DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 19, 2015) — During a 13-year premier series career, Wendell Scott likely never considered he was making NASCAR history. The Virginian’s sole concern was getting to the next race on a miniscule budget.
Scott wasn’t the only driver to struggle financially. The odds of making a good living racing stock cars were long in the 1960s and early 1970s when purses were small, large sponsors unheard of and manufacturer support came and went with the turning of the calendar’s pages.
But Scott faced a challenge not shared by his fellow competitors: that of an African-American battling to succeed in a still-segregated society.
Measured against that backdrop, Scott succeeded admirably. He became the first — and to date, only — black driver to win a premier series race, at Jacksonville, Florida, in 1963. He made 495 starts to rank 37th on the series’ all-time list, posting 147 top-10 finishes, more than 25 percent of the races he entered. Scott finished four times among the top 10 in driver championship standings including a sixth in 1966.
While most of Scott’s success came on shorter tracks, he logged superspeedway top 10s at Atlanta, Charlotte, Daytona Beach, Dover and Darlington. He twice finished seventh in Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Dixie 400 — in 1966 finishing ahead of NASCAR Hall of Famers Buck Baker, Bobby Allison and fellow 2015 inductee Rex White. Scott also finished seventh in a Daytona 500 qualifying race — which at the time carried premier series championship points. (Source: Read more)