The June 1980 race at Michigan was under an extended rain delay. Thinking the race would be canceled Pearson left the track. When informed that the race was on, he ended up having to run to his car. Backup driver D.K. Ulrich was already buckled in the Hawaiin Tropic Chevrolet when Pearson came running down pit road. Ulrich got out and Pearson got in, but had run only 173 of the race’s 200 laps when engine failure sidelined him.