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Scott Fowler: Wendell Scott's family was cheering hard for Bubba Wallace. Then came the phone call.

Scott Fowler, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Auto Racing

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In the afterglow of Bubba Wallace’s historic win at Talladega on Monday, the second African American NASCAR driver to ever win a Cup race paid tribute to the first.

Wallace got on the phone with Frank Scott, the 74-year-old son of Wendell Scott, who was the first Black driver to win a Cup race way back in 1963. In 2,000-plus races at NASCAR’s highest level over the past 58 years, it had never been done again — not until Wallace won Monday in a rain-shortened race at the iconic Deep South track in rural Alabama.

Scott recounted his conversation with Wallace in our interview Tuesday, saying part of it went like this.

Wallace: “I felt your Dad looking down on me from heaven today.”

Scott: “Oh yeah he was. Did you hear what he was saying up there?”

Wallace: “No. What was it?”

 

Scott: “He was saying: ‘Bubba, don’t worry. It’s not gonna stop raining.”

Scott said Wallace screamed with laughter when he heard that line, and there’s been a lot of that sort of joy going around in the Scott family over the past 48 hours.

They’ve been cheering for Wallace to win a Cup race all year. And now — just a few weeks after the Scott family finally received the trophy from NASCAR that the late Wendell Scott had been wrongly deprived of in 1963 — Wallace has indeed won.

“It feels poetic,” Frank Scott said, who watched the race from his living room in Danville, Va., with a replica of his father’s 1963 trophy sitting just below his big-screen TV. “And it feels a little mystical.”

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