FAHI uses Harvest funds to continue African American Heritage Program

October 16, 2005

Martinsville Bulletin

Frank Scott, son of black NASCAR driver Wendell Scott, will give a lecture and show a documentary on his father Saturday at the Kappa House.

The program will begin at 1 p.m. at the house at 44 Franklin St. It is free. For more information, call 732-3496.

Wendell Scott, a native of Danville, was the only black NASCAR driver for much of his career.

He started racing at the Danville Fairgrounds Speedway in 1947. In his first race, he finished third in a borrowed car, won $50 and was hooked, according to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame Web site.

In the following years, he won 128 hobby, amateur and modified races on the old Dixie Circuit and outlaw tracks. In 1959, he won 22 races and captured the Richmond track championship as well as the Virginia State Sportsman title.

Scott bought a year-old Chevrolet from Buck Baker in 1961 and moved up to NASCAR's Grand National (now Winston Cup) division. In 1963, driving a car he bought from Ned Jarrett, Scott finished 15th in the points.

NASCAR ran a split season then, and the third race of the 1964 season was on Dec. 1, 1963, at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, a one-mile dirt track. Scott beat Baker to become the first black to win on NASCAR's highest level, a distinction he still holds.

In May 1964, Scott was down on his luck and almost out of racing when Jarrett set up a deal for Scott. He was able to obtain a Holman-Moody Ford that had been raced the year before in USAC for a dollar. Driving that car, Scott finished 12 in points despite missing several races. Over the next five years, Scott consistently finished in the Top Ten in the point standings.

He moved up to 11th in 1965, was a career-high sixth in 1966, 10th in 1967 and ninth in both 1968 and 1969. His top year in winnings was 1969 when he won $47,451. He raced in nearly 500 races.

Scott died in 1990.

His son, Frank, graduated from North Carolina Central University and received his master's degree from the University of Virginia. He worked in Pittsylvania County and taught at Dan River High School and later at Laurel Park High School in Henry County.

Scott also was the head basketball coach and he also coached football and track. One of his biggest accomplishments was winning the state championship
in track.

After retiring from coaching, Scott became assistant principal at Magna Vista High School. When the schools consolidated, he opted for early retirement.

He then was hired as assistant principal at N.L. Dillard Middle School in Yanceyville, N.C.; today he is principal there.


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