|Race 21 of 29 in the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season|
1992 Southern 500 program cover
|Date||September 6, 1992|
|Official name||Mountain Dew Southern 500|
|Location||Darlington Raceway, Darlington County, South Carolina|
Permanent racing facility|
1.366 mi (2.198 km)
|Distance||298 laps, 407.068 mi (655.112 km)|
|Scheduled Distance||367 laps, 501.322 mi (806.800 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching up to 84.9 °F (29.4 °C); wind speeds up to 10.2 miles per hour (16.4 km/h)|
|Average speed||129.114 miles per hour (207.789 km/h)|
|Driver||Junior Johnson & Associates|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Harry Gant||Leo Jackson Motorsports|
|No. 17||Darrell Waltrip||Darrell Waltrip Motorsports|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Bob Jenkins, Ned Jarrett and Gary Nelson|
The 1992 Mountain Dew Southern 500, the 43rd running of the event, was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race held on September 6, 1992 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington County, South Carolina. Contested over 298 laps – shortened from 367 laps due to rain – on the 1.366 mile (2.198 km) speedway, it was the 21st race of the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. Darrell Waltrip of Darrell Waltrip Motorsports won the race. His final career win.
The #22 of Sterling Marlin won the pole position. The attention largely focused on Davey Allison, who was eligible for the Winston Million, and could also claim a Career Grand Slam by winning all four majors in his career. Cloudy skies and rain were in the forecast, but the race started on time and cruised well beyond the halfway point before rain entered the area. As the race progressed, Allison ran in the top three most of the day, and was in contention for victory, and the coveted Winston Million bonus.
Allison's biggest challenges, however, were impending rain, and hard-charging Mark Martin. Allison pitted first on lap 286 of the 367-lap event. Martin, pitting on the backstretch, came in on lap 289. Just moments later on lap 295, the skies opened and the rain that had threatened all day finally came. Darrell Waltrip, Bill Elliott, and Brett Bodine were among a handful of drivers who had not yet pitted. When the red flag was displayed on lap 298, Waltrip was scored as the leader, having taken the lead on Lap 293. Shortly thereafter, the race was called and Waltrip was declared the winner. It was Waltrip's second consecutive win, but more importantly, his first Southern 500 victory, making him the fourth driver to finish off the Career Grand Slam. Martin was second, with points contender Elliott coming home a surprising third. Allison was shuffled back to 5th.
A dejected Allison lost his chance at the Winston Million, and also lost ground to Elliott in the season standings. Elliott now led by 119 points over Allison. Alan Kulwicki was still in striking distance at 161 points behind.
Larry McReynolds wrote in his 2002 autobiography, The Big Picture: My Life from Pit Road to the Broadcast Booth about the pit miscue for Allison. He sent a crew member to the NASCAR hauler to look at the weather radar (teams looked at the radar from NASCAR's hauler, unlike modern pit boxes with a connection to the radar), and the crew member gave McReynolds the call to pit the car on Lap 286. According to the book, the crew member said "Green means good," with McReynolds responding, "Green means rain." This incident heavily influenced McReynolds when he went to broadcasting, even making an appearance on The Weather Channel after going to broadcasting in 2001.
|1||17||Darrell Waltrip||Darrell Waltrip Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|2||6||Mark Martin||Roush Racing||Ford|
|3||11||Bill Elliott||Junior Johnson & Associates||Ford|
|4||26||Brett Bodine||King Racing||Ford|
|5||28||Davey Allison||Robert Yates Racing||Ford|
|6||18||Dale Jarrett||Joe Gibbs Racing||Chevrolet|
|7||42||Kyle Petty||SABCO Racing||Pontiac|
|8||7||Alan Kulwicki||AK Racing||Ford|
|9||2||Rusty Wallace||Penske Racing||Ford|
|10||5||Ricky Rudd||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|