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June 08, 2020

Wendell Scott Was First Ever Black NASCAR Driver – Meet the Man Who Made History

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Wendell Scott was the first-ever black NASCAR driver, and he became famous for being one of the greatest drivers of his time. 

In the 60s, it wasn't as acceptable to have a Black racecar driver as it is now. At the time, Scott missed several races a year because of the culture surrounding him. Despite this, he finished in the top 10 for four seasons in a row. 

Although he had to miss races, he finished sixth in points in 1966, 10th in 1967, and 9th in 1968 and 1969. On top of this, he had to do all that with hand-me-down equipment that companies provided him with. 

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A HISTORIC DRIVER

Wendell Scott first rose to fame when he won a race on a half-mile dirt track at Speedway Park, making him the first and only African-American to win a Grand National event until someone else won in 2013.

Even then, he was not announced as the winner as officials did not give Scott credit for two laps. It was only when they realized their mistake that they announced him as the real victor. 

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AN ISSUE OF RACE

While it was supposedly a scorecard error, there were a lot of people who speculated that it was an issue of race as to why they didn't want to reveal him as the victor during the victory lane ceremony.

 Recently, the NASCAR world was shaken by a crash that had racecar driver Ryan Newman confined in the hospital for two days.

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WELL-DESERVED RECOGNITION

Scott was a Virginia native, and although he didn't get to reach his prime the same way other racecar drivers did, people ultimately gave him credit for his work. Unfortunately, he wasn't alive to see that happen. 

"He has gotten a lot of recognition since he passed, and it's a shame it took so long. He didn't live to see it. He kept at it all the time. He was determined. Racing was his passion, what he wanted to do in life."

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A RECENT CRASH

Recently, the NASCAR world was shaken by a crash that had racecar driver Ryan Newman confined in the hospital for two days. He survived a horrific Daytona 500 crash but suffered a head injury. 

Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Kalahari Resorts and Conventions Chevrolet, during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 400 on June 1, 2018 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania | Photo: Getty Images

It turns out, this was not Newman's first car crash, and he's actually been in three since beginning his career. Despite this, his love for the sport remains and he's been advocating for safer measures in hopes of avoiding crashes such as his in the future. 

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