Skip to content

NASCAR’s first African-American winner honored

Apr 6, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

The Commonwealth of Virginia has honored the late Wendell Scott, the first African-American driver to win in what is now known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, with a historical highway marker in his hometown of Danville, Virginia.

Scott made 495 starts over 13 seasons in NASCAR’s top series, notching his one and only victory on Dec. 1, 1963 at Jacksonville, Florida. He was not announced as the winner at the time (Buck Baker, the second-place driver, was initially declared as such until race officials found out later that Scott had not been credited for two laps), and Scott’s family didn’t get a replica trophy for his win until 2010.

But this week, Scott, who passed away in 1990, has been hailed for his role as a trailblazer in the sport.

“Wendell Scott is very much a part of NASCAR’s and Virginia’s history,” said NASCAR president Mike Helton. “We join others in thanking the Commonwealth of Virginia for the honor they are bestowing on Mr. Scott, one that is well deserved. The Scott family has been instrumental to NASCAR as we developed our multicultural efforts, and it was Wendell Scott who served as such an inspiration to us all.”

Scott’s daughter, Sybil, called the honor from the Commonwealth “very humbling.”

“We believe daddy is with us in spirit, smiling on his friends, peers, family and especially his fans and our mother who are witnessing the fruits of his labor,” she said. “The historic marker stands tall and today’s representation by local, state and NASCAR officials assure that his struggles against the odds, but more importantly, his accomplishments are undeniable.”

Scott was nominated for the NASCAR Hall of Fame last year, and was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1999.

  1. coolmikeperry - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    A day late, and a dollar short.

  2. chaparral2f - Apr 6, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    While long overdue, at least there is finally some recognition for a true hero of NASCAR. Wendell Scott in a way, represents anyone who has persevered with a shoestring budget as well as an entire culture that wanted to see him fail. I so respect guys like him because he was determined and courageous at the same time.

  3. techmeister1 - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Congrats to Wendell for finally getting some notoriety for his dedication to racing and family even against the odds he faced.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Today on NASCAR AMERICA

More from NASCAR America

What makes Brickyard 400 unique?

Featured video

Inside the Hungarian GP
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. McMurray (1200)
  2. D. Hamlin (1003)
  3. T. Bodine (974)
  4. K. Busch (932)
  5. C. Edwards (887)