Wendell Scott only won one race in his entire career. But that one victory is as important as any other in the history of NASCAR.
Scott became the first African-American to win a NASCAR premier series event on Dec. 1, 1963 at Jacksonville (Fla.) Speedway Park. It was the ultimate highlight of a successful career that saw him forge ahead during a time where society was still heavily segregated.
Having to make do on a small budget, Scott juggled the responsibilities of owning, driving, and preparing his own machines. He still put up 147 Top-10 finishes in 495 career starts, and also finished within the Top-10 of the championship standings four times.
And according to his son, Wendell Scott Jr., he knew that one day, he would be given his due.
“He knew his talent. You have to know who you are to be who you are,” Wendell Jr. said to NASCAR AMERICA’s Marty Snider at tonight’s NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony – where Wendell Sr. will enter the Hall as part of the Class of 2015.
“We used to be at the shop, getting the race car ready to travel all over the country. And sometimes, somebody would come by and doubt us – ‘I don’t know why you’re doing all that work’ – and Daddy would say, ‘They’re gonna write books and make movies about me.’ And they’ve done that.
“We maximized what we had, worked hard – my brother, my Dad and I, we did the work of ten men – but it’s paid off today.”
For more of Wendell Jr.’s thoughts on his father’s induction tonight, check out the full interview above.