“I don’t know of any man in the sport that worked any harder than he did or accomplished more than he did with what he had … He built a lot of respect … More important, he helped to open many minds and heart s… He was not as fortunate as some of us as to the type of equipment he had to drive.  But he went out there and toiled and made it work and won – not only won races but won the hearts of people around the world.”

~ Ned Jarrett, Two-time NASCAR Grand National Series champion

Wendell Oliver Scott was born on August 29, 1921 in Danville, Virginia.  His father, William, was atypical of many who lived in Danville, as he worked as a driver and mechanic for affluent Whites.   Most residents, especially African-Americans, labored in the cotton mills and tobacco-processing plants that were prevalent throughout the Southern small town.

Wendell greatly admired his father, both learning the skills needed to successfully perform auto mechanics and modeling the audacious driving expertise of his father.  From a young age, Wendell dominated anything with wheels, whether it be a bicycle, roller skates or an automobile.  His daredevil style often brought comparisons to the bold fashion of his father.  Sadly, William had a gambling issue which led to the destruction of his marital relationship.  The stress of his parents’ divorce was so great that it impacted Wendell’s speech, causing him to stutter.

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