|Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR|
“Would we rather have had a yellow-brick road? ... It would have been nice not to struggle so hard. But we probably appreciate it more than if we had come up without obstacles. You can't lean toward the negative. We don't overlook it, but we just like to draw from the positive.” – Wendell Scott
In his hometown of Danville, Virginia, an historic highway marker was placed in honor of NASCAR driver Wendell Scott. He was the first African American to win a race in the top-tier level of the national series previously known as the “Grand National,” now the “Sprint Cup” series. Over the span of his 13-year career, Scott’s statistics included one win, one pole, 20 top fives and 147 top 10s in 495 races.
This event took place yesterday (April 5, 2013) and Danville Mayor Sherman Saunders declared it “Wendell Scott Day.” There were a few car displays provided by organizations such as the Historic Speedway Group, Early Dirt Racers of Virginia and North Carolina as well as the Old Timers Racing Club. The Scott family along with a number of distinguished guests, which included NASCAR President Mike Helton and Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, were in attendance to witness this historical moment.
|Photo Credit: Motorsports Images & Archives (NASCAR Media)|
“The Commonwealth of Virginia is deep with NASCAR heritage and support. Wendell Scott is very much a part of NASCAR’s and Virginia’s history. We join others in thanking the Commonwealth of Virginia for the honor they are bestowing on Mr. Scott, one that is well deserved. The Scott family has been instrumental to NASCAR as we developed our multicultural efforts, and it was Wendell Scott who served as such an inspiration to us all,” said NASCAR President Mike Helton.
“The story of Wendell Scott reminds us all of what gritty determination and eyes-on-the-prize perseverance can accomplish. I applaud Danville for working with the Commonwealth in recognizing Scott’s singular achievements. I am also grateful to NASCAR for celebrating Scott’s legacy this weekend in Danville and at the Martinsville Speedway, a remaining original NASCAR track, and bringing the story of Scott and Virginia’s motorsports legacy to the nation and racing fans around the world,” said Governor Bob McDonnell.
Some of the other event speakers included the NASCAR legend’s son Wendell Scott Jr., Kathleen Kilpatrick (Director, Department of Historic Resources), Sarah Latham (President, Danville Historical Society) and Earl Reynolds (Director, Danville Community Development).
“Our father was a proud Virginian, so this honor from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources is very humbling. We believe Daddy is with us in spirit, smiling on his friends, peers, family and especially his fans and our mother who are witnessing the fruits of his labor. The historic marker stands tall and today’s representation by local, state and NASCAR officials assure that his struggles against the odds, but more importantly, his accomplishments are undeniable,” remarked his youngest daughter Sybil Scott.
Fast Lane Poetry," which was published April 2011. Unique can be contacted via email or through Twitter.