|Race 21 of 29 in the 1987 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season|
|Date||September 6, 1987|
|Official name||Southern 500|
|Location||Darlington Raceway, Darlington County, South Carolina|
Permanent racing facility|
1.366 mi (2.198 km)
|Distance||202 laps, 275.932 mi (444.069 km)|
|Scheduled Distance||367 laps, 501.322 mi (806.8 km)|
|Weather||Very hot with temperatures of 82 °F (28 °C); wind speeds of 17.6 miles per hour (28.3 km/h)|
|Average speed||115.52 miles per hour (185.91 km/h)|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing|
|No. 3||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Bob Jenkins & Larry Nuber|
The 1987 Heinz Southern 500, the 38th running of the event, was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race held on September 6, 1987 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina. Contested over 202 laps - shortened from 367 laps due to rain - on the 1.366 mile (2.198 km) speedway, it was the 21st race of the 1987 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. Dale Earnhardt of Richard Childress Racing won the race.
Johnathan Lee Edwards would make his final NASCAR career start while Richard Petty would finish in the "top ten" for the 700th time in his career.
The last race attempt for Tim Richmond sees him withdraw for health reasons, then resign from Hendrick Motorsports later in the month. An attempted comeback in 1988 was ultimately not to be, due to a highly controversial "positive" drug test that barred him for the 1988 season. He was reinstated later in the year after a settled lawsuit, but couldn't find a ride, and ultimately never raced again before his death in 1989.
Alan Kulwicki had engine problems on lap 77; picking up his only last place-finish. Harry Gant could handle his vehicle's clutch and had to exit the race on lap 95. Greg Sacks' engine gave out on lap 96 while Johnathan Lee Edwards had the same problem on lap 122. Trevor Boys inflicted terminal vehicle damage on lap 126 while fatigue ended H.B. Bailey's race on lap 133. Connie Saylor would pass out due to exhaustion on lap 140. Bobby Allison blew his vehicle's engine on lap 185 while a troublesome distributor ended Buddy Baker's race on lap 199.
The battle for the win turned into a showdown between Earnhardt and Richard Petty; Petty gunned past Earnhardt on a Lap 188 restart but Earnhardt retook the lead on lap 191 just before rain brought out what would be the race-ending yellow at Lap 198. Rookie sensation Davey Allison won the pole and led 86 laps but crashed in the fourth turn at Lap 164; the crash swept up Lake Speed while Mike Potter spun behind them and was drilled by Benny Parsons.
|1||28||Davey Allison||Ford||Harry Ranier|
|2||9||Bill Elliott||Ford||Harry Melling|
|3||11||Terry Labonte||Chevrolet||Junior Johnson|
|4||83||Lake Speed||Oldsmobile||Lake Speed|
|5||3||Dale Earnhardt||Chevrolet||Richard Childress|
|6||7||Alan Kulwicki||Ford||Alan Kulwicki|
|7||17||Darrell Waltrip||Chevrolet||Rick Hendrick|
|8||4||Rick Wilson||Oldsmobile||Larry McClure|
|9||35||Benny Parsons||Chevrolet||Rick Hendrick|
|10||33||Harry Gant||Chevrolet||Hal Needham|
|1||3||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||109||Running|
|2||27||Rusty Wallace||Blue Max Racing||Pontiac||0||Running|
|3||43||Richard Petty||Petty Enterprises||Pontiac||2||Running|
|4||44||Sterling Marlin||Hagan Racing||Oldsmobile||0||Running|
|5||11||Terry Labonte||Junior Johnson & Associates||Chevrolet||0||Running|
|6||8||Bobby Hillin Jr.||Stavola Brothers Racing||Buick||0||Running|
|7||15||Ricky Rudd||Bud Moore Engineering||Ford||0||Running|
|8||9||Bill Elliott||Melling Racing||Ford||1||Running|
|9||26||Morgan Shepherd||King Racing||Buick||0||Running|
|10||17||Darrell Waltrip||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||1||Running|
The race had the following properties: