|Race 25 of 36 in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series|
Official logo for the race
|Date||September 6, 2015|
|Location||Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina|
Permanent racing facility|
1.366 mi (2.198 km)
|Distance||367 laps, 501.322 mi (806.666 km)|
|Weather||Mostly sunny with a temperature of 76 °F (24 °C); wind out of the northeast at 5 mph (8.0 km/h)|
|Average speed||111.993 mph (180.235 km/h)|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske|
|No. 19||Carl Edwards||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Rick Allen, Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte|
5.9 million viewers
|Radio in the United States|
|Booth Announcers||Joe Moore, Jeff Striegle and Rusty Wallace|
|Turn Announcers||Dave Moody (1 & 2) and Mike Bagley (3 & 4)|
The 2015 Bojangles' Southern 500, the 66th running of the event, was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held on September 6, 2015, at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina. Contested over 367 laps on the 1.366 mile (2.198 km) egg-shaped speedway, it was the 25th race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Carl Edwards won the race, the 25th of his career. Brad Keselowski finished second. Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five.
Keselowski won the pole for the race. He led a race high of 196 laps on his way to a runner–up finish. The race had 24 lead changes among 11 different drivers, as well as 18 caution flag periods for 89 laps.
This was the 25th career victory for Carl Edwards, second of the season, first at Darlington Raceway and fifth at the track for Joe Gibbs Racing. The win moved Edwards up to 12th in the drivers points standings 235 behind Kevin Harvick. Despite being the winning manufacturer, Toyota left Darlington trailing Chevrolet by 63–points in the manufacturer standings.
The Bojangles' Southern 500 was carried by NBC Sports on the broadcast NBC network for the American television audience. The radio broadcast for the race was carried by the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
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.
Return to Labor Day
From 1950 to 2003, the Bojangles' Southern 500 was run on Labor Day weekend in late-August or early-September. For the 2004 season, the race (then known as the Mountain Dew Southern 500) was moved to the penultimate race of the season while a second race at Auto Club Speedway was added into the Labor Day spot. This lasted for five seasons before it moved to October. Atlanta Motor Speedway moved to the Labor Day spot and remained there from 2009 to 2014. During that time, the Southern 500 moved up to Mother's Day weekend in May 2005 and remained there for eight years. It then moved to mid-April for 2014. In August of that year, NASCAR announced that the Southern 500 would return to Labor Day weekend for the first time in 12 years.
Members of the NASCAR media gave their thoughts on the return to Labor Day weekend. Pete Pistone of the Motor Racing Network said that Labor Day weekend in Auto Club "never felt right," Labor Day weekend in Atlanta "was better but still not quite there," that Darlington Raceway "fits like a glove" and is "back to where you belong, Bojangles' Southern 500. Don't ever go away again."
In ESPN.com's weekly Turn 4 series, NASCAR analysts and writers Ricky Craven, Ryan McGhee, John Oreovicz, and Bob Pockrass answered the week's question "Why did it take so long for NASCAR to move the Labor Day race back to Darlington[.]" Craven said that he "wasn't sure" but "[f]ew things are more powerful in sports than the power of tradition. This race is synonymous with Labor Day weekend. Moving it to a spring race felt like inviting Santa Claus to Halloween." McGhee said that going back meant "admitting a mistake. NASCAR doesn't like that. Otherwise, we would have gone back to the 2014 aero package six months ago." Oreovicz said it most likely was because NASCAR "doesn't do anything until [they decide] it's a good idea, no matter how popular the idea might be to the masses. But this is another sign that NASCAR is actually listening to its constituents a bit more these days." Pockrass said that "[s]tubbornness and refusal to admit failure" was his guess and that it was "one of NASCAR's most head-scratching moves in trying to build the sport. NASCAR should have never messed with this tradition in the first place. NASCAR didn't belong in California on Labor Day weekend. It didn't belong in Atlanta. It belongs in Darlington, South Carolina. And it's back. Finally."
Jordan Bianchi of SB Nation said that there are traditions that are "just too important. They are the institutions that shouldn't be tampered with under almost any circumstance, worthy of being shared from one generation to the next." He also added that by returning "Darlington to Labor Day weekend, NASCAR has righted a wrong; even if it was a tradition that should have never been abandoned in the first place."
Mike Hembree of USA Today called the initial decision of moving the race from Labor Day weekend "[s]ports blasphemy of the highest order" and its return to Labor Day weekend as being "back where, as people in this farming section of South Carolina will tell you, God meant it to be."
Change to the track
Since its most recent Sprint Cup Series race in April 2014, Darlington Raceway added 4,600 ft (1,400 m) of additional SAFER barrier to both the front and backstretch walls. This made Darlington the second track on the Sprint Cup schedule, after Bristol, to line the entire circumference of the outside retaining wall with the energy-absorbing barrier.
For this race, NASCAR redesigned the restart zone so that it would be more visible and eliminate driver complaints about "jumped restarts."
For this race, teams used the low-downforce aero package that was used at Kentucky Speedway. This package included a 3 in (7.6 cm) spoiler (reduced from 6 in (15 cm)), a 25 in (64 cm) radiator pan (reduced from 38 in (97 cm)) and a quarter inch (.64 cm) leading edge splitter.
New tire compound
For this weekend's race, Goodyear brought a softer tire compound to go with the low-downforce package. These changes included different construction and mold shapes for the left-side tires and the right-side tires would provide more grip.
Throwback paint schemes
In celebration of the event, 32 of the 46 teams entered for this weekend's race unveiled throwback and special paint schemes as part of the return of the Bojangles' Southern 500 to Labor Day weekend. Chip Wile, track president of Darlington Raceway and brainchild of the throwback idea, had initially thought maybe eight or 10 teams could be persuaded to take part in this and get more teams to do it next season. He told Jeff Gluck of USA Today that he thought "this is bigger than what people imagined what it would be in [y]ear [one]" and that he thought "the sport needed this. NASCAR has such a rich history, and we need to celebrate that."
The entry list for the 66th annual Bojangles' Southern 500 was released on Sunday, August 28 at 3:12 p.m. Eastern time. Forty-six drivers were entered for the race. All but the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet were entered for the previous race at Bristol. Jeb Burton and J. J. Yeley swapped rides at BK Racing with Burton driving the No. 23 Toyota and Yeley driving the No. 26 Toyota. Travis Kvapil drove the No. 30 Chevrolet for The Motorsports Group. Timmy Hill drove the No. 62 Chevrolet for Premium Motorsports. T. J. Bell drove the No. 98 Ford for Premium Motorsports.
Greg Biffle was the fastest in the first practice with a time of 27.909 and a speed of 176.201 mph (283.568 km/h). This practice session was the first for any car to use a digital dashboard that all cars will be required to use in 2016.
|1||16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||27.909||176.201|
|2||41||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||27.966||175.842|
|3||14||Tony Stewart||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||27.982||175.710|
|Official first practice results|
Brad Keselowski was the fastest in the final practice session with a time of 27.960 and a speed of 175.880 mph (283.051 km/h). Kyle Busch was forced to his backup car after wrecking his primary an hour into the session.
|1||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||27.960||175.880|
|2||16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||27.984||175.729|
|3||41||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||27.985||175.723|
|Official final practice results|
Brad Keselowski won the pole with a time of 27.492 and a speed of 178.874 mph (287.870 km/h). "I’ve always thought of Darlington as being one of the unique tracks in NASCAR. You look at Bristol, Daytona and Charlotte and Darlington is in the top five of our sport and what it means," Keselowski said. It’s a great accomplishment to me personally." "It’s quite exciting with the way the format is set up with three runs to go for the pole. Each run out you lose so much grip in the tires, it’s a challenge to try to find the right balance and it turns into fun," Kurt Busch said. Our first run out the car was almost too fast. The car almost drove too good." "We were fairly good in the first two rounds. I felt like I could have pushed harder in those two rounds to go faster; and that last round, we just kind of missed the balance on our Chevrolet," Kevin Harvick said. I feel a lot better about it in race trim than I did in qualifying trim. We try to concentrate on that the most because there is so much falloff."
|1||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||27.482||27.442||27.492|
|2||41||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||27.396||27.590||27.691|
|3||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||27.526||27.540||27.718|
|4||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||27.417||27.541||27.733|
|5||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||27.435||27.607||27.753|
|6||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||27.591||27.613||27.798|
|7||78||Martin Truex, Jr.||Furniture Row Racing||Chevrolet||27.600||27.681||27.807|
|8||17||Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||27.413||27.670||27.835|
|9||21||Ryan Blaney (i)||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||27.654||27.683||27.910|
|10||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||27.464||27.676||27.929|
|11||43||Aric Almirola||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||27.592||27.654||27.947|
|12||27||Paul Menard||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||27.632||27.662||28.053|
|13||19||Carl Edwards||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||27.517||27.703||—|
|14||20||Matt Kenseth||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||27.518||27.749||—|
|15||5||Kasey Kahne||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||27.458||27.751||—|
|16||42||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||27.550||27.762||—|
|17||14||Tony Stewart||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||27.607||27.776||—|
|18||6||Trevor Bayne||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||27.647||27.781||—|
|19||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||27.721||27.805||—|
|20||1||Jamie McMurray||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||27.539||27.851||—|
|21||55||David Ragan||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||27.485||27.899||—|
|22||25||Chase Elliott (i)||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||27.650||27.922||—|
|23||31||Ryan Newman||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||27.578||27.950||—|
|24||16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||27.630||32.037||—|
|25||83||Matt DiBenedetto (R)||BK Racing||Toyota||27.730||—||—|
|26||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||27.783||—||—|
|27||51||Justin Allgaier||HScott Motorsports||Chevrolet||27.783||—||—|
|28||15||Clint Bowyer||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||27.828||—||—|
|29||3||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||27.833||—||—|
|30||10||Danica Patrick[N 1]||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||27.844||—||—|
|31||40||Landon Cassill (i)||Hillman-Circle Sport LLC||Chevrolet||27.847||—||—|
|32||13||Casey Mears||Germain Racing||Chevrolet||27.860||—||—|
|33||9||Sam Hornish, Jr.||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||27.882||—||—|
|34||47||A. J. Allmendinger||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||27.918||—||—|
|35||7||Alex Bowman||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Chevrolet||27.937||—||—|
|36||26||J. J. Yeley (i)||BK Racing||Toyota||27.944||—||—|
|37||35||Cole Whitt||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||28.075||—||—|
|38||38||David Gilliland||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||28.152||—||—|
|39||46||Michael Annett||HScott Motorsports||Chevrolet||28.161||—||—|
|40||34||David Ragan (R)||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||28.243||—||—|
|41||23||Jeb Burton (R)||BK Racing||Toyota||28.267||—||—|
|42||33||Mike Bliss (i)||Hillman-Circle Sport LLC||Chevrolet||28.433||—||—|
|43||98||T. J. Bell||Premium Motorsports||Ford||28.563||—||—|
|Failed to qualify|
|44||32||Jeffrey Earnhardt||Go FAS Racing||Ford||28.104||—||—|
|45||62||Timmy Hill (i)||Premium Motorsports||Chevrolet||28.199||—||—|
|46||30||Travis Kvapil (i)||The Motorsports Group||Chevrolet||28.213||—||—|
|Official qualifying results|
Under overcast South Carolina evening skies, Brad Keselowski led the field to the green flag at 7:24 p.m. and led the first lap. He pulled to a one-second lead over Kevin Harvick after five laps. The first caution of the race flew on lap 7 for a three-car spin on the backstretch. This began when Brett Moffitt hit the wall while exiting turn 2. In an accordion fashion, Cole Whitt slammed into the rear of his car and Chase Elliott slammed into the rear of his car, sending both of them in a spin.
The race restarted on lap 14. Unlike last year's race, the bottom line appeared to be the preferred restart lane. Unlike the initial start, Keselowski didn't simply pull away as Kurt Busch reeled him in. Suddenly, Matt Kenseth, running third, got real sideways and slapped the wall exiting turn 2. This gave him an unscheduled stop three laps later. Eventually, Keselowski began to pull away from Busch. The second caution flew on lap 44 when Ryan Newman got loose in turn 3, saved it, got loose again, and spun out in turn 4.
The race restarted on lap 51. Debris on the frontstretch brought out the third caution on lap 61. Kasey Kahne opted to make just a two-tire pit stop and exited with the lead. Carl Edwards opted not to pit and assumed that position, putting Kahne in second.
The race restarted on lap 66. That same lap, Edwards was passed by Kahne for the lead. Three laps later, Denny Hamlin, on four new tires, passed Kahne for the lead. The fourth caution flew on lap 108 when Michael Annett got loose in turn 2 and spun down the backstretch.
The race restarted on lap 115. Keselowski drove around the outside of Hamlin in turn 2 to take the lead on lap 119. The fifth caution flew on lap 122 when Mike Bliss cut down his right-front tire on the backstretch and slammed the wall in turn 3. Kyle Busch opted not to pit and assumed the lead.
The race restarted on lap 125. The sixth caution flew on that same lap when J. J. Yeley apparently made contact with Annett in turn 3 and destroyed the protective foam on the driver's side of his car.
The race restarted on lap 139. Harvick used the outside to take the lead the next lap, but gave it back to Keselowski on the next lap. The eighth caution of the race flew on lap 165 when Trevor Bayne made heavy contact with Danica Patrick. Trying to get down on pit road, his tires blew and he spun out.
The race restarted on lap 170. Debris on the backstretch brought out the ninth caution of the race on lap 189. This came from when Patrick got loose and slammed the wall exiting turn 4. "I didn’t feel out of control out there," Patrick said. "I felt like I was in a pretty decent rhythm. It snapped pretty hard in (Turn) 4. So, I don’t know, I mean they said it looked like it snapped pretty hard. It felt like that it was definitely more sudden and something that I wasn’t expecting. It is definitely possible that it just got loose. For a few laps before that I felt like I could pull the yaw pretty easily through (Turns) 3 and 4. The one thing about Darlington is you definitely run a lot of lines here. I was running – I felt better lower than higher, so at times I was a lane or two below the dotted line. Debris is just something that happens here because we are using so much track, but I’m not 100 percent sure could have just got loose. But, it could have been a cut tire too, just not sure. It’s a bummer." Tony Stewart was tagged for speeding on pit road and restarted the race from the rear of the field.
The race restarted on lap 195. The 10th caution of the race flew on lap 198 when Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. got loose, slid down the track, and slammed the inside wall in turn 4. There, T. J. Bell and Alex Bowman made contact and both slammed the wall.
The race restarted on lap 203. Kurt Busch drove past Keselowski exiting turn 2 to take the lead. The 11th caution of the race flew on lap 208 when Kyle Busch apparently made contact with Greg Biffle sending both spinning. Kyle Larson opted not to pit and assumed the lead.
The race restarted on lap 212. Larson was passed by Stewart for the lead. Later, Hamlin drove under Stewart to retake that position on lap 223. The 12th caution of the race flew on lap 229 when Elliott blew his right-front tire out and hit the outside wall. Hamlin swapped the lead with Harvick on pit road as the former pitted before the start/finish line, and the latter left pit road with the lead.
The race restarted on lap 252. The 14th caution of the race flew on lap 265 when David Ragan got loose, slid down the track, and hit the inside wall on the frontstretch. Kyle Busch opted not to pit and assumed the lead.
The race restarted on lap 270. Busch botched the restart and Joey Logano retook the lead. The 15th caution of the race flew on lap 279 when Ragan got hooked into the outside wall by Paul Menard, turned down the track, and slammed the inside wall.
The race restarted on lap 283. Debris in turn 1 brought out the 16th caution of the race on lap 300. Keselowski beat Harvick off pit road to retake the lead.
The race restarted on lap 306. The 17th caution of the race flew with 60 laps to go when Martin Truex, Jr. tapped the rear of Kurt Busch and sent him spinning.
The race restarted with 55 laps to go. With 50 to go, Harvick began putting pressure on race leader Keselowski. He had the momentum to pull off the pass exiting turn 2 with 45 to go, but he bobbled on the exit and Keselowski remained in the lead. Edwards pulled to Harvick and began pressuring him for second. Edwards edged Keselowski at the line with 22 laps to go and Brad took back the lead the next lap. The 18th caution of the race, a new track record, came out with 13 laps to go when Jeb Burton made contact with Johnson and spun out. This was a new world record for the most cautions in the Southern 500. Edwards beat Keselowski off pit road to retake the lead.
The race restarted with eight laps to go. Edwards drove off to score his 25th career victory at Darlington Raceway.
"This is the style of racing that I love," Edwards said. "If there's any chance we can do it in the Chase, I hope, I hope we can do it."
"Just one spot short at the end," Keselowski said. "We're right there. We've just got to find one more level to win these races and win this championship."
"We had a great Budweiser-Jimmy John's Chevrolet. I'm really happy about that part. I'm really disappointed with how pit road went tonight," Kevin Harvick said after a fifth-place finish. "All in all the car performed well and we were in the race, we just got behind with eight laps to go. "We ran well. We just didn't perform on pit road tonight."
After finishing seventh, Kyle Busch locked himself into the Chase. "We weren’t looking so good after Michigan,’’ Busch said of the 43rd-place finish in the June race. "It was really doom and gloom. I was bumming. I just wasn’t sure what to do. I wasn’t sure what was going on. It took a little bit of that time to get the rust knocked off, I guess. It’s probably the longest I’ve been out of the race car in my life. That was a tough lick.’’
"We lost the handling late in the race and went backwards," said Martin Truex, Jr. after finishing ninth. "We were a top-five car all night and to come away ninth is disappointing. We just didn't have the grip at the end to run closer to the front. I would feel better about the team record had we finished in the top-five."
Members of the NASCAR media gave their opinions of the second race with the low-downforce aero package. Pete Pistone, lead writer for the Motor Racing Network and co-host of The Morning Drive on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio, said that this race "didn’t seem to have the overall dramatic results like what was seen at Kentucky in July," but that "there were some interesting battles for position during the 500-mile grind, particularly in the closing laps" and that "the drivers were very optimistic heading into the race and gave it glowing reviews after the race."
Jeff Gluck of USA Today said that while "the Southern 500 was a grueling marathon and a caution fest that lasted more than four and a half hours..., it also was a very entertaining race that featured tight battles for the lead and the kind of tire falloff that helped NASCAR rise to popularity in the first place." He also said that it was "exactly what the sport needed – confirmation the package is indeed the right direction to go after Kentucky already was a major success."
Jim Utter of Motorsport.com, factoring in the opinions of drivers and NASCAR on the package, said that if there was "such a thing as a consensus in NASCAR, the low-downforce aerodynamics package debuted at Kentucky earlier this season may be as close as the sport gets to it."
John Oreovicz of ESPN.com said "the star of the show was NASCAR's low drag aero package" and that "[i]f the high-drag package run at Indianapolis and Michigan can almost unquestionably be called a failure, the low-drag package has proven to provide almost everything the drivers have asked for.
Larry McReynolds of Fox Sports said he doesn't "know how in the world anybody can complain about what we saw at Darlington on Sunday night" and that while he understands "the race was long...the racing was good. I know there will be some debate about a four-and-a-half-hour race. I am normally the one that's beating the drum that we don't need to be doing that as our society has outgrown that. This was a very special event, and I don't think it needs to change."
Darrell Waltrip of Fox Sports said he thought "Sunday was a great example of why there is so much passion within our sport about Darlington" and that he thought "the aero package seems to be the way to go. It worked at Kentucky and it seemed to work Sunday night. These cars have a lot of downforce built into the body anyway, so we don't need that big huge spoiler on the back of the car."
Nate Ryan of NBC Sports said that it would "be better if NASCAR bravely calls an audible for the Chase and institutes the low-downforce package that met with smashingly positive reviews at Kentucky Speedway and Darlington Raceway. The mantra from NASCAR over the past six years has been that fan satisfaction should supersede everything in determining its direction. Whether installing double-file restarts or making three attempts at a green-white-checkered finish, there often has been little fair to competitors about the recent initiatives aimed at increasing the entertainment value. The same concept holds true for low downforce."
|1||13||19||Carl Edwards||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||367||47|
|2||1||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||367||44|
|3||6||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||367||42|
|4||4||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||367||41|
|5||3||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||367||40|
|6||2||41||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||367||39|
|7||10||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||367||38|
|8||26||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||367||36|
|9||7||78||Martin Truex, Jr.||Furniture Row Racing||Chevrolet||367||35|
|10||16||42||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||367||35|
|11||11||43||Aric Almirola||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||367||33|
|12||15||5||Kasey Kahne||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||367||33|
|13||23||31||Ryan Newman||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||367||31|
|14||20||1||Jamie McMurray||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||367||30|
|15||17||14||Tony Stewart||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||367||30|
|16||5||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||367||28|
|17||28||15||Clint Bowyer||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||367||27|
|18||24||16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||367||26|
|19||19||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||367||25|
|20||31||40||Landon Cassill (i)||Hillman-Circle Sport LLC||Chevrolet||367||0|
|21||14||20||Matt Kenseth||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||367||23|
|22||29||3||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||367||22|
|23||34||47||A. J. Allmendinger||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||367||21|
|24||35||7||Alex Bowman||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Chevrolet||367||20|
|25||25||83||Matt DiBenedetto (R)||BK Racing||Toyota||367||19|
|26||12||27||Paul Menard||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||367||18|
|27||38||38||David Gilliland||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||367||17|
|28||33||9||Sam Hornish, Jr.||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||367||16|
|29||32||13||Casey Mears||Germain Racing||Chevrolet||366||15|
|30||9||21||Ryan Blaney (i)||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||366||0|
|31||41||23||Jeb Burton (R)||BK Racing||Toyota||364||13|
|32||42||33||Mike Bliss (i)||Hillman-Circle Sport LLC||Chevrolet||363||0|
|33||27||51||Justin Allgaier||HScott Motorsports||Chevrolet||354||11|
|34||36||26||J. J. Yeley (i)||BK Racing||Toyota||348||0|
|35||18||6||Trevor Bayne||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||342||9|
|36||40||34||Brett Moffitt (R)||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||332||8|
|37||43||98||T. J. Bell||Premium Motorsports||Ford||325||7|
|38||8||17||Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||313||6|
|39||39||46||Michael Annett||HScott Motorsports||Chevrolet||300||5|
|40||21||55||David Ragan||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||275||4|
|41||22||25||Chase Elliott (i)||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||227||0|
|42||30||10||Danica Patrick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||190||2|
|43||37||35||Cole Whitt||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||5||1|
|Official Bojangles' Southern 500 results|
- 24 lead changes among 11 different drivers
- 18 cautions for 89 laps
- Time of race: 4 hours, 28 minute, 35 seconds
- Average speed: 111.993 mph (180.235 km/h)
- Carl Edwards took home $285,225 in winnings
- Coors Light Pole Award: Brad Keselowski (27.492, 178.874 mph (287.870 km/h))
- 3M Lap Leader: Brad Keselowski (196 laps)
- American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award: Brad Keselowski
- Duralast Brakes "Bake In The Race" Award: Brad Keselowski
- Freescale "Wide Open": Carl Edwards
- Ingersoll Rand Power Move: Kurt Busch (9 positions)
- MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Race: Roush-Yates Engines, #2
- Mobil 1 Driver of the Race: Brad Keselowski (137.4 driver rating)
- Moog Steering and Suspension Problem Solver of The Race: Carl Edwards (crew chief Darian Grubb (0.228 seconds))
- NASCAR Sprint Cup Leader Bonus: No winner: rolls over to $220,000 at next event
- Sherwin-Williams Fastest Lap: Matt Kenseth (Lap 4, 28.145, 174.724 mph (281.191 km/h))
- Sunoco Rookie of The Race: Matt DiBenedetto
NBC Sports covered the race on the television side. Rick Allen, two–time Darlington winner Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte had the call in the booth for the race. As part of the throwback weekend, Ken Squier, Ned Jarrett and Dale Jarrett also called a portion of the race. Dave Burns, Mike Massaro, Marty Snider and Kelli Stavast handled pit road on the television side.
|Booth announcers||Pit reporters|
|Lap-by-lap: Rick Allen and Ken Squier
Color-commentator: Jeff Burton and Ned Jarrett
Color-commentator: Steve Letarte and Dale Jarrett
MRN had the radio call for the race, which was simulcast on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio. Joe Moore, Jeff Striegle and Rusty Wallace called the race from the booth when the field was racing down the front stretch. Dave Moody called the race from a billboard outside of turn 2 when the field was racing through turns 1 and 2. Mike Bagley called the race from atop the Darlington Raceway Club outside of turn 3 when the field was racing through turns 3 and 4. Alex Hayden, Winston Kelley and Steve Post worked pit road on the radio side.
|Booth announcers||Turn announcers||Pit reporters|
|Lead announcer: Joe Moore
Announcer: Jeff Striegle
Announcer: Rusty Wallace
|Turns 1 & 2: Dave Moody
Turns 3 & 4: Mike Bagley
Standings after the race
- Danica Patrick started from the rear of the field for switching to a backup car post-qualifying.
- "2015 NASCAR Schedule" (PDF). NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. August 26, 2014. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- "Darlington Raceway". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. January 3, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- "Entry List". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. August 30, 2015. Archived from the original on September 3, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- "First Practice Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. September 4, 2015. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- "Final Practice Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. September 4, 2015. Archived from the original on September 9, 2015. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- "Qualifying Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. September 5, 2015. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
- "Starting Lineup". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. September 5, 2015. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
- "Bojangles' Southern 500 Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. September 7, 2015. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- "Points standings" (PDF). Jayski.com. NASCAR Statistics. September 7, 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 21, 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- "Manufacturer standings" (PDF). Jayski.com. NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications. September 7, 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 21, 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- Paulsen (September 7, 2015). "NASCAR Darlington Overnights Up on NBC, But Not By Much". SportsMediaWatch.com. Sports Media Watch. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- Paulsen (September 9, 2015). "Good News and Bad in NASCAR's Darlington Ratings". SportsMediaWatch.com. Sports Media Watch. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
- Pistone, Pete (September 2, 2015). "Opinion: Back Where It Belongs". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Archived from the original on September 4, 2015. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- "Darlington regains Labor Day event". ESPN News Services. ESPN Internet Ventures. Associated Press. August 26, 2014. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
- Craven, Ricky; McGhee, Ryan; Oreovicz, John; Pockrass, Bob (September 3, 2015). "As the Chase looms, Darlington looms larger". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- Bianchi, Jordan (September 2, 2015). "A tradition restored: NASCAR returns to Darlington on Labor Day weekend". sbnation.com. Vox Media, Inc. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- Hembree, Mike (September 4, 2015). "NASCAR restores beloved tradition with Darlington's move back to Labor Day". USA Today. Darlington, South Carolina: Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
- Long, Dustin (September 4, 2015). "Darlington Raceway adds SAFER barrier on straightaways". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- Utter, Jim (September 4, 2015). "NASCAR redesigns its restart zone". Motorsport.com. Motorsport.com, Inc. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
- Bruce, Kenny (July 7, 2015). "New rules coming at several tracks this season". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
- Utter, Jim (September 1, 2015). "NASCAR's low-downforce aero package gets tires to match at Darlington". Motorsport.com. Motorsport.com, Inc. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
- Iacobelli, Pete (August 26, 2015). "Darlington's iconic Southern 500 to feature throwback paint schemes". Kingsport Times-News. Kingsport Publishing Corporation. Associated Press. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- Gluck, Jeff (September 3, 2015). "Gluck: Throwback paint schemes just what Darlington needed". USA Today. Charlotte, North Carolina: Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
- Spencer, Lee (August 25, 2015). "Yeley and Burton swap rides". Motorsport.com. Motorsport.com, Inc. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
- Falkenstein, Dave (September 3, 2015). "Fuel & Tires: Travis Kvapil keeps on truckin'". gazettextra.com. GazetteXtra. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- McFadin, Daniel (August 31, 2015). "Retro rundown: throwback paint schemes for the Southern 500". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
- "TONY STEWART 2015 BASS PRO SHOPS DARLINGTON 1:24 ARC". Lionel Racing. Archived from the original on September 17, 2015. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
- McFadin, Daniel (September 4, 2015). "Greg Biffle claims fastest speed in first Sprint Cup practice at Darlington". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- Ryan, Nate (September 4, 2015). "Digital dashboard makes Darlington debut (VIDEO)". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- McFadin, Daniel (September 4, 2015). "Brad Keselowski fastest in final Sprint Cup practice at Darlington". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- Spencer, Lee (September 4, 2015). "Keselowski leads Darlington Happy Hour". Motorsport.com. Motorsport.com, Inc. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
- Mays, Robbie (September 5, 2015). "Keselowski Wins Darlington Pole". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
- Pennell, Jay (September 6, 2015). "Chase Elliott goes around early in Bojangles' Southern 500". FoxSports.com. Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- "2015 Bojangles' Southern 500". Sprint Cup Series. Season 67. Darlington, South Carolina. August 22, 2015. Event occurs at 7:47 p.m. NBC Sports. NBC. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
- McFadin, Daniel (September 6, 2015). "Brad Keselowski leads the Southern 500 at halfway point". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- Spencer, Lee (September 7, 2015). "The Lady in Black was not kind to Danica Patrick". Motorsport.com. Motorsport.com, Inc. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- Gluck, Jeff (September 7, 2015). "Carl Edwards wins Southern 500 at Darlington". USA Today. Darlington, South Carolina: Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- Pistone, Pete (September 6, 2015). "Edwards Darlington Winner". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Archived from the original on September 9, 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- Iacobelli, Pat (September 7, 2015). "Carl Edwards takes Southern 500 at Darlington". AP Sports. Darlington, South Carolina. Associated Press. Archived from the original on September 13, 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- Pennell, Jay (September 7, 2015). "Slow pit stop takes Harvick out of contention at Darlington". FoxSports.com. Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
- Long, Dustin (September 7, 2015). "Despite missing 11 races, Kyle Busch will race for a championship". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- Pistone, Pete (September 7, 2015). "Truex Sets Team Record for Top 10s". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- Pistone, Pete (September 7, 2015). "Darlington Rear-View Mirror". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Archived from the original on September 9, 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- Gluck, Jeff (September 7, 2015). "Gluck: NASCAR should take 2016 direction from Darlington". USA Today. Charlotte, North Carolina: Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- Utter, Jim (September 7, 2015). "NASCAR and drivers praise Darlington aero package". Motorsport.com. Motorsport.com, Inc. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- Oreovicz, John (September 7, 2015). "Monday Rundown: Sprint Cup's low-drag package entertaining". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- McReynolds, Larry (September 8, 2015). "A tip of the hat: Larry Mac likes what he saw at the 'Lady in Black'". FoxSports.com. Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
- Waltrip, Darrell (September 8, 2015). "Embracing your past: DW breaks down the throwback weekend at Darlington". FoxSports.com. Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
- Ryan, Nate (September 9, 2015). "Ryan: Low downforce should be high priority in NASCAR Chase". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
- Moody, Dave [@DGodfatherMoody] (September 6, 2015). "Sunset over @TooToughToTame. #AskMRN" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Bagley, Mike [@TheMikeBagley] (September 6, 2015). "A panoramic view from my position in turn 3. #AskMRN" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
2015 Irwin Tools Night Race
|Sprint Cup Series
2015 Federated Auto Parts 400