FENWICK: New Scott Film Pulls No Punches

Wendell Scott (center) stands with his two sons Frank Scott (right) and Wendell Scott, Jr. (NASCAR Photo)

NASCAR historians know Wendell Scott well. A pioneer in every sense of the word, Scott was never the sort to look away from a challenge.

Perhaps that is why NASCAR, a strictly white sport during the 1960s, seemed like such an intriguing idea for this African American man from Danville, Va.

We won’t reminisce too much about Scott’s history. Instead, we suggest you find the time to view a new docudrama titled “Wendell Scott: A Race Story,” which will debut Feb. 20 at 9 p.m. on ESPN.

At approximately 48 minutes in length, the NASCAR Media Group and ESPN did an excellent job telling the story of the only African American driver to win a race in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup division.

Instead of pulling punches, the filmmakers decided to tell the story as accurately as they could. Let’s just say the cars weren’t the only thing in the film that were period accurate.

Did the film have a happy ending? Yes and no. Sure, Scott won an event at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Fla., but because of the racial atmosphere of the time he wasn’t declared the winner until well after the victory lane celebrations were over and he never got to hold the trophy that he so rightfully deserved.

On the other hand, the film itself serves as a teaching tool for young fans of all colors looking to break into NASCAR. Scott was dedicated, hard working and most importantly he never gave up his dream.

Scott’s dream continues today in the form of Revolution Racing and NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program. Last year alone the program produced several aspiring talents, including Darrell Wallace, Jr., who became the first African American driver to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race. He went on to win two races, the series rookie of the year award and nearly captured the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship.

Scott was full of dreams. We wonder how he would feel now as some of his dreams begin to come true.

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