2013 First-time Nominee Feature of the Week – Wendell Scott
Legendary driver Wendell Scott is a first time NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominee for the Class of 2013. Although he was not the first African-American driver to compete at NASCAR’s top level, he was the most successful with a win and four straight years in the top 10 in points. Scott had many barriers to hurdle in his day with nothing but second-rate equipment at his disposal while he competed amid the racial strife of mid-century deep-south. Scott earned the respect of his fellow drivers who regularly gave him parts, advice and assistance in getting to the next race. They were impressed by his work ethic and his ability to get the most out of his equipment.
Some of his career highlights include the 1960 Virginia NASCAR Sportsman championship, hundreds of race wins on the local level, starts on the sands of Daytona Beach and of course, the only win in the NASCAR Grand National, (now Sprint Cup) Series by an African-American. Until his sons Wendell Jr. and Franklin were old enough to enter the pit area, Scott was his own pit crew. Many times his wife Mary, drove the hauler to the track.
In 1978, Hollywood came calling and produced a full-length feature film on Scott’s life entitled “Greased Lightning.” It starred popular comedian Richard Pryor in the role of Wendell Scott. In addition, last year ESPN produced a show for television on Scott’s career and the obstacles he overcame to continue to race. This sometimes called “Jackie Robinson of racing” fulfilled his dream to drive stock cars for a living and in doing so, opened the door to many of today’s minority drivers.
Below are pics from Buz’s album including an autographed picture of Wendell Scott.