NASCAR legend David Pearson has passed away at the age of 83

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The rookie of the year in 1960, his first victory came in dramatic fashion in the World 600 at Charlotte the following year when he sustained a penultimate-lap puncture in his John Masoni Pontiac but still dragged the damaged auto over the line to win.

Pearson achieved 43 of his wins with the Wood Brothers team in a legendary partnership that began in 1972 but ended abruptly early in '79 after a chaotic pitstop at Darlington. Aptly nicknamed the Silver Fox for his prematurely graying hair, Pearson had a dashboard cigarette lighter in his auto and could sometimes be seen driving down the backstretch with a lit cigarette.

Pearson also had a particular history with Charlotte Motor Speedway and former track promoter Humpy Wheeler. After Pearson won 11 straight poles at CMS, driving away fans who wanted to bet on the pole-sitter, Wheeler chose to try and figure out what Pearson's secret was.

"You got the wrong spot".

"I have always been asked who my toughest competitor in my career was", Petty said in a statement after Pearson's death was announced. "The answer has always been David Pearson". "David and I battled each other for wins, most of the time finishing first or second to each other. We both became better for it". With the finish line in sight, Pearson then used a slingshot pass out of the high banked final turn to zip past Petty and snatch the victory.

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La casa del actor Gerard Butler , por ejemplo, fue reducida a cenizas junto con 370 viviendas o comercios de la zona. El gobernador de California, Jerry Brown , abundó: "Esta no es la nueva normalidad, esta es la nueva anormalidad".

NASCAR CEO and chairman Jim France also released a statement on behalf of the racing body.

Pearson was a three-time Cup champion and his 105 career victories trail only Petty's 200 on NASCAR's all-time list. "When he retired, he had three championships - and millions of fans". He finished third that year behind Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough - but raced only 19 of 30 races.

"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 honest condolences to the family and friends of David Pearson, a true giant of our sport".

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