Just yesterday, January 30, 2015 Wendell Oliver Scott was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Scott was the first African American driver to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Scott was born in Danville, Virginia on August 29, 1921. He died at the age of 69 due to Spinal cancer. He competed in NASCAR's highest series, Grand National (currently called Sprint Cup Series) from 1961-1973. According to Racing Reference, over the course of 13 years, Scott raced in 495 races, over 72,000 miles and had 147 top tens. During the 1963 racing season Scott scored his first victory at Speedway Park located in Jacksonville, Florida driving a Chevrolet Bel Air that he purchased from Ned Jarrett. Scott went on to finish 15th in points that season. At one point in time Scott was racing in as many as five events a week! They were mostly at Virginia tracks. In 1973 Scott retired due to injuries from a racing accident at Talladega. Greased Lighting, a 1977 American biographical movie was created based on the true life story of Scott. The film was released July 1, 1977.
Today I had the privilege of meeting Frank Scott, the son of Wendell Scott at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. As we talked I asked him several questions in regards to his father. When asking, "What do you think influenced Mr. Scott the most to come into NASCAR?" He replied, "Um, the love of competition and the love of speed. He was a mechanical genius and in addition to that he was a great driver, so he felt like he could compete just like any other sport that people had interest in, just once he tasted it there was no turning back. Following the 1st question, I asked, "Do you know what his favorite track was?" He replied, "Well he probably raced at over 70 tracks. His super speedway was probably Charlotte and Atlanta. His favorite short track was the 1/2 mile at Martinsville. He started racing there when it was a dirt track. We went from California to Maine to Florida racing in 38 states."