DAYTONA — As Sunday’s Daytona 500 made history, 68-year-old Frank Scott recalled another historic first made by his legendary father.
“He had great determination. He had a dream. He had a vision, but he had a plan,” Frank said of his father, Wendell Scott.
Wendell Scott was the first African-American to win a NASCAR premier series event — the Jacksonville 200 in 1963, during the height of the Civil Rights movement. Frank was part of his father’s pit-crew.
“We were the only African Americans in a setting such as this. He had a lot of death threats. Not everybody loved Wendell Scott.”
In fact, Wendell’s trophy was given to second place driver Buck Baker, a white racer. Wendell Scott’s family says hours later, NASCAR acknowledged he won and paid him the prize money.
Darrell Bubba Wallace is the first African American to take the checkered flag on NASCAR’s national circuit since Wendell Scott. He came through NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, which aims to recruit drivers and holds the NASCAR Diversity Awards annually.
“For me, from the African American diversity standpoint, I am carrying on that legacy,” Wallace said.
The Scotts say minority and women drivers need to receive the same lucrative sponsorships that others like Kyle Bush and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. do. That support affords them better equipment, something Scott’s father never had.
They also started the Wendell Scott Foundation to give young minorities new experiences and better job opportunities. READ MORE HERE