2. Wendell Scott

2. Wendell Scott

Wendell Scott was the definition of an underdog.  He entered NASCAR at a time when the sport was dominated by white men.

Before getting into NASCAR, though, Scott was already a proven driver.  He won 128 amateur races on a low budget.  He entered NASCAR in 1961 with a car purchased from Buck Baker.

Scott worked on his own cars and was clearly under-funded when compared to some of the bigger teams in the sport.

Eventually, in 1963, with a car that Scott purchased from Ned Jarrett, he managed to win his first race.

Hard Driving: The Wendell Scott Story

Except NASCAR didn’t officially credit him for the win.

Scott did win, though, on the one-mile dirt track down in Jacksonville, Florida.  Instead, NASCAR decided to award Buck Baker with the win.

Maybe it’s because of racing culture at the time, or perhaps something else, but for whatever reason NASCAR decided not to award Scott with the win. They would eventually correct themselves, and two years later they credited him with the victory.

Even after being robbed a trophy and a trip to victory lane, Scott continued to race in NASCAR.  He eventually had to retire in 1973 because of injury, but he earned one win and 147 top-10 finishes in his career.

Scott was the first, and only, African-American to win a NASCAR race.  He was a pioneer for the sport and a true underdog.

With an extremely low-budget, Wendell had success in NASCAR and proved he could race with the best of them.