3-time NASCAR champ Pearson dies at 83

(AP Photo/Glenn Smith, File)

(AP) -- David Pearson, the NASCAR pioneer known as "The Silver Fox" for his cunning craft and a longtime rivalry with Richard Petty, has died. He was 83.

The Wood Brothers Racing team said Pearson died Monday night in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he was born and lived most of his life. Details were not immediately available.

Pearson was one of NASCAR's first superstars along with Petty, Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough, and they raced all over the country as the cornerstone during NASCAR's period of slow growth beyond a regional racing series. Pearson was a three-time Cup champion, his 105 career victories trail only Petty's 200 on NASCAR's all-time list, and he was inducted into the second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

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