NASCAR will honor Wendell Scott’s first start this weekend at Phoenix International Racway. Scott is the only African American drive to win a race at NASCAR’s top level.
Cars in all four NASCAR series races this weekend will feature decals with schools name and the message “Wendell Scott’s First Career Start March 5, 1961” on the B or C post.
Scott was born in Danville, Virginia in 1921. On Dec. 1, 1963 Scott scored the only victory so far for an African American in NASCAR’s top series. Scott took the lead from Richard Petty with 25 laps to go but second place Buck Baker was declared the winner. Two hours after the race Scott was finally determined as the winner but he never received his trophy. It was not until 2010 that his family was awarded the trophy for his win at Jacksonville’s Speedway Park.
While Scott was a pioneer in NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity, he has yet to be inducted into its hall of fame.
Scott would make 495 starts scoring a win and accumulating 20 top-five finishes. Scott also had 147 top-10 finishes, which was more than 25 percent of the races he entered.