Hard Driving

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Hard Driving

The Wendell Scott Story

Brian Donovan


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The only book-length account of the life of Wendell Scott, the one-time moonshine runner who broke the color barrier in stock-car racing in 1952 and, against all odds, competed for more than 20 years in a sport dominated by Southern whites.

Hard Driving is the story of one man's determination to live the life he loved, and to compete at the highest level of his sport. When Wendell Scott became NASCAR's version of Jackie Robinson in the segregated 1950s, some speedways refused to let him race. Scott appealed directly to the sport's founder, NASCAR czar Bill France Sr., who promised that NASCAR would treat him without prejudice. For the next two decades, Scott chased a dream whose fulfillment depended on France backing up that promise. France reneged on his pledge, but Scott did receive inspiring support from white drivers who admired his skill and tenacity, such as NASCAR champions Ned Jarrett and Richard Petty.


Brian Donovan:
BRIAN DONOVAN was a Newsday investigative reporter who won more than 40 awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes and the Paul Tobenkin Award for reporting on racial and ethnic intolerance. He won a season championship driving on the EMRA Vanderbilt Cup circuit, a track championship at the Pocono Raceway, and dozens of races. He gained exclusive access to Wendell Scott over the last 14 months of Scott's life and interviewed more than 200 individuals to capture this epic, previously untold American story. Brian died in 2018. JOE POSNANSKI is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of six books, including Paterno and The Secret of Golf.