Family of Wendell Scott, first Black man to win NASCAR Cup race, finally receives a trophy for that 1963 victory
NASCAR presented a trophy to the family of Wendell Scott on Saturday night in Daytona.
Scott, the first Black man to win a race in NASCAR's Cup Series, never got the trophy from his win at Jacksonville in 1963. Scott wasn't even declared the winner immediately after the race.
Buck Baker was originally declared the winner of that race and presented the trophy in victory lane. After Baker posed for pictures with the white trophy girl in victory lane, NASCAR officials realized a mistake had occurred following Scott’s protest. A couple hours after the race was over, Scott was awarded the win when NASCAR realized the race had gone on longer than it should have.
Scott never got the trophy from the win, however. It was gone from the track by the time he was officially declared the winner. Scott’s family continued the search for the trophy after his death in 1990 and never found it.
Saturday night, Scott's family got to get a trophy representing the win nearly 60 years later. He raced nearly 500 times at NASCAR's top level from 1961-73 and had 20 top-five finishes.
Prior to tonight's race at @DAYTONA, the family of Wendell Scott was presented with a trophy commemorating his 1963 win at Speedway Park.
With that victory, Scott became the first Black driver to win at NASCAR's top level. pic.twitter.com/Ga8y1EuyOk
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) August 28, 2021
While you can certainly argue that it shouldn't have taken Scott's family nearly 60 years to get a trophy for the win, the better late than never principle certainly applies here, much like it did when NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from its tracks in June of 2020.
That ban came after the urging of Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver currently competing in the Cup Series. Wallace became the first Black driver to win a NASCAR national series race when he won a Truck Series race at Martinsville in 2013. Wallace has gone on to win five more Truck Series races and drives for a team co-owned by Michael Jordan in the Cup Series.