Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

1977 Southern 500

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Official name  Southern 500
1977 Southern 500
Date  September 5, 1977 (1977-September-05)
Location  Darlington Raceway, Darlington, South Carolina
Course  Permanent racing facility 1.375 mi (2.212 km)
Distance  367 laps, 500.5 mi (805.4 km)
Weather  Temperatures reaching up to 86.9 °F (30.5 °C) with 0.31 inches (7.9 mm) of rain reported within 24 hours of the race; wind speeds up to 9.9 miles per hour (15.9 km/h)

The 1977 Southern 500, the 28th running of the event, was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race that took place on September 5, 1977, at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.



Darlington Raceway, nicknamed by many NASCAR fans and drivers as "The Lady in Black" or "The Track Too Tough to Tame" and advertised as a "NASCAR Tradition", is a race track built for NASCAR racing located near Darlington, South Carolina. It is of a unique, somewhat egg-shaped design, an oval with the ends of very different configurations, a condition which supposedly arose from the proximity of one end of the track to a minnow pond the owner refused to relocate. This situation makes it very challenging for the crews to set up their cars' handling in a way that will be effective at both ends.

The track is a four-turn 1.366 miles (2.198 km) oval. The track's first two turns are banked at twenty-five degrees, while the final two turns are banked two degrees lower at twenty-three degrees. The front stretch (the location of the finish line) and the back stretch is banked at six degrees. Darlington Raceway can seat up to 60,000 people.


"I didn't hit you, Jaws did. Jaws Waltrip."

Drivers competed for a total of purse $184,200 ($727,999.67 when considering inflation).

Darrell Waltrip qualified for the pole position with a speed of 153.493 miles per hour (247.023 km/h). The race covered 367 laps tof the 1.366-mile (2.198 km) paved track, totalling 501.3 miles (806.8 km). After six yellow flags for 93 laps and 32 different leaders, the race lasted four hours and forty-one minutes. Rain on lap 185 forced to cars to slow down their speed until NASCAR confirmed that the rain indeed stopped in time for the green flag on lap 204. An oil slick on lap 210 would slow down the cars yet again until workers fixed the spill around lap 222. Sixty thousand people would watch a race where David Pearson defeated Donnie Allison by 2.5 seconds with an average speed of 106.797 miles per hour (171.873 km/h).

Bill Elliott earned his first career top-ten finish. Terry Bivins made his final NASCAR appearance in this race.

Finishing order

* Driver failed to finish race


  • Start: Darrell Waltrip was ahead of all the other drivers as the green flag was waved in the air
  • Lap 24: First caution of the race due to Skip Manning's accident on turn 2; caution ended on lap 33
  • Lap 65: Second caution of the race due to a two-car accident; caution ended on lap 77
  • Lap 159: Third caution of the race due to Tighe Scott's accident on turn 4; caution ended on lap 168
  • Lap 185: Fourth caution of the race due to rain; caution ended on lap 204
  • Lap 210: Fifth caution of the race due to oil on the track; caution ended on lap 222
  • Lap 236: Sixth caution of the race due to a 5-car accident in the backstretch; caution ended on lap 249
  • Lap 251: Final caution of the race due to a 2-car accident on turn 4; caution ended on lap 262
  • Finish: David Pearson was officially declared the winner of the race
  • References

    1977 Southern 500 Wikipedia