On This Day

David Pearson

Full Name: David Gene Pearson
Profession: Auto Racer

United States of America

Why Famous: David Pearson is regarded as one of the best NASCAR drivers of all-time.

Driving most notably the No. 21 Mercury for Wood Brothers Racing, Pearson won the 1960 NASCAR Rookie of the Year award and 3 Cup Series championships in 1966, 1968 and 1969.

He had 105 wins in 574 NASCAR starts including the 1976 Daytona 500, but also won three times on road courses, 48 times on super speedways, 54 times on short tracks and had 23 dirt track victories.

Pearson is an inductee to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (1990), Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (1993) and NASCAR Hall of Fame (2011).

Born: December 22, 1934
Birthplace: Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA

Generation: Silent Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Dog
Star Sign: Capricorn

Died: November 12, 2018 (aged 83)
Cause of Death: Poor health after a stroke in 2014

Historical Events

  • 1966-10-30 16th NASCAR Sprint Cup: David Pearson wins
  • 1968-11-03 David Pearson is declared NASCAR Grand National champion as Cale Yarborough wins season ending Peach State 200 at Jefferson, Georgia; Pearson finishes 126 points ahead of Bobby Isaac to secure his 2nd title
  • 1970-02-22 12th Daytona 500: Pete Hamilton wins by just 3 car lengths over David Pearson, after passing him with 9 laps to go
  • 1975-02-16 17th Daytona 500: Benny Parsons wins after Cale Yarborough sends race leader David Pearson spinning on the backstretch; Parsons avoids the accident and takes the victory
  • 1976-02-15 18th Daytona 500: David Pearson makes contact with Richard Petty just yards from finish line into a wall and to infield; Petty stalls whilst Pearson restarts to win

Biographies and Sources

Famous Racing Car Drivers