Bojangles' Southern 500
|First race||1957 (NASCAR Convertible)
1963 (Sprint Cup)
|Distance||501.322 miles (806.799 km)|
|Previous names||Rebel 300 (1957-1965)
Rebel 400 (1966-1972)
Rebel 500 (1973, 1975-1978)
Rebel 450 (1974)
CRC Chemicals Rebel 500 (1979-1982)
TranSouth 500 (1983-1993)
TranSouth Financial 400 (1994-1999)
Mall.com 400 (2000)
Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 (2001-2004)
Dodge Charger 500 (2005-2006)
Dodge Avenger 500 (2007)
Dodge Challenger 500 (2008)
Southern 500 presented by GoDaddy.com (2009)
Showtime Southern 500 (2010-2011)
The Showtime Southern 500 is the annual spring NASCAR Sprint Cup race held at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina, USA. It began in 1957 as a 300 miles (480 km) race in the Convertible Division, known as the Rebel 300. In 1966, the race was expanded to 400 miles (640 km), and in 1973 to 500 miles (800 km). In 1994, the race was returned to 400 miles. In 2005, as part of the settlement of the Ferko lawsuit and as part of a schedule realignment, the race would be held on Mothers Day weekend, and raised it back to 500 miles.
Without a title sponsor for 2009, the race tentatively adopted the moniker of Southern 500, the traditional name of the fall race run from 1950–2004 on Labor Day weekend. A one-year deal with Go Daddy was signed. Some fans[who?] referred to the race exclusively as the GoDaddy.com 500 out of respect to what fans called the "real" Southern 500, a fall-race showdown. In 2010, Showtime Networks signed a multi-year deal to sponsor the race, giving it the name Showtime Southern 500. In 2012, Bojangles', a Charlotte, North Carolina-based quick-service restaurant, took over sponsorship of the race.
Memorable moments 
- 1960: Johnny Allen goes up the race track and tears open the guardrail and then driving on the dirt banking on the outside of the track into a press grandstand. No one was seriously injured.
- 1979: In a race that was seen on ABC's Wide World of Sports, Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty hooked horns in a memorable duel. The lead changed four times between them on Lap 365 and three times on the final lap; Waltrip prevailed over Petty when he cleared Petty in Turn Three and Donnie Allison tried to shoot the gap, instead getting hung alongside Petty. During the race, David Pearson made a pit stop, and thought the Wood brothers were going to change only two tires. With the lug nuts loosened all the way around, Pearson sped out of the pits after two tires had been replaced. The loose inside wheels flew off near the pit road, ending Pearson's day. A week later, Pearson was released from the Wood Brothers ride, despite scoring 43 wins from 1972 to 1978 with the Virginia-based team.
- 1980: David Pearson was now driving for Hoss Ellington Racing's #1 car, replacing Donnie Allison for the 1980 season. Pearson had not been in a car since the 1979 incident and was going to retire. People thought he couldn't drive since he was a little rusty. Despite the fact that the race was plagued by constant rain, and incoming darkness (the track did not have lights installed until 2003-2004), Pearson dominated the race, and after the race was called with 189 complete, he showed he could still wheel a race car as he won the CRC Chemicals 500. However, this would be Pearson's 105th and final Cup Win, and his 10th at Darlington in his storied career.
- 1982: Dale Earnhardt, driving Bud Moore's #15 Ford, grabbed the first of nine Darlington wins when he led 181 laps but had to hold off a last-lap challenge from Cale Yarborough. Tim Richmond finished a lap down in fifth after a NASCAR penalty on pit road; Richmond was making his debut in Jim Stacy's #2.
- 1984 Darrell Waltrip led 251 laps as crashes galore thinned out the field. The crashing began when pole-sitter Benny Parsons hit the second-turn wall on the first lap; later there were back-to-back four-car crashes, and halfway through the race a multicar melee erupted involving Rusty Wallace, Dick Brooks, and D.K. Ulrich where Ulrich climbed another car; some 28 of 38 entries were involved in crashes.
- 1987: Bill Elliott ran out of fuel on the final lap, and coasted out of turn 4, allowing Dale Earnhardt to sweep by and take the victory.
- 1988: Lake Speed escaped a multicar wreck in the opening laps and breezed to one of the sport's most dramatic upset wins. It was his only Sprint Cup win.
- 1990: Dale Earnhardt took the win, but the story of the race was a massive accident between Ernie Irvan and Ken Schrader; Irvan was ten laps down yet racing nose-to-nose with Schrader as if for the lead, and lost control in Four; several cars collided in the ensuring melee and Sterling Marlin spun off the wall and hammered Neil Bonnett; Bonnett suffered severe memory loss and was lost for three seasons as a driver.
- 2003: Before a national television audience, Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch fought a memorable duel that came down to the final turn, when Craven edged out Busch by 0.002 seconds (about 1-2 inches) in the joint closest finish in NASCAR history since NASCAR started using electronic transponders to determine scoring (along with the Aaron's 499 at Talledega in Spring 2011 where Jimmie Johnson edged out Clint Bowyer at the flag). The finish is thought to have saved the track from being eliminated from the Cup Series schedule. NASCAR did after the season move the fall race from second before the new end of regular season cutoff to second from the end of the new playoff, but that race was eliminated a year later by litigation.
- 2011: Regan Smith stayed out on a late caution when the rest of the field pitted and sweated out a late crash involving Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch to edge Carl Edwards for his first NASCAR win. The win was overshadowed as Harvick and Busch collided on pit road when Harvick tried to throw a punch at Busch inside his cockpit; NASCAR fined the two drivers and put them on probation after the race. Smith was the first driver since Speed to win his first race in the Rebel 500.
- 2012: Jimmie Johnson stayed out during the final round of pit stops on the advice of crew chief Chad Knaus. Johnson would later hold off Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart to score his second Rebel (the first in 2004, when he swept the season), and team owner Rick Hendrick's 200th Sprint Cup victory.
Past winners 
|Year||Date||Driver||Team||Manufacturer||Race distance||Race time||Average speed
|1957||May 12*||Fireball Roberts||Pete DePaolo||Ford||219||301.125 (484.613)||2:47:23||107.941||Report|
|1958||May 10||Curtis Turner||Holman-Moody||Ford||219||301.125 (484.613)||2:44:08||109.624||Report|
|1959||May 9||Fireball Roberts||Frank Strickland||Chevrolet||219||301.125 (484.613)||2:36:00||115.817||Report|
|1960||May 14||Joe Weatherly||Holman-Moody||Ford||219||301.125 (484.613)||2:56:01||102.64||Report|
|1961||May 6||Fred Lorenzen||Holman-Moody||Ford||219||301.125 (484.613)||2:31:10||119.52||Report|
|1962||May 12||Nelson Stacy||Holman-Moody||Ford||219||301.125 (484.613)||2:33:17||117.429||Report|
|1963||May 11||Joe Weatherly||Bud Moore Engineering||Ford||2 x 110||2 X 151.25 (243.413)||Race 1 1st||Race 2 2nd||Report|
|1964||May 9||Fred Lorenzen||Holman-Moody||Ford||219||301.125 (484.613)||2:18:51||130.013||Report|
|1965||May 8||Junior Johnson||Junior Johnson & Associates||Ford||219||301.125 (484.613)||2:41:32||111.849||Report|
|1966||April 30||Richard Petty||Petty Enterprises||Plymouth||291||400.125 (643.938)||3:01:53||131.993||Report|
|1967||May 13||Richard Petty||Petty Enterprises||Plymouth||291||400.125 (643.938)||3:10:56||125.738||Report|
|1968||May 11||David Pearson||Holman-Moody||Ford||291||400.125 (643.938)||3:00:54||132.699||Report|
|1969||May 10||LeeRoy Yarbrough||Junior Johnson & Associates||Mercury||291||400.125 (643.938)||3:02:28||131.572||Report|
|1970||May 9||David Pearson||Holman-Moody||Ford||291||400.125 (643.938)||3:05:07||129.688||Report|
|1971||May 2||Buddy Baker||Petty Enterprises||Dodge||293||400.238 (644.12)||3:03:46||130.678||Report|
|1972||April 16||David Pearson||Wood Brothers Racing||Mercury||293||400.238 (644.12)||3:13:00||124.406||Report|
|1973||April 15||David Pearson||Wood Brothers Racing||Mercury||367||501.322 (806.799)||4:04:14||122.655||Report|
|1974||April 7||David Pearson||Wood Brothers Racing||Mercury||330||450.78 (725.460)||3:50:06||117.543||Report|
|1975||April 13||Bobby Allison||Penske Racing||AMC||367||501.322 (806.799)||4:15:41||117.597||Report|
|1976||April 11||David Pearson||Wood Brothers Racing||Mercury||367||501.322 (806.799)||4:04:36||122.973||Report|
|1977||April 3||Darrell Waltrip||DiGard Motorsports||Chevrolet||367||501.322 (806.799)||3:53:18||128.817||Report|
|1978||April 9||Benny Parsons||L.G. DeWitt||Chevrolet||367||501.322 (806.799)||3:55:50||127.544||Report|
|1979||April 8||Darrell Waltrip||DiGard Motorsports||Chevrolet||367||501.322 (806.799)||4:06:59||121.721||Report|
|1980||April 13||David Pearson||Ellington Racing||Chevrolet||189*||258.174 (415.49)||2:23:49||112.397||Report|
|1981||April 12||Darrell Waltrip||Junior Johnson & Associates||Buick||367||501.322 (806.799)||3:57:24||126.703||Report|
|1982||April 4||Dale Earnhardt||Bud Moore Engineering||Ford||367||501.322 (806.799)||4:03:27||123.554||Report|
|1983||April 10||Harry Gant||Hal Needham||Buick||367||501.322 (806.799)||3:50:05||130.406||Report|
|1984||April 15||Darrell Waltrip||Junior Johnson & Associates||Chevrolet||367||501.322 (806.799)||4:18:16||119.925||Report|
|1985||April 14||Bill Elliott||Melling Racing||Ford||367||501.322 (806.799)||3:58:08||126.295||Report|
|1986||April 13||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||367||501.322 (806.799)||3:53:11||128.994||Report|
|1987||March 29||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||367||501.322 (806.799)||4:05:28||122.54||Report|
|1988||March 27||Lake Speed||Lake Speed||Oldsmobile||367||501.322 (806.799)||3:49:07||131.284||Report|
|1989||April 2||Harry Gant||Leo Jackson Racing||Oldsmobile||367||501.322 (806.799)||4:20:29||115.475||Report|
|1990||April 1||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||367||501.322 (806.799)||4:02:26||124.073||Report|
|1991||April 7||Ricky Rudd||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||367||501.322 (806.799)||3:41:50||135.594||Report|
|1992||March 29||Bill Elliott||Junior Johnson & Associates||Ford||367||501.322 (806.799)||3:35:50||139.364||Report|
|1993||March 28||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||367||501.322 (806.799)||3:33:29||139.958||Report|
|1994||March 27||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||293||400.238 (644.12)||3:01:20||132.432||Report|
|1995||March 26||Sterling Marlin||Morgan-McClure Motorsports||Chevrolet||293||400.238 (644.12)||3:35:35||111.392||Report|
|1996||March 24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||293||400.238 (644.12)||3:12:26||124.792||Report|
|1997||March 23||Dale Jarrett||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||293||400.238 (644.12)||3:18:12||121.162||Report|
|1998||March 22||Dale Jarrett||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||293||400.238 (644.12)||3:07:40||127.962||Report|
|1999||March 21||Jeff Burton||Roush Racing||Ford||164*||224.024 (360.531)||1:50:49||121.294||Report|
|2000||March 19||Ward Burton||Bill Davis Racing||Pontiac||293||400.238 (644.12)||3:07:30||128.076||Report|
|2001||March 18||Dale Jarrett||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||293||400.238 (644.12)||3:09:45||126.557||Report|
|2002||March 17||Sterling Marlin||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dodge||293||400.238 (644.12)||3:10:29||126.07||Report|
|2003||March 16||Ricky Craven||PPI Motorsports||Pontiac||293||400.238 (644.12)||3:10:16||126.214||Report|
|2004||March 21||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||293||400.238 (644.12)||3:30:39||114.001||Report|
|2005||May 7||Greg Biffle||Roush Racing||Ford||370*||505.42 (813.394)||4:06:29||123.031||Report|
|2006||May 13||Greg Biffle||Roush Racing||Ford||367||501.322 (806.799)||3:42:36||135.127||Report|
|2007||May 13*||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||367||501.322 (806.799)||4:01:50||124.372||Report|
|2008||May 10||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||367||501.322 (806.799)||3:34:19||140.35||Report|
|2009||May 9||Mark Martin||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||367||501.322 (806.799)||4:11:19||119.687||Report|
|2010||May 8||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||367||501.322 (806.799)||3:57:35||126.605||Report|
|2011||May 7||Regan Smith||Furniture Row Racing||Chevrolet||370*||505.42 (813.394)||3:53:51||129.678||Report|
|2012||May 12||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||368*||502.688 (808.997)||3:45:25||133.802||Report|
|2013||May 11||Matt Kenseth||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||367||501.322 (806.799)||3:32:45||141.383||Report|
- 1957 & 2007: Race postponed from Saturday to Sunday afternoon due to rain.
- 1957-62: Race was for convertibles.
- 1963: Two 150-mile race format similar to motocross, best average score wins. Weatherly won the first race, Richard Petty won the second race. Weatherly (1/2) won the Rebel 300 with best overall finish. 
- 1980 & 1999: Race shortened due to rain.
- 2005, 2011, & 2012: Race extended due to a Green-white-checker finish.
Multiple winners (drivers) 
|# Wins||Driver||Years Won|
|7||David Pearson||1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1980|
|6||Dale Earnhardt||1982, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1994|
|4||Darrell Waltrip||1977, 1979, 1981, 1984|
|3||Dale Jarrett||1997, 1998, 2001|
|2||Fireball Roberts||1957, 1959|
|Joe Weatherly||1960, 1963|
|Fred Lorenzen||1961, 1964|
|Richard Petty||1966, 1967|
|Harry Gant||1983, 1989|
|Bill Elliott||1985, 1992|
|Sterling Marlin||1995, 2002|
|Greg Biffle||2005, 2006|
|Jeff Gordon||1996, 2007|
|Jimmie Johnson||2004, 2012|
Multiple winners (manufacturers) 
|# Wins||Manufacturer||Years Won|
|19||Ford||1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1982, 1985, 1992, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2006|
|Chevrolet||1959, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012|
|5||Mercury||1969, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976|
|3||Toyota||2008, 2010, 2013|
Television broadcasters 
- Two Little Rebels, Hemmings Motor News, July 2011]