The Bojangles Southern 500 is now a Mother's Day weekend tradition for the Sprint Cup Series, revived in its glory despite being removed from its Labor Day weekend roots about a decade ago. It's still one of the races that every driver dreams of winning, alongside the Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600, Brickyard 400 and a select few others.
But with great prestige comes greater momentum swings—both good and bad.
A handful of drivers and teams come out of Darlington bringing the heat, having established themselves as great contenders during the first 11 races of the season. Others will need to come out swinging in the second half of the regular season if they hope to make a title run, if only to ensure that their downward-trending momentum doesn't stay that way.
So who should be smiling after Saturday night's race, and whose fortunes are in need of improvement?