NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson dies at 83


Pearson died Monday, The Wood Brothers racing team said, but details were not immediately available.

The three-time champion in the NASCAR Cup Series, and the victor of 105 Cup races, died on Monday the reports say.

Pearson's racing career truly took off in 1960 when he completed his first season in NASCAR's top series.

He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in its second class in 2011 and Person's 105 race victories is only second to Petty on the all-time list. His career paralleled Petty's and the two combined for 63 finishes in which the two were first and second to each other.

Some 900 feet from the finish line, Pearson, having achieved his goal of getting the final "slingshot" of the race, came out of a high bank, whipped past Petty and won by 25 feet. "I can't say enough about how much he knew how to enter and exit a corner is just unbelievable". Pearson won the Daytona 500 once (1976), but had six victories overall at Daytona International Speedway.

Wood Brothers team owner Glen Wood and his former championship driver David Pearson share a laugh in the garage area at Darlington raceway, the site of many of their wins.

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr: "RIP David Pearson when i drove for the Wood Brothers the stories they talked about with David and what they accomplished together were unbelievable to listen to". He was first to exceed 190 miles per hour at Daytona, won a record 10 times at Darlington, and scored another record 14 pole positions at Charlotte, 11 of which he secured consecutively from 1973 to 1978 (the track hosted two premier events a year in that era). Pearson won 11 of 18 races driving the Woods' iconic No. 21 Ford in 1973. Huge rivals who had mutual respect. "We both became better for it".

The legendary Richard Petty was a longtime competitor of Pearson and released a statement shortly after Pearson's death.

"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 France. It's a safe bet that Pearson would be more than a three-time champion had he competed full-time for more seasons.

In 2016, Petty was asked Petty who was the best he ever raced against and Pearson was his response.

"I grew up with Bobby and Donnie (Allison) and all those guys but when it came to Steve McQueen cool that was Pearson, he was the coolest of them", NBC Sports analyst Kyle Petty said of Pearson. We were lucky to be able to call him one of our champions.

Please keep Pearson's family in your thoughts and prayers today. Below, FOX NASCAR analyst and Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and play-by-play announcer Mike Joy offer their memories of the "Silver Fox".