When the first black driver in NASCAR placed 10th in the Southern 500 at Darlington in 1965, the race promoter owed Wendell Scott $900. Scott never got a dime. He waited with the other drivers for his money and when he didn’t get paid, he went to the promoter’s office. The man kicked Scott out and told him to get “down the road.” Scott is still the only black driver to win a top-ranked NASCAR race, at the 1963 race in Jacksonville. Even then he wasn’t awarded an official victory until days after the race.
ESPN’s Ed Hinton has a good story on the slow integration of stock car racing. Hinton follows the career of Marc Davis, a young driver in the Camping World East series who is looking for a break. (Davis above.) There are only six black drivers in NASCAR’s developmental leagues.
The main problem black drivers have isn’t white or black, the article says, but green. It takes loads of money to run a competitive team. Interestingly, black stars from other sports are funding teams. Brad Daugherty, a North Carolina basketball player, is fielding a team. So is New England Patriots receiver Randy Moss, who owns half of a Truck series team.