'73 Cup champ Parsons remains in intensive care

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Former NASCAR champion Benny Parsons remained in intensive care Friday at Carolinas Medical Center after entering the hospital nearly two weeks ago because of complications stemming from lung cancer.

The 1973 Winston Cup champion was diagnosed with cancer in his left lung in July and declared in October that he had beaten it. But he was unable to attend a ceremony in November in New York to accept the Myers Brothers Award for contributions to the sport.

"Parsons' family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from fans and the NASCAR community and they encourage everyone to keep Benny in their thoughts and prayers," said a statement issued on behalf of Parsons by Performance Racing Network.

Parsons, a NASCAR television commentator, has a weekly show on the radio network.

Parsons was selected one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers in 1998, 10 years after his retirement. He won 21 races in 526 starts, including the 1975 Daytona 500.

He finished no lower than fifth in the points from 1972-80 while earning more than $4 million. He also won ARCA titles in 1968-69.

He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1994, and the National Motorsports Press Association's Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame in 1995.