A Brief History of the Bojangles’ Southern 500

Learn more about our favorite Labor Day activity

Category: Blog


Well, it’s about that time, y’all! Labor Day is approaching, which means we’re gearing up for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 NASCAR race in Darlington, South Carolina.

It’s basically the greatest weekend of the year.

The race is in it’s 67th year, and we just turned 40. Alas, it hasn’t always been called the Bojangles’ Southern 500.

In 1950, the Southern 500 debuted as NASCAR’s first 500-mile race (fun fact: it lasted six hours). It’s first naming sponsor was Heinz in 1989 and has donned several big names since then (think: Mountain Dew, Pepsi, Dodge, and GoDaddy.com).

For 53 years, the race was held during Labor Day weekend, but this changed in 2004 when it was moved to November for cooler weather and scheduling conflicts. In 2005, it was moved to the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend (mid-May) and briefly lost the Southern 500 name. And in 2009, that name was brought back.

Finally, in 2012, we entered the scene. The race became the Bojangles’ Southern 500 and continued to run in May until 2014, when it switched to the second weekend of April.

But in 2015, nostalgic race fans rejoiced as our favorite 500-mile race was moved BACK to the popular Labor Day weekend slot, where it resides today.

In addition to the return to Labor Day weekend, the Bojangles’ Southern 500 became known as the “throwback” race. The majority of race cars donned retro paint schemes to celebrate NASCAR’s rich history. The throwback theme was so successful that it’s now in its third year running.

We couldn’t be more proud to be involved in a race with such interesting and important history. Here’s to the 2017 Bojangles’ Southern 500 and many more to come!

Planning to attend this year’s race but haven’t bought your tickets? Buy one and get the second for only $20 at www.letsboracing.com! Offer valid through Tuesday, August 29, 2017 (or while supplies last.) And if you can’t make it to Darlington, follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and Snapchat (@bojangles1977) for all the inside scoop.

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