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NASCAR to honor Wendell Scott this weekend

First a book. That was followed by an ESPN documentary. Now Wendell Scott is getting another acknowledgement from NASCAR.

Here's the release:

Charlotte, N.C. (March 3, 2011) — In honor of the 50th anniversary of African-American racing pioneer Wendell Scott’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, all NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup cars competing this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will display a commemorative decal bearing Scott’s image.

Scott made his first start in NASCAR’s premier series 50 years ago – March 4, 1961 – in Spartanburg, S.C. On Dec. 1, 1963 in Jacksonville, Fla., Scott became the first African-American to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup event.

"What an amazing way to honor my father," said daughter Deborah Scott. "Knowing that every car in both national series will roll onto the track this weekend with a decal honoring our dad makes me smile and makes me proud."

Drive for Diversity drivers Michael Cherry, who last season became the first African-American to win at Tri-County Speedway, and Ryan Gifford, who in 2010 became the first African-American driver in NASCAR K&N Pro Series history to win a pole, will join Deborah Scott at LVMS to further recognize this special occasion.

Drive for Diversity is a NASCAR-led initiative aimed at developing and introducing minority and female drivers and crew members to competitive opportunities in the sport.

"Drive for Diversity, and the young men and women who are benefitting from it today, owe much to Wendell Scott," said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR’s managing director of public affairs. "Wendell was a racing trailblazer who opened the door for people like Ryan Gifford and Michael Cherry, and it’s an honor to be able to celebrate this anniversary in such a special way."

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