Southern 500 2012: Start Time, Lineup, TV Schedule and More

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2012

DARLINGTON, SC - MAY 07: Brian Vickers, driver of the #63 Red Bull Toyota, drives by with damage to his race car during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SHOWTIME Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 7, 2011 in Darlington, South Carolina.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

With NASCAR returning to Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles Southern 500, fans get to see living, breathing history under the lights of the track "Too Tough to Tame."

This race is as tough as they come, forcing drivers the full 500 miles in the most physically demanding race on the schedule. As hard as this track can be on drivers, however, the feeling of winning at Darlington and getting your name next to guys like Richard Petty is something every driver dreams of.

Where: Darlington Raceway, Darlington, SC

When: Saturday, May 12, 6:30 p.m. ET

Watch: FOX

Live Stream: TrackPass

Listen: Motor Racing Network

Starting Order: Qualifying will be Friday, May 11, at 5:00 p.m. ET on SPEED Channel


Full TV Schedule

Friday, May 11, 11:30 a.m.ET: Bojangles' Southern 500 practice, SPEED

Friday, May 11, 2 p.m.ET: Bojangles' Southern 500 final practice, SPEED

Friday, May 11, 3:30 p.m. ET: VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 qualifying, ESPN 2

Friday, May 11, 5 p.m. ET: Bojangles' Southern 500 qualifying, SPEED

Friday, May 11, 6:30 p.m. ET: VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200, ESPN2

Saturday, May 12, 6:30 p.m. ET: Bojangles' Southern 500, FOX


Drivers to Watch

Carl Edwards

RICHMOND, VA - APRIL 27:  Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Capital City 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 27, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo by Tom
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

There is only one driver in NASCAR who is as well known for his physical fitness as he is for his driving abilities, and that is fan-favorite Carl Edwards. With no previous wins at this track, Edwards has squeezed out five top-10 finishes at the track, but he wants that big win. With exhaustion hurting many drivers, Edwards’ stamina and fitness should make his run to a win easier.


Paul Menard

The surprise of this race could be the No. 27 Menards Chevrolet driven by Paul Menard. While the younger star has never finished that well at this track, a new mindset and the best car Richard Childress can give him could have Menard shocking the world.


Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick

After a wild incident the last time this duo met under the lights at Darlington, this race is being billed by track promoters as “Round 2 between Kevin 'The Hitman' Harvick and Kyle 'Rowdy' Busch.”

Just like a boxing promoter sells a fight, Darlington track president Chris Browning is getting fans excited about what could be another wild meeting between the two drivers. With no resolution to their conflict and tons of animosity, the tough Darlington race could have patience low and fuses short.


Predicted Winner: Carl Edwards

After coming close several times over the course of his career, Saturday night will be Carl Edwards’ time to shine. Darlington is a classic NASCAR track that requires more physicality behind the wheel than any other track on the circuit. It’s fitting that the fitness freak Edwards will win the most grueling race of 2012.


Check back for more on NASCAR as it comes, and check out Bleacher Report’s NASCAR Page to get your fill of all things motorsports.