By AMANDA VINCENT
Mary Scott, the widow of NASCAR Hall of Famer Wendell Scott, passed away Thursday at the age of 91. She was a lifelong resident of Danville, Va.
NASCAR relesed the following statement upon the news of Scott’s passing:
“NASCAR extends its thoughts and condolences to the many family members and friends of Mary Scott, widow of Wendell Scott and matriarch of the Scott family.
“Loved by all, she was a friendly and welcoming presence in the garage during her husband’s competitive days in NASCAR. Her love and support provided Wendell a foundation for his many years of racing excellence and helped guide his legend to NASCAR’s pinnacle — the NASCAR Hall of Fame.”
The former Mary Coles married Wendell Scott in 1943. They had seven children — Willie Ann, Wendell Jr., Franklin, Deborah, Cheryl, Sybil and Michael.
Over the years, she worked as a cosmetologist and ran a grocery store. She continued her involvement in the NASCAR Women’s Auxiliary after her late husband’s death in 1990. She also served as a church mother and worked with the church’s usher board, missionary circle and senior choir at North New Hope Baptist Church and regularly visited the elderly and sick at Roman Eagle Nursing Home.
Wendell Scott passed away in 1990. He was inducted as the first African-American member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Jan. 30, 2015. Because of a health issue, Mary Scott was unable to attend the official induction ceremony during which her late husband was inducted.
Wendell Scott was the first African-American driver to compete full-time at NASCAR’s top level after running his first race in NASCAR’s premier series in 1961 and, to this point, is the only African-American driver to win in what is now the Sprint Cup Series. He won Dec. 1, 1963 at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Fla. Over the course of 13 years, Scott competed in 495 top-level NASCAR races and posted a win, 20 top-fives and 147 top-10 finishes. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Ala., in 1999.
Funeral arrangements for Mary Scott have not been completed, but according to the Danville (Va.) Register, her son Frank Scott expects a service at North New Hope Baptist Church.
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