Anniversary of Wendell Scott's first career start honored at Las Vegas
This weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, cars in both the NASCAR XFINITY and Sprint Cup Series are carrying a special decal to honor NASCAR Hall of Fame member Wendell Scott.
The sticker commemorates Scott's first NASCAR start on March 4, 1961 at Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds in Spartanburg, S.C.
While Scott was not the first African-American to start a NASCAR premier series race, he was the first to do so on a regular basis. Running his family-based team, Scott competed in a total of 495 races in what is today's Sprint Cup Series.
On Dec. 1, 1963, Scott became the first, and only, African-American driver to win in NASCAR's premier series. The victory came at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Fla., but was not without controversy.
Two laps ahead of the field, the checkered flag never flew for Scott when it was supposed to. Instead, Buck Baker, who was running second at the time, was given the checkered flag, went to Victory Lane and celebrated the win.
Scott protested the finish, and hours after the race NASCAR officials deemed a scoring error had been made and awarded Scott the victory.
The do-it-yourself driver raced in NASCAR's premier division until 1973, and ended his career with one victory, 20 top fives, 147 top 10s and one pole.
On Jan. 30, 2015, Scott was posthumously inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, alongside Fred Lorenzen, Rex White, Joe Weatherly and Bill Elliott.
He is also a member of the National Sports Hall of Fame, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.