Tag: black race car drivers

British Racer Lewis Hamilton Cruises to Victory at United States Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton (photo via rye-house.co.uk)

article by Samuel Reiman via foxsports.com

Formula One racer and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton cruised to his seventh win of the season on Sunday at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, TX. He now sits 26 points back of his teammate Nico Rosberg. This is his fourth win in five starts at CoTA and the 50th of his career.

The Brit started from pole position and beat Rosberg into the first corner. He never looked back.  Rosberg, meanwhile, had a more eventful race, as he lost second spot to Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo in Turn 1.  Rosberg wasn’t able to get the spot back until the middle of the race under a Virtual Safety Car period.

The Virtual Safety Car had been deployed after Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen had parked his car with a mechanical issue on track. This hurt Ricciardo as he had already pit ahead of the Virtual Safety Car period, while both Mercedes drivers had yet to make their second stop and so were able to pit without losing too much time.

Verstappen had already been having a race to forget, as he had came into the pits not too long before his retirement, mistakenly thinking the team had called him in. They hadn’t, and so were not prepared for his stop, costing the Dutch racing driver a lot of time.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen also hit trouble in the pits. The Finn was trying to make a three-stop strategy work, and it was going well. He was running fourth when he came into the pits for his final stop of the day, but was released when the right-rear wheel gun was still attached. His wheel was not bolted on correctly, and Raikkonen was forced to park the car on pit exit. Ferrari is being investigated for releasing Raikkonen’s car in an unsafe condition.

While Hamilton led Rosberg and Ricciardo over the line, it was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel placing in fourth behind them. Behind him was the McLaren of Fernando Alonso, who muscled his way by Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and Williams driver Felipe Massa, in which there was contact involved, in the closing laps of the race. Sainz placed sixth while Massa placed seventh. Sergio Perez placed eighth for Force India ahead of Jenson Button in ninth, meaning both McLarens scored points. Romain Grosjean rounded out the points in 10th, scoring a point in the team’s first race on home soil and in his 100th start. The collision between Alonso and Massa will be investigated after the race.

To read more, go to: http://www.foxsports.com/motor/story/f1-us-gp-race-results-recap-austin-texas-lewis-hamilton-mercedes-wins-102316

African-American Racer Wendell Scott Officially Inducted into NASCAR Hall of Fame Tonight

Wendell Scott
NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott

Announced last May, the news finally became official: as of tonight, African-American race car driver Wendell Scott is the first black man inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Scott drove during the Jim Crow era, and he was the first African-American to win a race at NASCAR’s elite major league level. He died in 1990.  His career began in 1952, and his racing team was his family. They would travel to races together from their home in Virginia, and his sons served as his pit crew.

Wendell Scott's son Frank Scott (left) and grandson Warrick Scott at StoryCorps in Danville, Va. Wendell Scott, who died in 1990, was one of the first African-American NASCAR drivers to win a race at the elite level.
Wendell Scott’s son Frank Scott (left) and grandson Warrick Scott at StoryCorps in Danville, Va. Wendell Scott, who died in 1990, was one of the first African-American NASCAR drivers to win a race at the elite level.

“It was like Picasso, like a great artist doing his work,” says Scott’s son, Frank, 67, at StoryCorps. “And he was in that car, he was doing his work. And as children we didn’t have that leisure time, you know, we couldn’t go to the playground. He said to us, ‘I need you at the garage.’ I can remember him getting injured, and he’d just take axle grease and put it in the cut and keep working.”

But Scott wasn’t allowed to race at certain speedways. When he planned to go to Atlanta, he even received death threats.

“Daddy said, ‘Look, if I leave in a pine box, that’s what I gotta do. But I’m gonna race,’ ” Frank says. “I can remember him racing in Jacksonville, and he beat them all, but they wouldn’t drop the checkered flag. And then when they did, they had my father in third place. One of the main reasons that they gave was there was a white beauty queen, and they always kissed the driver.”

“Did he ever consider not racing anymore?” asks Scott’s grandson, Warrick, 37.

“Never,” Frank says. “That was one of my daddy’s sayings: ‘When it’s too tough for everybody else, it’s just right for me.’ ”

Before the Atlanta 500 in 1964, Scott was sick and needed an operation, but he refused not to race.

“And so, I said, ‘Daddy, we don’t have to race,’ ” Frank says. “He whispered to me and said, ‘Lift my legs up and put me in the car.’ So, I took my arms and put them behind his legs and kind of acted like I was hugging him and helped him into the car. He drove 500 miles that day.”

Wendell Scott (right) and his son Frank in Darlington, S.C., in 1970. Wendell Scott becomes the first African-American driver inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday.
Wendell Scott (right) and his son Frank in Darlington, S.C., in 1970. Wendell Scott becomes the first African-American driver inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday. (Courtesy of the Scott family)

“How did his racing career officially end?” Warrick asks.

Scott’s career ended only because he couldn’t afford to race anymore. No one would financially support his career.

“Where other drivers that we were competing against had major sponsorships, providing them engineers, as many cars as they needed,” Frank says, “he did everything that he did out of his own pocket.

“He always felt like someday he’s going to get his big break,” Frank adds. “But for 20 years nobody mentioned Wendell Scott. At one point it was like he never existed. But he didn’t let it drive him crazy. I think that’s what made him so great. He chose to be a race car driver, and he was going to race until he couldn’t race no more.”

Produced for Morning Edition by Jud Esty-Kendall and John White.  To hear audio of this story, click through to npr.org.