Nascar

67 days until Daytona: A salute to David Pearson's first 500

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 1960: David Pearson with the Chevrolet that he ran in the 1960 Daytona 500 NASCAR Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. Pearson finished 28th in the race, but his astute driving during the remainder of the Cup season earned him Rookie of the Year honors. (Photo by ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 1960: David Pearson with the Chevrolet that he ran in the 1960 Daytona 500 NASCAR Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. Pearson finished 28th in the race, but his astute driving during the remainder of the Cup season earned him Rookie of the Year honors. (Photo by ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images)

We are now just 67 days away from the start of the Daytona 500 on FOX, the biggest race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup season.

So it's time to pay homage to one of the sport's true giants: Spartanburg, South Carolina native and NASCAR Hall of Fame member David Pearson.

Pearson, who won 105 races in his career, is best known for his epic last-lap crash and victory over Richard Petty in the 1976 Daytona 500, which stands as one of the greatest races in the history of NASCAR.

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But Pearson actually made his NASCAR debut back in 1960, when he drove his own Chevrolet at Daytona. In the 100-mile Daytona 500 qualifying race, which counted as a points race back then, Pearson started 20th and finished 17th, two laps down. For his efforts, he won a whopping $50.

In the 1960 Daytona 500, Pearson started 33rd in the 68-car field and finished 28th, 15 laps down to race winner and fellow NASCAR Hall of Fame member Junior Johnson. The big race paid Pearson a purse of $200.

Oh, and, by the way -- Pearson's car number at Daytona in 1960 was No. 67.