Monday, December 1, 2014

Dec. 1, 1963 - Wendell Scott Wins!

Name: Wendell Scott
Birth date: August 28, 1921
Hometown: Danville, VA
Died: December 23, 1990
Among all the trophies Wendell Scott won in his racing career, there is one that will forever be his legacy to the sport he loved.

It isn't much to look at, just some off-color wood with no plaque or varnish or glitzy, gimmicky metalwork. It pales in comparison to the gleaming, brightly polished trophies is sits among.

But that piece of wood, battered and beaten and sorry compared to the others, is the symbol of Scott's greatest day as a racing driver. It was Dec. 1, 1963, the day he won a NASCAR Grand National event in Jacksonville, Fla. Scott remains to this day the only black driver to have won a Grand National (now Sprint Cup) Series event in NASCAR's 58-year history.

During the 42 years since Scott earned his victory -- which, given the times and the area in which it occurred was not celebrated as victories always have been, in Victory Lane with a trophy queen and photographers -- no black driver has even been close to accomplishing the same feat.

Scott was a taxi driver who graduated to running moonshine and eventually to racing stock cars. For any of those jobs, one had to be a master mechanic and a pretty nifty driver. In 1959, at the age of 38, Scott won the Virginia State Sportsman championship. Two years later, Scott was able to field a car for the Grand National Series. In nearly 500 Grand National races, he was in the top 10 an amazing 147 times.

Story appears courtesy of

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