David Pearson on NASCAR

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Bob Alkire, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire
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  2. ccrobinson

    ccrobinson
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    Some nice quotes by David.

    "It ain't right for somebody to tell you what springs to run, what shocks to run, and what tires, and what gear to run."

    "Half the time, I don't think they know what they're talkin' about," Pearson said. "Who ever heard of putting a quarter-pound of air in a tire and being able to tell a difference? Stuff like that, I think they're wrong. All they have to do is move up the race track or down half a car length, three or four feet, and it would be the same thing."

    "He was good ... real good. But he got a little wild every once in a while. He would have won the championship another time if it hadn't been for that."

    I assume that Pearson's referring to the 1989 fall race at North Wilkesboro that cost Earnhardt the championship, but that wreck was Ricky Rudd's fault, not Earnhardt's.
     
  3. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire
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    I've heard and read of him saying that many times.

    With David's english, it could have meant one or more times, in my book. You could be correct but I think he was talking about his hit and run style. David was not much for bumping or hit and run. Do to his style at times he didn't get help from others at times the help would have HELPED.

    As Tim Flock was asked one time how many championships Dale would have won if he had been racing when he did and Tim say none if he ever hit me in the left rear quarter panel, because if I could not have won, I would have taken him out.

    The real question is how many championships would David have won if he had ran a full schedule every year?
     
  4. swaimj

    swaimj
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    You can say that Earnhardt would have won more championships if this or that had happened, but on the other hand, what if Alan Kulwicki had not been killed? What if Davey Allison had not been killed? What if Ernie Irvan had not been injured severely at Michigan? What if Tim Richmond had not died? All of those drivers were real, legitimate championship threats who died (or were injured) in their prime and in Earnhardt's. If they had all run another 10 years, Earnhardt could be sitting on half the championships that he actually won.

    As for Pearson, the ifs are pretty big for him as well. If the Wood brothers had run for championships during the Pearson years, would Pearson have won one? Back then there were more short track races than there are now. While I have no doubt that Pearson could win on a short track (I saw him do it at South Boston in a sportman car in the mid-70s, coming from dead last on the starting grid), the fact is that the Ford automobile of that vintage was never a threat on the short tracks. Their engine combo with its long stroke was great for the high speed tracks, but not for the short ones. And, here's another: What if Fireball Roberts had not been killed in 1964. His death encouraged the early retirement of Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett. While Johnson, because of his style may not have been a championships threat, Jarrett would most certainly have been. And what if Fred Lorenzen had not retired so early. Surely he would have been a championship threat. Between Lorenzen and Jarrett, Petty and Pearson both might have fewer trophies.

    The possibilities are endless. However, the actualities are what they are and they cannot be undone. That's why Richard Petty is the King.:smilewinkgrin:
     
  5. Bob Alkire

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    What you say is true but if you look, you will see he won many short track races in Fords and Dodges. I don't think he won many in a Mercury. He didn't just drive part of seasons with the Wood brothers but with H&M too,as Fred did, but I think Freddy drove full season with them.

    You are correct one can not change history or less it is a history text book. But at times it is fun to think about, like Ted Williams, what would his record look like if he didn't serve in the service two times?
     
  6. swaimj

    swaimj
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    When I say "Fords of that vintage" I am speaking of the time when NASCAR first went to the small block V8. That was probably about '74 or '75. At first, Petty dominated in the Dodge, but once Junior Johnson developed reliability in the Chevy v8, his cars became dominant and Chevys remained so for well over 10 years. Petty's wins on short tracks became rare from '76 on.

    BTW, Pearson did win a race at Martinsville with the Wood Brothers. Not sure what year that was or whether they were using a small block or a big block.
     
  7. swaimj

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    One more comment about Pearson's comments on tire pressure.

    I think the cars handle much better today than they did in Pearson's time, mostly because they are much more aerodynamic. As a result of the better aerodynamics, the cars are faster and they are therefore more sensitive to small adjustments. For instance, a one inch dimple on a quarter panel has much greater effect at 200 mph than at 150 mph. Guys in Pearson's times did adjust their groove because they did not have as much sophisticated knowledge on how to adjust the car. With today's computer simulations, the fast way around the track is pre-determined. The guy who can best adjust his car to run in that groove is the fast guy. In short, I think Pearson is probably wrong about this. But, he's David Pearson. He's earned the right to say what he thinks.
     
  8. Bob Alkire

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    I believe you are correct, I think that was the early race of 1973, but I could be wrong.
     
  9. TomVols

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    1,000% correct.

    As to the "what ifs," those are always perilous. We talk about them a lot in terms of baseball players and their longevity or lack thereof, when comparing especially players whose careers were shortened to those whose careers weren't. You can't add statistics, but it is fun to ask "what if?"
     

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