David Pearson was one of five men selected to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. His selection prompted me to re-post a blog entry from 2008. Enjoy!
Seeing a story about David Pearson driving again at Darlington reminded me of a funny story Pearson told me when I interviewed him for a segment of Darrell Waltrip's book, "DW."
It seems Pearson, who Waltrip and many others insist is the best NASCAR driver of all-time, very strongly believed in the nonsensical racer's superstition of the color green. It showed one year at Daytona as he threw a bit of a tantrum when Waltrip and the DiGard team showed up in the next garage with their new Gatorade sponsorship, which meant green stripes on the #88 car as well as team uniforms and other gear. Pearson was so superstitious, he made his entire team move to another garage so they would be nowhere near the dreaded green.
I asked if Pearson is still fearful of the color.
"Not so much anymore," he chuckled. "I was on a cruise one time, and I was wearin' some green drawers. I went to the casino and hit a big jackpot, so I decided maybe green isn't such bad luck."
No one has been able to explain the green superstition (which has faded in recent years as sponsors insist on green in the paint scheme - because they're paying a lot of green to back the team) or its origins. If you know a legit story, let me know.
The other mysterious one is "no peanuts in the garage." I thought that one had died long ago as well, until one fall race at Charlotte when the wife or girlfriend of one of the Bud team members made a tasty trail-mix snack for the crew guys. All was well until Tony Eury Sr. spotted peanuts in the mix of items. With a swift motion, "Pops" picked up the tupperware container, opened the side door of the hauler and flung the container with all his might as far away from the door as possible, scattering trail mix for yards around. Apparently, for some, the peanut superstition does still exist.