First African-American to Win NASCAR Premier Series Race Joins Bill Elliott, Fred Lorenzen, Joe Weatherly and Rex White in Sixth Induction Class
Stock car racing trailblazer Wendell Scott was among five legendary drivers enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina tonight during the Induction Ceremony held in the Crown Ball Room at the Charlotte Convention Center.
Joining Scott in the sixth induction class of the now 30-member Hall were Bill Elliott, Fred Lorenzen, Joe Weatherly and Rex White.
A true pioneer, Scott was the first African-American to race fulltime in NASCAR’s premier series, as well as the first to win a NASCAR premier series race. Scott posted 147 top 10s in 495 starts, as well as finished four seasons in the top 10 of the championship points standings. He won more than 100 races at local tracks before making his premier series debut, including 22 races at Southside Speedway in Richmond, Virginia, in 1959 en route to capturing both the Sportsman Division and NASCAR Virginia Sportsman championships.
“The legacy of Wendell Scott depicts him as one of the great vanguards of the sport of NASCAR racing,” said the late Scott’s son, Franklin, who accepted induction on his behalf. “Daddy was a man of great honor. He didn’t let his circumstances define who he was.
“Daddy realized that life has a generational component and he predicted a lot of what is happening. He would be delighted and happy that there is evidence of more opportunities for diversity and inclusion.”
Franklin concluded his speech with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy,” he said. “Wendell O. Scott, Sr. stood the test of time.”
Each of the five inductees had an inductor who officially welcomed them into the hall. The inductors for the five inductees: Ray Evernham for Bill Elliott; Amanda Gardstrom (daughter) for Fred Lorenzen; Wendell Scott Jr. for Wendell Scott; Bud Moore for Joe Weatherly; and James Hylton for Rex White.
Active drivers introduced each inductee during tonight’s program: Kasey Kahne for Bill Elliott; Tony Stewart for Fred Lorenzen; Jeff Gordon for Wendell Scott; Brad Keselowski for Joe Weatherly; and Kevin Harvick for Rex White.
In addition to the five inductees enshrined on Friday night, Anne B. France was awarded the inaugural Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.