5 Facts About David Pearson
Published: March 1, 2024

David Pearson, known as “The Silver Fox,” is a NASCAR legend who is best known for winning. When he showed up at the track, you could bet that he was either going to win or come very close. Pearson had a lengthy career – racing from 1960 all the way to 1986. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011, and his induction was well deserved. While you might know about the championships that he won, there are many details that make his career so impressive. Dive into the details below of five facts about David Pearson that you might not have known. 

David Pearson Never Raced A Complete Season

Despite his championships, David Pearson never ran every race of an entire season. Knowing this fact makes his championships that much more impressive! In his first championship year in 1966, he only ran 42 of the 49 races that year. In other championship years, he missed at least one race as well. Winning is difficult even when you compete in every race, but The Silver Fox was able to pull off championship wins while missing multiple races during the year.

David Pearson Ranks #2 All-Time In Wins And Poles

David Pearson ranks second (only behind the great Richard Petty) in total wins and pole positions. Throughout his career, David amassed 105 wins and 113 pole positions. These figures equate to an 18.29 winning percentage. Imagine a driver who wins roughly 1 out of every 5 races in which they compete! Talk about an amazing career!

27 Straight Seasons With At Least 1 Top Ten Finish

Although David Pearson may not have won a championship every season, you could bet that he was always competitive. There were some seasons in which he ran less than half of the races during the year. However, Pearson obtained at least one Top 10 finish in every season during his career. So, for 27 straight seasons, you could count on seeing The Silver Fox in the Top 10 of at least one race during the year. This is a testament to his racing ability and his endurance to maintain such an impressive streak for so long.

Pearson Boycotted Many NASCAR Races In 1965

David Pearson and Richard Petty were nearly always at the top of the NASCAR leaderboards in the early 1960’s. Both used Mopar Hemi engines in their cars. NASCAR decided to ban the Hemi engine in 1965, and that decision led to some fallout with some drivers. Pearson and Petty both decided to boycott many races during that season instead of competing with a sub-par engine. NASCAR later decided to adjust the rules, and Pearson came back to win 2 of the final 21 races during the 1965 season.

Pearson Chewed Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum During Races

This fact might be a little more obscure than the rest, but it’s quite interesting. According to Eddie Wood of the Wood Brothers racing team, he would tape pieces of chewing gum to the dashboard of Pearson’s racecar. David Pearson stated that his mouth got very dry during races and that the chewing gum helped. Pearson also went on to say that the gum was “always Wrigley’s Spearmint.”


David Pearson’s extraordinary achievements in motorsports have left an enduring legacy. If you’re a motorsports enthusiast looking to explore the history of legends like Pearson, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. It’s a place where you can celebrate the sport’s greats.

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