#40 Mountain Dew Southern 500
Mountain Dew Southern 500 – Darlington Raceway
Bill Elliott and his Junior Johnson #11Budweiser Ford Thunderbird arrived at Darlington International Speedway with a good chance of breaking a 52 race drought at one of Elliott’s favorite tracks with impressive stats and results. Elliott had 4 wins at Darlington, 3 at the Southern 500 with his team owner Johnson having 10 wins at the “Track Too Tough To Tame.” Elliott won the first & only “Winston Million at Darlington in 1985 winning 3 out of the big four races being the only driver to do so making a great achievement in NASCAR history. Elliott started the race in 7th place due to rain earlier in the week. He was only able to get in 1 lap of practice and 2 laps of qualifying before the start of the race. Elliott, Mike Beam, crew chief, and Junior Johnson consulted on a race setup and hit it pretty close as Elliott ran in the top 10 all day long. There were 28 lead changes among 11 drivers. Elliott leading 3 times in the very competitive race took the lead on lap 355 from Dale Earnhardt, Sr., to lead the last 11 laps by an impressive margin of victory of 6.39 seconds. Finishing out the top 5 were Dale Earnhardt, Sr., Morgan Shepherd, Ricky Rudd and Sterling Marlin.