This week, the Commonwealth of Virginia honored black race car driver Wendell Scott with his own highway marker in Danville. In 1953, Wendell Scott became the first African American to obtain a NASCAR racing license. In 2012, Scott was also the first black race car driver on the nomination ballot for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Although he won the votes of fans on NASCAR.com, Scott was not inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Wendell Scott made history in 1952 at the Danville Fairgrounds Speedway, where he was the first black to compete in the stock car racing competition.
Scott was raised by his father in Danville, Virginia, who worked as a mechanic and a driver for the wealthy whites in the community. He taught Wendell how to drive and drive fast. The main sources of income in Danville were the cotton-gin and tobacco fields, but Scott refused to do those jobs because, he says, they “felt like prison.” Bored with school, Scott dropped out, got married and joined the army to fight overseas in Europe during WWII.
When he returned, the future driver made a living making and selling moonshine whiskey. He practiced speeding on the road while outrunning the police on his whiskey runs. He often watched the speedway races in the “black-only” bleachers, yearning to be on the track.
Things changed for Scott when the Dixie Circuit racers, who were part of NASCAR, asked the police for the fastest Negro driver to compete against their seasoned white drivers in a gimmick race. They recommended Wendell Scott. Scott’s car broke down, but he knew that racing was in his blood. A year later, Scott somehow convinced the NASCAR licenser to grant him a license and by the beginning of 1963, he had won the race on the one-mile dirt track at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Florida.
Then on December 1, 1963, Scott made history after being the first black to win at the NASCAR Cup Series (Now the Spring Cup Series). However, officials miscounted two of Scott’s laps and credited white driver, Buck Baker, as the winner. Despite this, Scott won race after race and was always in the top ten. His top career earnings were in 1969 when he won $47,451. The driver held 147 top-ten finishes during his career, but racial discrimination prevented him from entering the Victory Circle.
Scott’s win at the NASCAR Cup Series was not credited with a replica trophy until 2010.
Wendell Scott died in 1990. His story was told in the 1977 film “Greased Lightning” starring Richard Pryor.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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