Hard Driving by Brian Donovan
The Wendell Scott Story

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Synopsis

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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Brian Donovan

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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.
 
Published August 19, 2008 by Steerforth. 328 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Hard Driving

Kirkus Reviews

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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.

Jul 15 2008 | Read Full Review of Hard Driving: The Wendell Sco...

Publishers Weekly

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In this excellent biography, Donovan, a Pulitzer Prize–winning newspaper reporter and seasoned race car driver, recounts the overlooked life of Wendell Scott, the one-time Danville, Va., moonshine runner who broke the color barrier in stock-car racing in 1952 and competed for more than 20 years i...

Jun 16 2008 | Read Full Review of Hard Driving: The Wendell Sco...

Gather Books

After competing on the Southern stock car circuit for more than a decade, Scott was in the lead on the final lap in a 1963 race in Jacksonville, Fla.

Aug 19 2008 | Read Full Review of Hard Driving: The Wendell Sco...

Bookmarks Magazine

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.

Aug 24 2008 | Read Full Review of Hard Driving: The Wendell Sco...

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