NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson recovering from a mild stroke

David Pearson after winning the famous 1976 Daytona 500 over Richard Petty

The family of David Pearson said the Hall of Famer driver is recovering well from a mild stroke.

A family release issued Wednesday through NASCAR's communications department said Pearson suffered the stroke Dec. 9 "but is doing great and well on the road to recovery."

"The stroke affected his left side somewhat, but he is able to walk slowly, and his arm continues to get better with maneuverability," the statement said. "He has great grip with his left hand, so we are very much encouraged.

"He continues to have therapy on both his leg and arm and progresses each day. Today, he is 80% to 85% back to normal, and we expect a full recovery soon. Thanks to the NASCAR family and all of his fans and friends and for their support and concern."

Pearson, 80, has 105 victories in NASCAR's premier series, ranking second to Richard Petty on the all-time win list. The three-time champion was inducted in the second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011.

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