Hard Driving: The Wendell Scott Story

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Steerforth Press, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 311 pages
6 Reviews
Hard Driving is the dramatic story of one man’s dogged determination to live the life he loved, and to compete, despite daunting obstacles, at the highest level of his sport.Wendell Scott figured he was signing up for trouble when he became nascar’s version of Jackie Robinson in the segregated 1950s. Some speedways refused to let him race. “Go home, nigger,” spectators yelled. And after a bigoted promoter refused to pay him, Scott appealed directly to the sport’s founder, nascar czar Bill France Sr.France made a promise Scott would never forget – that nascar would never treat him with prejudice.For the next two decades, Scott chased a dream whose fulfillment depended on France backing up that promise. Persevering through crashes, health problems, and money troubles, Scott remained convinced he had the talent to become one of nascar’s best. Hard Driving documents a previously untold chapter in the history of integration, politics, and sports in America. It reveals how France, founder of the multibillion-dollar nascar empire, reneged on his pledge and allowed repeated discrimination against Scott by racing officials and other powerful figures. It details France’s alliances with leading segregationist politicians such as George Wallace, the reluctance of auto executives such as Lee Iacocca to sponsor a black driver; and the inspiring support Scott received from white drivers such as nascar champions Ned Jarrett and Richard Petty, who admired his skill and tenacity.

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HARD DRIVING: The Wendell Scott Story: The American Odyssey of NASCAR's First Black Driver

User Review  - Kirkus

Pulitzer Prize-winning Newsday reporter Donovan, now retired and a race-car driver, follows the hard-luck career of a man who challenged NASCAR's racial barrier in the 1950s.Growing up in the Deep ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - peppergrape - LibraryThing

If you are into car racing, this is a must read book. Great history or a not often heard of driver. It's important to remember all the drivers who have made the sport what it is, no matter their race. Wonderful writing, great read. Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Brian Donovan, a former Newsday investigative reporter, has won more than forty journalism awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and Columbia University's Paul Tobenkin Award for reporting on racial and ethnic intolerance. Driving on the EMRA Vanderbilt Cup circuit, he has won a season championship, as well as a track championship at Pennsylvania's Pocono Raceway and dozens of races from Canada to West Virginia. He gained exclusive access to Wendell Scott over the last fourteen months of his life and interviewed more than two hundred individuals to capture this epic, previously untold American story. He lives on Long Island.

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