NASCAR AMERICA: Wendell Scott Jr. – My father knew he would be recognized one day (VIDEO)

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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.

AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
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Benjamin Pedersen is the first driver to land a promotion from Indy Lights into IndyCar for next season as AJ Foyt Racing confirmed Wednesday he’ll be part of its 2023 lineup.

Pedersen, a 23-year-old dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, spent last season running the full Indy Lights schedule for HMD Motorsports. Linus Lundqvist, his teammate, won the Lights title, and Pedersen finished fifth in the final standings. Pedersen earned his only win earlier this month when he led every lap from the pole at Portland.

Pedersen also ran four races for HMD in 2021 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his debut. Pedersen landed on AJ Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt’s radar through a “trusted colleague” and Pedersen spent most of last season shadowing the IndyCar team.

His promotion to IndyCar comes ahead of all four drivers who finished ahead of him in the Indy Lights standings, including champion Lundqvist.

“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Larry Foyt said. “His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is 100 percent committed to IndyCar, AJ Foyt Racing, and doing the best he can to win races.

“It’s been great to have him embedded with the team this past season, and everyone is excited to hit the ground running when testing begins. It is also great to have a multi-year program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”

Foyt did not announce a car number for Pedersen. Kyle Kirkwood spent his rookie season driving AJ Foyt’s flagship No. 14 but Kirkwood is moving to Andretti Autosport. The team has not yet announced if Dalton Kellett will return for a fourth season, and a third car for Tatiana Calderon was pulled from competition after seven races because of sponsorship non-payment. Shutting down Calderon’s team removed the only semi-regular female driver from the IndyCar field.

Pedersen, however, was signed to an agreement Foyt said “spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop the young rookie and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing.”

Pedersen was born in Copenhagen but raised in Seattle and currently lives in Indianapolis. He said his time shadowing the IndyCar team has given him a jump on his rookie preparations.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this season with AJ Foyt Racing learning the ins and outs of making the jump to IndyCar and it’s been really nice to do that in conjunction with my Indy Lights season,” Pedersen said. “IndyCar has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”