Wendell Scott’s family will receive 1963 trophy from NASCAR

Scott remains the only Black driver to win at NASCAR’s elite Cup level.

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Wendell Scott was the first African-American driver in NASCAR to win a race in the sport’s top series.

Wendell Scott was the first African-American driver in NASCAR to win a race in the sport’s top series.

AP

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The family of Wendell Scott, the only Black driver to win a race at NASCAR’s top level, will receive a trophy commemorating the historic 1963 victory before Saturday night’s race at Daytona International Speedway. 

Scott passed Richard Petty with 25 laps remaining at Speedway Park in Jacksonville on Dec. 1, 1963, in the Jacksonville 200. 

Buck Baker, who actually finished second, was declared the winner and received the trophy in a victory lane celebration. Race officials discovered hours after the race that Scott was the actual winner by a full two laps on the rest of the field. But he was not credited with the victory for another two years and his family has long pushed for a proper celebration. 

Scott retired because of injuries suffered in a 1973 crash at Talladega Superspeedway and the Danville, Virginia, native died in 1990 of spinal cancer. 

He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015, two years after the city of Danville awarded Scott a historical marker. The statement on the marker praises Scott for “persevering over prejudice and discrimination, Scott broke racial barriers in NASCAR.” In a 13-year career, Scott notched 20 top-five finishes. 

Scott remains the only Black driver to win at NASCAR’s elite Cup level. Bubba Wallace in 2013 won a Truck Series race at Martinsville, Scott’s home track, to become just the second Black driver to win at NASCAR’s national level. 

Wallace is currently the only full-time Black driver in NASCAR and has occasionally commemorated Scott’s contributions to the sport through paint schemes and partnerships with Scott’s family. 

Wallace is in his fourth full season in the Cup Series and drives this year for 23X1 Racing, a first-year team owned by both Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan. He has six career wins in the Truck Series, but is winless in 137 starts at the Cup level. 

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