Wendell Scott family appeals for race trophy that black NASCAR driver was denied in 1963

Wendell Scott

Wendell Scott was denied the race-winning trophy from a race in Jacksonville, Florida in 1963

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The family of Wendell Scott has made a public plea to be reunited with a race-winning trophy the stock car driver was denied during his career due to the colour of his skin.

Scott, who was the first African American driver in NASCAR, took his only premier class win 1963, at a Grand National race meeting at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Florida.

However, race organisers initially declared Buck Baker – a white driver – the winner and handed him the first-place trophy. It was only hours later, after fans had filtered out of the speedway, that officials quietly confirmed Scott’s victory — by two laps.

He was presented with the winner’s cheque, but never received the trophy.

In a statement from his grandson, Warrick Scott, the family appealed to NASCAR to have the official trophy from the 1963 race located and sent to the Wendell Scott Foundation, dedicated to the memory of Wendell himself.

“One of the greatest atrocities in sports history is the fact that Wendell Scott has never received his trophy from 57 years ago his victory in the Jacksonville 200, December 1st, 1963,” Scott said in a statement.

“We are here now, to make a public plea to NASCAR, to right that wrong.”

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Wendell Scott was eventually inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015. He drove in the sport during the 1960s and early ’70s, and frequently faced abuse from fans, and in some instances even barred from competing at certain tracks in the country.

Warrick Scott told Motor Sport in a 2018 interview how the incident had affected his grandfather, and that the culture around the sport and the US at the time meant any justice was unlikely, particularly in the Deep South where he won.

“These were the places where Wendell and his crew were most likely to be run off the road, shot, cut into pieces and fed to the alligators, without anybody knowing,” Scott said.

“My grandfather was upset. He was really angry, but knew his surroundings and the odds mounting against him. At the time, the winner would go and kiss the local beauty queen. It was a white community festival, in a way.”

“My father needed the money,” his son Frank added, “but felt the trophy would have meant more. He never forgot that”.

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Since Scott’s victory, no other African American driver has taken a win in NASCAR’s premier division, though Bubba Wallace is a race-winner in the truck series.

Wallace, who himself is the only African American currently racing in the top series, has been at the forefront of calls to make the sport more inclusive.

His calls for equality have been embraced by NASCAR, which recently moved to ban the confederate flag from all of its events, and showed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement at recent races.