December 23

December 23, 1990 – Wendell Scott

Black American Racers Association

Malcolm Durham, Leonard W. Miller, Wendell Scott, and Ronald Hines (l-r) of the Black American Racers Association (circa 1970)

The first African American driver in Nascar, Wendell Oliver Scott died in Danville, Virginia on December 23, 1990 at age 69.  Scott was born on August 29, 1921 in Danville, Virginia.  He was also the first African American to win in the Grand National Series which is now called the Sprint Cup Series. Scott won this race on December 1, 1963 at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Florida. Just as Jackie Robinson faced racism for breaking the color barriers in baseball, Scott faced the same types of obstacles in stock car racing because he was an African American.

Wendell Scott 34 Chevrolet NASCAR Hall of Fame

A replica of Wendell Scott’s No. 34 1962 Chevrolet, built by Scott for the movie Greased Lightning, on display at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

His perseverance, talent and hard work took him across the finish line in the end as a legendary champion in the history of Nascar racing. This is evident by his being posthumously inducted in the Nascar Hall of Fame in 2015.