NASCAR's "Silver Fox" was the "master of Darlington" - myfoxcarolinas.com

NASCAR's "Silver Fox" was the "master of Darlington"

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Darlington, SC -

NASCAR legend and 2011 Hall of Fame inductee David Pearson was arguably one of the greatest drivers to sit behind the wheel of a stock car. With the Bojangles Southern 500 set to run tomorrow night in Darlington, SC, we caught up with the man who won 10 times at the historic track.

“David was the master of Darlington,” said Winston Kelly, executive director, NASCAR Hall of Fame. “There’s nobody was any better at Darlington than David.”

Pearson’s crew chief and engine builder, NASCAR Hall of Famer Leonard Wood, said, “He’s taught a lot of young drivers how to get around Darlington. The guy was so cool, so smooth. You know, if the car wasn’t running good, he never got upset or never said anything.”

Throughout his 26-year career, Pearson started 47 races at Darlington Raceway. The races account for roughly 8 percent of legends total starts of 574 races. Other than the three seasons he won championships, Pearson did not run a full season and still collected 105 wins and 301 top-5s.

“Well you got to feel like you were good as anybody else, if you didn’t, they would beat you,” said Pearson. “I tried hard. I felt like there isn’t too many places I didn’t go that I didn’t feel like I could win.”

Despite winning in other car numbers, Pearson became synonymous with the #21 car fielded by the Wood Brothers Racing team.

“The Woods, they’re the nicest people,” said Pearson. “I would probably have to say the nicest people I have ever drove for. And Leonard, if I was going to run today, I’d want him working on the car. He was the smartest man I ever worked with on a car.”

Wood commented, “We just hit it perfect the first time. He set on pole, won the race. His style of driving just fit the way the Wood Brothers liked to set the car up. The guy was so cool, so smooth.”

The Bojangles Southern 500 broadcast begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 12, on My FOX Carolinas.

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