|Race 45 of 55 in the 1965 NASCAR Grand National Series season|
Layout of Darlington Raceway
|Date||September 6, 1965|
|Official name||Southern 500|
|Location||Darlington Raceway, Darlington, South Carolina|
Permanent racing facility|
1.375 mi (2.212 km)
|Distance||364 laps, 500.5 mi (805.4 km)|
|Weather||Very hot with temperatures of 81 °F (27 °C); wind speeds of 13 miles per hour (21 km/h)|
|Average speed||115.878 miles per hour (186.488 km/h)|
|Driver||Junior Johnson & Associates|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Darel Dieringer||Bud Moore Engineering|
|No. 11||Ned Jarrett||Bondy Long|
|Television in the United States|
|Network||ABC (tape-delay basis)|
The race took four hours and nineteen minutes to complete with Ned Jarrett beating Buck Baker by a distance of fourteen laps and 19 laps over third and fourth-place finishers: Darel Dieringer and Roy Mayne; which would remain a NASCAR record to this very day.
Darlington Raceway, nicknamed by many NASCAR fans and drivers as "The Lady in Black" or "The Track Too Tough to Tame" and advertised as a "NASCAR Tradition", is a race track built for NASCAR racing located near Darlington, South Carolina. It is of a unique, somewhat egg-shaped design, an oval with the ends of very different configurations, a condition which supposedly arose from the proximity of one end of the track to a minnow pond the owner refused to relocate. This situation makes it very challenging for the crews to set up their cars' handling in a way that will be effective at both ends.
The track is a four-turn 1.366 miles (2.198 km) oval. The track's first two turns are banked at twenty-five degrees, while the final two turns are banked two degrees lower at twenty-three degrees. The front stretch (the location of the finish line) and the back stretch is banked at six degrees. Darlington Raceway can seat up to 60,000 people.
Darlington has something of a legendary quality among drivers and older fans; this is probably due to its long track length relative to other NASCAR speedways of its era and hence the first venue where many of them became cognizant of the truly high speeds that stock cars could achieve on a long track. The track allegedly earned the moniker The Lady in Black because the night before the race the track maintenance crew would cover the entire track with fresh asphalt sealant, in the early years of the speedway, thus making the racing surface dark black. Darlington is also known as "The Track Too Tough to Tame" because drivers can run lap after lap without a problem and then bounce off of the wall the following lap. Racers will frequently explain that they have to race the racetrack, not their competition. Drivers hitting the wall are considered to have received their "Darlington Stripe" thanks to the missing paint on the right side of the car.
In mileage, the gap between Jarrett and Baker is the equivalent of 19.25 miles or 30.98 kilometres. Drivers who failed to qualify for this race were: Pee Wee Ellwanger (Dodge), Wendell Scott (Ford), Worth McMillion (Pontiac) and Bernard Alvarez (Ford). By modern-day standards, this race was considered to be a blowout. Buddy Baker's vehicle overheated on lap 123 even though he was the favorite to win the race.
Jarrett would go on to claim his second NASCAR championship title after the November 7 race at the Dog Track Speedway in Moyock, North Carolina. While 44 cars would originally start the race, only 15 of them would survive until the end. On the third lap Buren Skeen spun out and was fatally injured when Reb Wickersham's Ford plowed into Skeen's drivers door. Darel Dieringer broke with 39 laps to go after leading 199 laps, leaving Ned Jarrett alone by 14 laps en route to the win. Pure survival was considered to be the main component of the race. Every competitive car had problems with the exception of Jarret, so the win was basically by default. The Baker Fury was pretty fast but suffered overheating, during which Buddy assumed command.
The race saw a scary melee when young Cale Yarborough crashed with Sam McQuagg in Turn One and Cale's car flew over the guardrail and landed outside the speedway; he was uninjured and interviewed for ABC Sports by Chris Economaki.
The polesitter, Junior Johnson, went out after the first lap and finished last.
Curtis Turner would be permitted to race after Bill France dropped his lifetime ban for promoting a trade union with NASCAR. Richard Petty did not race even though he stopped boycotting Chrysler and the Grand National Series.
Other notable names who participated included: LeeRoy Yarbrough, Elmo Langley, Wendell Scott, and Darel Dieringer. The winner would walk away with $21,060 while the last place winner would receive $7505. Notable crew chiefs for this race were Franklin McMillion, Herb Nab, Jimmy Thomas, John Ervin, Ray Fox, and Bruce Bacon.
The transition to purpose-built racecars began in the early 1960s and occurred gradually over that decade. Changes made to the sport by the late 1960s brought an end to the "strictly stock" vehicles of the 1950s.
|1||26||Junior Johnson||'65 Ford||35.993||137.528||Junior Johnson|
|2||28||Fred Lorenzen||'65 Ford||36.048||137.318||Holman-Moody|
|3||21||Marvin Panch||'65 Ford||36.185||136.797||Wood Brothers|
|4||15||Earl Balmer||'64 Mercury||36.250||136.551||Bud Moore|
|5||16||Darel Dieringer||'64 Mercury||36.475||135.709||Bud Moore|
|6||29||Dick Hutcherson||'65 Ford||36.508||135.588||Holman-Moody|
|7||41||Jim Paschal||'65 Chevrolet||36.738||134.739||Tom Friedkin|
|8||14||Curtis Turner||'65 Plymouth||36.810||134.474||Sam Fletcher|
|9||27||Cale Yarborough||'65 Ford||36.060||137.271||Banjo Matthews|
|10||11||Ned Jarrett||'65 Ford||36.500||135.616||Bondy Long|
Section reference: 
+ signifies that the driver is known to be deceased
* Driver failed to finish race
Section reference: 
1965 Myers Brothers 250
| NASCAR Grand National Series season
1965 Buddy Shuman 250