David Pearson (1934 - 2018), NASCAR's "Silver Fox"

David Pearson, NASCAR Hall of Famer with 105 wins, dies at 83

Pearson won titles with the Cotton Owens and Holman-Moody teams, then moved to Wood Brothers Racing in the 1970s to form one of the greatest partnerships in the series' history.

Pearson won 105 Cup races, second only to Richard Petty, who was Pearson's chief rival in the 1960s and '70s. This was partly due to the fact he only really raced full-time in three seasons, and his marketing machine never matched that of Petty's "The King" persona. Petty was in second place, on Pearson's rear bumper entering the final lap, when Pearson took his foot off the accelerator to get Petty off his draft, the suction in which a lead auto pulls the one behind it. We've got reaction from across the NASCAR world, including all four of this year's Championship drivers. His career paralleled Petty's and the two combined for 63 finishes in which the two finished first and second to each other.

Pearson's rivalry with Richard Petty is one of the most storied in auto racing.

Fellow Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip said,"I am so sad to hear about the passing of my hero and the guy I consider the greatest stock auto driver of all time". I had the chance to interview him (with Yarborough) several years ago and found that the years hadn't changed that.

Rivalry with Richard Petty: Pearson's 105 NASCAR wins are second only to Petty's 200 on the all-time leaderboard.

We send our condolences to all who love and will miss Pearson. Pearson's family announced in 2014 he had a stroke.

"Pearson could beat you on a short track, he could beat you on a superspeedway", Petty told Ed Hinton in 2009, "he could beat you on a road course, he could beat you on a dirt track".

Pearson was known as the Silver Fox due to his premature gray hair and veteran craft. Quick on his feet, Pearson was able to re-fire his engine and go 30 miles per hour across the line to win the race.

Petty released a statement on Pearson's passing Monday night.

Pearson retired in 1986, having won more than 18 percent of the 574 races he had entered while capturing the pole 113 times. He won there a track-record 10 times. We were lucky to be able to call him one of our champions.

"His fierce competitiveness and passion for the sport endeared him to the NASCAR faithful", Darlington Raceway president Kerry Tharp said. His Hall of Fame career will go down as one of the most prolific in the history of the sport.

Pearson, a SC native, retired in 1989 - After 27 years of racing. Below, FOX NASCAR analyst and Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and play-by-play announcer Mike Joy offer their memories of the "Silver Fox".

"On behalf of the France Family and everyone at NASCAR, I want to offer honest condolences to the family and friends of David Pearson, a true giant of our sport".

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