In the history of NASCAR, and perhaps all of sports, there has been no bigger injustice than the story of Wendell Scott becoming the first African-American winner in what is now the NASCAR Cup Series, back in 1963.
Despite winning the race at Jacksonville Speedway Park, Scott was locked up in a scoring dispute for hours after the race, as officials claimed Scott actually finished two laps down to the declared winner of the race, Buck Baker. Obviously, back in the 1960’s, scoring was done manually with paper and pencil, rather than electronic scoring transponders like modern days.
After pleading his case for hours, and once all of the fans and media were no longer in attendance, Scott was eventually named the winner of the race by NASCAR. However, Scott’s victory trophy was gone, never to be seen again.
This injustice will finally be rectified a few months shy of 58-years later, as NASCAR has apparently created a replica trophy that they will present to the Scott family on August 28th, during the NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 weekend at Daytona International Speedway, according to a Thursday facebook post from the Wendell Scott Foundation.
Initially, Scott was issued a flimsy wooden trophy as a consolation prize shortly after his race win, where the original trophy mysteriously vanished in 1963. Why a true replica of the trophy couldn’t be reproduced is beyond any explanation, but Scott passed away in 1990 from spinal cancer, still never receiving a true trophy for his greatest achievement in racing.
Fast forward to 2010, and the Scott family finally received an actual replica of Wendell’s race-winning trophy, which was commissioned and paid for by the Jacksonville Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame. The Hall conducted a ceremony for the Scott family, where they awarded the trophy.
But, still, there was unfinished business. While a replica trophy from a Hall of Fame is one thing, the family had still never received a proper award from the sanctioning body themselves.
Now, 11 years later, NASCAR is finally commissioning their own replica trophy to award to the Scott family.
Finally, this brings closure to one of the biggest injustices in all of the history of sports. Wendell Scott’s family will finally be able to proudly display a trophy, that came from NASCAR themselves, to celebrate Wendell’s iconic barrier-breaking win back in 1963.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.