Wendell Scott Recognized For Making History 50 Years Ago
Danville, VA - This month marks 50 years since Wendell Scott made NASCAR history.
In December 1963, Scott became the first African-American driver to win at a Grand National race, now known as the Sprint Cup.Wendell Scott was recognized this past weekend for his accomplishments 50 years ago. Not only was he the first African American to hold that title, he is still the only African American to win a Sprint Cup race.
Frank Scott often thinks back to his father, Wendell Scott's, historic racing career. But this December, he knows a racing community will look back with him.
"He did it so long ago against such incredible odds," said Scott.Fifty years ago in Jacksonville, Florida, Wendell Scott's name went down in the history books as the first African-American driver to win a Grand National race. Not only did he come in 1st, he won by two laps.
Instead of applause, Scott received criticism. They claimed a mistake in scoring and gave the trophy to the second-place finisher.
"It turned into a heart-breaking experience," said Scott.
Hours later, Scott was acknowledged as the winner. The next month, he received a wooden, mock trophy as a reward.
"He never received the real trophy but we did receive a nice replica trophy," said Scott.
In 2010, The Jacksonville Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame gave Frank and the rest of the family this trophy for his win.
This past weekend, Scott was presented with a plaque symbolizing his accomplishment.
"I think it's important for his family. I think if he were alive, I think it would really be important for him because he would get the recognition he should have gotten back then," said Ronnie Rohn, President of Jacksonville Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame .
Frank says nothing can replace the trophy that his father should have received. But he says no one can take away the legacy his father left.
"Anytime you are recognized, you're not forgotten and that's significant because people often times are forgotten," said Scott.
Frank says the family hopes another minority will follow in his father's footsteps and take home a Sprint Cup win soon.