Front Row Motorsports, Shriners International and Shriners Hospitals for Children today announced their plans to honor and remember fellow Shriner David Pearson during the Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway later this year during Labor Day weekend. David Ragan, a Shiner himself, helped unveil his car that will replicate the livery of the Holman-Moody Racing Ford Tornio Cobra that Pearson raced to his third and final NASCAR Cup Series championship in 1969; 50 years ago, and the same year that Pearson became a Shriner.
The scheme will honor the late Pearson and his life as a driver and a Shriner. The hood features a photo of Pearson during his Hall of Fame career and a photo of him in his Shriner fez. The remainder of the car will have the Shriners Hospitals for Children logos with the 1969 Holman-Moody blue and gold scheme. The car was unveiled at the NASCAR Hall of Fame with members of the Pearson family, Shriners and patients from Shriners Hospitals for Children in attendance.
Ragan, Front Row Motorsports and the Shriners wanted to recognize Pearson at the track where he found so much success. Pearson is a 10-time winner at Darlington Raceway and won the Southern 500 three times. In 1969, Pearson raced the Holman-Moody gold and blue Ford Tornio Cobra to 11 wins, 14 poles and to his third championship over his rival, Richard Petty. Off the track, Pearson gave back to his community through the Shriners – a practice that Ragan carries on today.
“When you remember or read about David Pearson, it’s all about the success he had on the track, and his legendary and Hall of Fame career,” said Ragan. “On the 50th anniversary of his last championship, and in one of the most iconic cars in our sport, we wanted to honor David Pearson and keep his memory alive. But, we also want his sons and family to talk about David away from the track and what he enjoyed about being a Shriner. This is going to be a great platform to do all of that. I’m humbled that I’ll get to race this car in honor of David, the Shriners and the Shriners Hospitals for Children.”
“David Pearson was one of our own and now we have a tremendous opportunity to recognize his life accomplishments on a national stage,” said Jim Cain, chairman of the Board of Directors for Shriners Hospitals for Children. “We want to thank David Ragan, Front Row Motorsports and the Pearson family for the opportunity to tell more people about the Shriners and the Shriners Hospitals for Children. We look forward to Labor Day weekend and seeing this car on the track.”
Shriners Hospitals for Children is the leader in the treatment of pediatric orthopaedic conditions, spinal cord injuries, burns and cleft lip and palate. Shriners Hospitals for Children provides critical, surgical and rehabilitative care to children, regardless of their families’ ability to pay.
They continue to support the on-track efforts of Front Row Motorsports and Ragan, who has an authentic relationship with the national children’s hospitals. Ragan has been a member of Shriners International since 2012 and serves as its NASCAR ambassador. Ragan visits Shriners Hospitals throughout the race season and regularly invites patients to the track for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ragan also raises awareness and funds for Shriners Hospitals for Children through various campaigns, personal service announcements, donations and activities.
The Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway is scheduled for Sunday, September 1. The race will be televised live on NBC Sports Network at 6:00 p.m. ET and broadcast on the Motor Racing Network and SIRIUS/XM NASCAR radio.