Jimmie Johnson pulled away on the final restart to win the 200th NASCAR Cup series race for Hendrick Motorsports. Johnson’s triumph in the Southern 500 was his 56th career win, which moved him into 8th place on the all-time list. Johnson and Jeff Gordon have combined for 141 of the 200 wins (70 percent) for the organization.
As for Gordon’s night at Darlington, it was another race to forget. Gordon started 12th and moved into the top-10 within the first 3 laps. He took 9th from Regan Smith on lap 23 and moved around Ryan Newman for 8th by lap 35. Gordon brushed the wall on lap 42, but held the 8th position. Gordon ran 9th following a round of green flag pit stops at the 50-lap mark. He regained the 8th spot by lap 60, but was battling a tight handling condition. Gordon pitted under green at the 100-lap mark and returned to the race in 8th. The next round of stops came on lap 147. Gordon passed Denny Hamlin for 7th on lap 160. A debris caution on lap 172 slowed the field and brought pit stops. Gordon dropped to 9th on lap 190 and then came to pit road with a flat left rear tire. Gordon fell off the lead lap due to the pit stop, before a caution for debris. Gordon restarted in 25th place and gained a spot within two laps. Gordon dropped off the pace on lap 205 with another cut in the left rear tire. He came to pit road for tires and pulled into the garage for extensive repairs. He returned to the race 28 laps down in 35th place and dropped to 24th in the series standings.
A cut tire on lap 191 was the beginning of the end for Gordon and the #24 team at Darlington.
[audio:http://www.scannerbytes.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2012-05-12-Jeff-Gordon-Bojangles-Souther-500-Darlington.mp3|titles=2012-05-12 – Jeff Gordon – Bojangles Souther 500 – Darlington]
MP3 Download – with spotter chatter
[audio:http://www.scannerbytes.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2012-05-12-Jeff-Gordon-Bojangles-Souther-500-Darlington-with-spotter-chatter.mp3|titles=2012-05-12 – Jeff Gordon – Bojangles Souther 500 – Darlington – with spotter chatter]