Retired Observer motorsports writer Tom Higgins on Wendell Scott:
• From 1942-45 during World War II, Scott served in the 101st Airborne Division in Europe.
• Like many early NASCAR drivers, Scott learned to drive fast and well while transporting illegal moonshine whiskey. In a TV documentary on Scott’s life, a Danville police officer who often chased Scott stated, “He could drive faster going backwards than we could going forward.”
• Virginia-area promoters not affiliated with NASCAR recruited the well-known moonshine-hauler Scott to enter races starting in 1952, hoping to draw black fans. Over the next eight years, he won dozens of races and two track championships in cars he owned and prepared himself.
• Hollywood based a film on Scott’s exploits, releasing “Greased Lightning” in 1977. The movie starred Richard Pryor as Scott.
• Hall of Famers Junior Johnson, Ned Jarrett and others who competed against Scott contend that given equal equipment, Scott could have won many more races.