Sept 2, 2018
First race: 1957
Distance: 501.322 miles (806.799 km)
The Bojangles' Southern 500, formely Southern 500 and Showtime Southern 500, at Darlington Raceway has been around in one form or another since the late 50’s.
With Dodge as the primary sponsor, Southern 500 Auto Race has been known as the Dodge Avenger 500, Dodge Challenger 500, and is now tentatively being hailed as the Southern 500.
Harold Brasington knew what he was doing in 1949 when he started pushing dirt around an old peanut field. With every lap those graders and bulldozers completed, the Darlington Raceway slowly came to life. For those few select drivers who have won races at the granddaddy of super speedways, there is a priceless satisfaction in knowing they've conquered the unique egg-shaped oval nicknamed "Too Tough To Tame."
The Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 was the race, which took place at Darlington Raceway track since 1957. Originally it was a 300-mile race of Convertible division. It was called the Rebel 300. In 1966 the races distance was changed for 400 miles. Then again in 1973 the Rebel race was turned into a 500 mile one. Since 1979, under the CRC Chemicals support, the Rebel had been known as the CRC Chemicals Rebel 500. Then in, 1983, the race got the name of the TranSouth 500.
In 1999 the TranSouth 500 again was changed to TranSouth Financial 400. Finally, under the Carolina Dodge Dealers sponsorship, the race got its most recent name - the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400. It was a NASCAR Nextel Cup race of 400 miles or of 293 laps, that took place at the Darlington Raceway every spring. The race was held till 2005. Then it joined with the Mountain Dew Southern 500 after that it was the Dodge Charger 500 and now in the NASCAR Nextel Cup it is known as the Southern 500.
2017 Southern 500 Winner: Denny Hamlin
2016 Southern 500 Winner: Martin Truex Jr.
2015 Southern 500 Winner: Carl Edwards
2014 Southern 500 Winner
Kevin Harvick wins the 2014 Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Harvick passed Dale Earnhardt Jr. with two laps remaining.
2013 Southern 500 Winner
Matt Kenseth got his third win of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season at Darlington Raceway. Kyle Busch jumped out to the lead and stayed in front for 265 laps of the 2013 Bojangles Southern 500, but after suffering a flat tire from a scrape with Kasey Kahne in the home stretch, Matt Kenseth pushed through.
2012 Southern 500 Winner
Jimmie Johnson wins 2012 Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Johnson led six times for 134 laps. He had to survive a pair of late cautions flags that bunched up the field with his fuel tank running perilously low. Johnson pull away quickly from Tony Stewart’s own fuel-starved car, this allowed Denny Hamlin to be second in the closing laps. Stewart, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five.
2011 Southern 500 Winner
Regan Smith has won the 2011 Showtime Southern 500 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, with Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski joining him on the podium. Rounding out the rest of the top 10 were: Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray and Martin Truex Jr. Carl Edwards leads Jimmie Johnson by 5 points in the standings.
2010 Southern 500 Winner
Denny Hamlin got out of the pits first on the final stop of the night with 20 laps to go, and pulled away to win Saturday night's Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington. Hamlin, who also won Friday night's Nationwide race, completed the weekend sweep for the first time at the track since Mark Martin accomplished the feat in 1993.
2009 Southern 500 Winner
2009 Southern 500 set a record for Darlington cautions. When the green flag flew "The Track Too Tough to Tame" immediately starting taking victims and never relented. At the end there were many damaged race cars circling the track. Mark Martin had the best combination of car, driver, team and strategy. He made it to Victory Lane and muscled his way into the top twelve in points. Not bad for a team that was concerned about being in the top 35 just a couple of months ago.