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Charlotte Area News

David Pearson, NASCAR's 'Silver Fox,' Dies At 83

Former NASCAR driver David Pearson in 2008.
Freewheeling Daredevil
/
Wikimedia Commons

Legendary NASCAR driver David Pearson, 83, died Monday. Pearson was the second-winningest driver in NASCAR history and helped take the sport to a national level. Pearson’s career included three championships and 105 victories, putting him behind only Richard Petty’s 200 on NASCAR's all-time winning list. 

Pearson’s rivalry with Petty in the 1960s and '70s helped propel what was a regional, southern sport to a national one. Petty called Pearson his toughest opponent. Pearson touched on the storied rivalry during his induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011.

“I want to thank Richard Petty too,” Pearson said during the ceremony.  “He’s probably the one that made me win as many as I did. I’d run hard because he’d make me run hard.”

Pearson was born near Spartanburg, South Carolina. He earned the nickname, "The Silver Fox," for both his cool demeanor and cunning strategy on the track.