David Pearson, NASCAR's Silver Fox, has died at 83

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — David Pearson, a NASCAR pioneer and longtime rival of Richard Petty, has died. He was 83.

Pearson died Monday, The Wood Brothers racing team said, but details were not immediately available.

Pearson was a three-time Cup champion and his 105 career victories trail only Petty's 200 on NASCAR's all-time list.

Born just outside of Spartanburg, Pearson made his NASCAR debut in 1960 and along with Petty, Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough, they raced all over the country as the cornerstone during NASCAR's period of slow growth beyond a regional racing series. Pearson was inducted into the second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Initially nicknamed "The Fox" for his calculated attack on the race track, the moniker evolved into "The Silver Fox" as Pearson aged. His career paralleled Petty's and the two combined for 63 finishes in which the two finished first and second to each other.