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NASCAR Cup: David Pearson passes away

DAYTONA BEACH, FL — 1976: David Pearson started off the NASCAR Cup season at Daytona International Speedway by winning the Daytona 500 in a wild, crashing finish with arch-rival Richard Petty. In July, Pearson finished second to Cale Yarborough in the Firecracker 400. (Photo by ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

NASCAR Hall of Famer and legendary driver David Pearson passed away at the age of 83 on Nov. 12, 2018.

“On behalf of the France family and everyone at NASCAR, I want to offer sincere condolences to the family and friends of David Pearson, a true giant of our sport,” NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France said.

According to another NASCAR Hall of Famer and NASCAR winningest driver, Richard Petty, Pearson was his toughest competitor. Pearson won 105 races in 574 starts to Petty’s 200 in 1,184 races. Pearson also was the NASCAR premier-series champion in 1966, 1968 and 1969.

“I have always been asked who my toughest competitor in my career was. The answer has always been David Pearson,” Petty said. “David and I raced together throughout our careers and battled each other for wins, most of the time finishing first or second to each other. It wasn’t a rivalry, but more mutual respect. David is a Hall of Fame driver who made me better. He pushed me just as much as I pushed him on the track. We both became better for it.

“We have always been close to the Pearson family, because they were in the racing business, just like us. We stayed close, and I enjoyed visits to see David when going through South Carolina. We will miss those trips. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Pearson family and friends.”

Pearson’s other NASCAR accomplishments included 10 wins at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and a string of 11-straight poles at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

“Darlington Raceway expresses its deepest condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of David Pearson,” read a statement from Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp. “His record 10 wins at Darlington Raceway put him in a league of his own. His fierce competitiveness and passion for the sport endeared him to the NASCAR faithful. His Hall of Fame career will go down as one of the most prolific in the history of the sport. A native South Carolinian, he was a wonderful ambassador for our sport and for the Palmetto State. He will be missed and will always be remembered.”

Pearson raced in NASCAR’s top series between 1960 and 1986. He’s most associated with the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing entry he drove in the 1970s. He won 43 times in that car between 1972 and 1979.

Pearson was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011 as part of the Hall’s second class.

“David Pearson’s 105 NASCAR premier series victories and his classic rivalry in the 1960s and ’70s with Richard Petty helped set the stage for NASCAR’s transformation into a mainstream sport with national appeal,” France said. “When he retired, he had three championships – and millions of fans. Petty called him the greatest driver he ever raced against. We were lucky to be able to call him one of our champions. The man they called the ‘Silver Fox’ was the gold standard for NASCAR excellence.”

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Posted by on November 13, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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