By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
NASCAR pioneer David Pearson has died on Monday. He was 83.
Pearson was a long-time rival of Richard “The King” Petty. The Wood Brothers Racing team made the announcement; however, they did not say how he died.
He was a three-time champion. In addition, he had 105 career wins, trailing only Perry’s 200 wins on the all-time NASCAR wins list.
“I have always been asked who my toughest competitor in my career was,” Petty said in a statement. “The answer has always been David Pearson. 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.”
He was nicknamed “The Fox,” but as he aged, it became “The Silver Fox.” He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in their 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,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France. “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. 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.”
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