 501.3 miles (806.8 km). The total time of the race as three hours, fifty-eight minutes, and fourteen seconds. Speeds were: 126.259 miles per hour (203.194 km/h) for the average and 154.88 miles per hour (249.26 km/h) for the pole position speed. There were nine cautions for fifty-two laps. David Pearson (using crew chief Jake Elder) defeated Bill Elliott by two laps and four seconds. He would race for an injured Dale Earnhardt. Sixty thousand people came to watch this live event. Other famous drivers at the event include Darrell Waltrip, Richard Childress, Richard Petty, Terry Labonte, and Ricky Rudd.
Darrell Waltrip's mistake in this race would later cause him to lose the 1979 championship to Richard Petty (which would eventually become his last Cup Series championship ever). Notable sponors included: Shoney's, Gatorade, the U.S. Army, Kings Inn, Hawaiian Tropic, Purolator, and Busch. The top prize of the race was $29,925 ($97,239.1 when considering inflation).
- David Pearson
- Bill Elliott (his first career finish in the top five)
- Terry Labonte
- Buddy Baker
- Benny Parsons
- Dave Marcis
- Dick Brooks
- Ricky Rudd
- Richard Petty
- Bobby Allison (highest finishing Ford vehicle)
- Darrell Waltrip
- Harry Gant
- D. K. Ulrich
- Buddy Arrington (highest finishing Dodge vehicle)
- Joe Millikan
- Jimmy Means
- Chuck Bown
- J. D. McDuffie
- Cale Yarborough
- Ed Negre (his final Cup Series race)
- Tommy Gale
- Frank Warren
- Baxter Price
- Ronnie Thomas
- Lennie Pond
- Cecil Gordon
- H. B. Bailey* (highest finishing Pontiac vehicle)
- Jim Vandiver
- Richard Childress*
- Jack Ingram*
- Donnie Allison*
- Neil Bonnett*
- Billy Smith*
- Dick May*
- Tighe Scott*
- Coo Coo Marlin*
- Ralph Jones*
- James Hylton*
- Earle Canavan*
- Ferrel Harris*
* Driver failed to finish race
Standings after the race
1979 Volunteer 500
|NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1979 Capital City 400
|Southern 500 races
- "1979 Southern 500 weather information". The Old Farmer's Almanac. Retrieved 2011-02-22.
- "1979 Southern 500 racing results". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2010-11-20.
- "1979 Southern 500 racing results (third reference)". Driver Averages. Retrieved 2010-11-20.
- "1979 Southern 500 racing results (second reference)". Everything Stock Car. Retrieved 2010-12-10.
- "David Pearson taking over for injured Earnhardt". How Stuff Works. Retrieved 2011-02-23.