Old School DRIVERS
The 100 winningest drivers MY EYES have seen - By Bobby Gerould - August 8, 2005. Rocklin, CA. …Here is a fun project that anyone can do. Try to re-trace all the races that you have been to in your lifetime, and list the winners of each feature your eyes have seen. It takes time; I've been working on my list literally for about six years. About once a month I take a few hours and dig through old programs, do Google searches, read journals, and use Kevin Eckert's website to try to find the race winners I saw. For the sake of clarity - I am including any race where I was on the grounds - even the ones I may have slept through as a three year old. My Dad was an announcer of super-modified, and sprint car events on the West Coast. From birth I went to West Capital Raceway (W. Sacramento, CA.) on Saturdays. Later, as Dad did more writing, and announcing we included Friday nights at Chico CA. and special events at Dixon CA. into the mix. As a teenager and college student I worked for NARC and hit all the major Northern California dirt tracks. Adult work for USAC, the World of Outlaws, and others has blessed us with the opportunity to see many tracks across the USA, and into Canada. The results of all this logging and work will be a historical log that I can always go back to for reflection. Over the course of the next 100 weeks, HammerDownUSA.com will list a driver in a countdown of the driver who MY EYES have seen win the most feature races. My list will obviously reflect my environment. It will not be a list of who I consider to be the greatest drivers ever. That would be subjective, and impossible. But I can scientifically list the best drivers I have seen. This list is a fun project for me and I hope you will enjoy the journey to naming number one.
#94 Johnny Pearson - Stockton, CA. - Two wins. ...Johnny Pearson was one of the racers that ran mostly when I was a kid. He was a veteran driver from Stockton that I saw in the 70's and early 80's. Pearson was a super-modified feature winner at the old San Jose Speedway in 1972. At retrorockets.org you can see Johnny's #26 super. My lasting memories of Pearson are of him running the McCarthy/Guiducci #57 in NARC sprint car competition. Pearson won the 1982 Calistoga Classic in that car, earning $2,159 for the win. …The two races I witnessed him winning were both in 1984 at Silver Dollar Speedway. The victories came in Friday night points racing. Prior to those wins, in `84, Pearson traveled to Australia to run in the Grand Annual Classic at Premier Speedway. …He drove for car owner Bob Neilson as well during his NARC days. Pearson's success in stock cars (sedans) as a member of the American racing team in Australia is legendary to veteran railbirds. ...Johnny Pearson was the first USA driver to win the Marlboro Grand National 100 lapper at Liverpool City Raceway. He passed away in 2003.
Johnny Pearson in the #57 (above), and the Gold Cup A-Main Lineup from 1981 shows Pearson inside row three in stout company (below).