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NASCAR , Front Row Motorsports, Kyle Busch Motorsports and Martinsville Speedway to pay tribute DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR , Front Row Motorsports, Kyle Busch Motorsports and Martinsville Speedway announced today they will honor 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott, the first African-American driver to win a NASCAR premier series event, with a series of tributes during the Martinsville race weekend from Oct. 24-26. Front Row Motorsports will pay homage to Scott, also the first African-American driver to race full-time in NASCAR ’s premier series, with a full throwback paint scheme on its No. 34 Ford driven by David Ragan, reminiscent of the blue No. 34 that he drove to Victory Lane for his first NASCAR premier series victory at Jacksonville Speedway on Dec. 1, 1963. Ragan is one of just three drivers to win in the No. 34, and the first since Scott. "It's going to be cool to honor Wendell Scott at his home track with his family," said Ragan. "I got to drive a tribute scheme for Ned Jarrett a while back, and it's a tribute to the history of our sport that I get to honor Mr. Scott as an inductee, the last driver to win in the No. 34 before I did. I'm a fan of our sport’s history and have a real appreciation for it, so it's special to be able to bring that paint scheme back for a weekend." In addition, Kyle Busch Motorsports will change the number of Darrell Wallace Jr.'s truck from 54 to 34 in honor of Scott. A NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate, Wallace became the first African-American to win a NASCAR national series race since Scott’s historic 1963 triumph when he captured the checkered flag in last season’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville. "It's an honor to run the No. 34 Toyota Tundra at Martinsville," said Wallace. "I got my first win at Martinsville and the historical significance of that win and to be so close to Wendell Scott's hometown was a really cool bonus to getting my first win. The Scott family has followed my career since I ran the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program for Rev Racing and I've kept a relationship with the family over the years. Thanks to Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota and NASCAR for allowing me to run the No. 34 at Martinsville. I'm pumped to get back there and hope to get another victory." Adding to the celebration, Martinsville Speedway and the NHOF will host members of the Scott family during the race weekend and offer special Q&A opportunities for fans on-site. "Wendell Scott faced numerous adversities throughout his racing career. At the end of the day though, he persevered and overcame all odds," said Clay Campbell, president of Martinsville Speedway. "That perseverance serves as an inspiration today and as a testament to that, he was inducted to the NASCAR Hall of Fame ." A trailblazer whose legacy extends to the present day, Scott was the 1959 NASCAR Virginia Sportsman champion and won over 100 races at local tracks prior to starting his NASCAR premier series career. The Danville, Virginia native served three years in the U.S. Army during World War II where he honed his skills in the motor pool. In 13 years of NASCAR premier series competition, Scott made 495 starts (35th on the all-time list), accumulating 20 top-five and 147 top-10 finishes. He passed away in 1990, at the age of 69. NASCAR currently awards scholarships in Scott’s name through the United Negro College Fund, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund. The Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award is awarded to a diverse or female driver in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series who has demonstrated significant contributions on and off the track. Current NASCAR D4D driver and last year’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Nevada state champion Jay Beasley was the 2013 award recipient. In addition, NASCAR has designated the first race weekend in March as a time to remember Wendell Scott's legacy during a week that marks his first career start. Cars in all series run a decal in honor of his accomplishments within the sport. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody’s ® Headache Relief Shot ® 500 will run Sunday, Oct. 26 at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 will run Saturday, Oct. 25 at 1:30 p.m. on FOX Sports 1. Both races will also air on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, with additional coverage on NASCAR .com. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Driver of the No. 34 Ford will have a retro look at Martinsville RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota BUY: Purchase the No. 34 David Ragan Wendell Scott NASCAR Hall of Fame 2015 die-cast CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Taking the wraps off a new No. 34, revealing a car in the likeness of his famous father's racers, was enough to get Wendell Scott Jr.'s adrenaline pumping. The boldly styled number, the familiar pale and almost pewter blue against the backdrop of a modern Front Row Motorsports Ford had the next-generation Scott -- who claims to be 68 years old ("I've lied about it so much, I can't even remember") -- ready to turn back the clock himself Tuesday afternoon at the NASCAR Hall of Fame . "I'm ready to do some hot laps in that bad boy," Scott said, forming a wry grin. "Yeah, it is cool. It's our pet color. My brother Frankie used to do the bodywork on them, so it means a lot." When the car takes to the track Oct. 26 for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup's seventh battle at Martinsville Speedway , the driving duties will fall instead to David Ragan , but the name of 2015 Hall of Fame inductee Wendell Scott will still adorn the top of the driver's door. The car was part of a double-unveil Tuesday in the stock-car shrine's Great Hall ; Darrell Wallace Jr. will change his traditional No. 54 to 34 for the fall race weekend in Martinsville, where he is the defending winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series . Though there were some subtle differences from the paint scheme on Ragan's 2014 Generation-6 model and the 1960s Chevrolet Impala tribute car carrying Scott's colors, many of the retro styling cues carried over. Ragan was among the team's biggest advocates for keeping the throwback look as authentic as possible, even down to the period-correct "380 horsepower" claim on the hood. "Cars back then just looked a little different," Ragan said. "Maybe they didn't have the opportunities for the graphics and designs, and a lot of this stuff was hand-lettered back in the day. Definitely, an honor to represent and really to drive a car similar to what a Hall of Famer did." The No. 34 has just three victories in NASCAR's premier series, but all have their place in the sport's history. -- Kansas native Jim Roper campaigned the No. 34 on the Lincoln that won the inaugural event for the NASCAR Strictly Stock Division, now the Sprint Cup Series. -- In 1963, Scott notched the first victory by an African-American driver in the top rung of the NASCAR ladder with the No. 34. That breakthrough stood as the only win by an African-American in a NASCAR national series until Wallace's triumph last fall at Martinsville, not far from Scott's hometown of Danville, Virginia. -- Almost 50 years after Scott's lone victory, Ragan posted a thrilling upset at Talladega Superspeedway in May 2013 for a 1-2 sweep by the Front Row team and a first trip to Victory Lane for team owner Bob Jenkins. Next month at Martinsville, Ragan hopes to make more history, but will need more horsepower than the 380 advertised. Ragan's team has faced challenges as a lesser-funded team competing against the sport's powerhouses. That gap was underscored last weekend as Ragan competed at Chicagoland Speedway as a Chase outsider. Ragan said that changes to the 2014 rules package left the Front Row team playing catch-up against its better-heeled rivals, issues that the organization aims to address as it presses on. "We have struggled a lot and have a lot of unanswered questions," Ragan said. "We're hoping that there's not a big change in the package going forward and we'll be able to continue to evolve." If the going gets tougher, Ragan said he's not afraid to get some dirt under his fingernails. Reminded that Scott once exited the cockpit to change his own tires during a pit stop in the sport's formative years, Ragan said he wouldn't hesitate to apply the same old-school type of elbow grease if the need arose. "I do have a mechanic in me, and I am certified to work on these cars a little bit, but I don't know that my crew chief will let me," Ragan cracked. "Hopefully our guys will be able to pick up the slack on the weekend and cover me, but if I had to -- if push came to shove -- I could get out and do a pit stop." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Four-time champion just 13 wins away from second on all-time list RELATED: Follow your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize DOVER, Del. -- With all the jockeying for Chase positions in the middle of the field, it was difficult at times to focus on what was happening at the front of the field in Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. At the end of the day, Jeff Gordon took the checkered flag for the 92nd time in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career and took another stride toward a milestone everyone -- including Gordon -- once thought was untouchable. Make no mistake. Gordon already is in rarified air when it comes to his accomplishments in stock car racing. With 92 victories, he's third on the all-time list. He's a four-time series champion with an abiding hunger for a fifth title. He's a shoo-in for the NASCAR Hall of Fame . And he's now within sight, at least, of David Pearson's 105 career Cup wins, second all-time. A few scant years ago, catching Pearson was the furthest thing from Gordon's mind. He was having some serious issues with his back. Gordon and wife Ingrid added to their family with the births of daughter Ella and son Leo. Gordon wasn't particularly fond of NASCAR's Gen-5 platform, introduced into the Sprint Cup Series in 2007 as the Car of Tomorrow. And, when asked, he would dismiss Pearson's milestone as an impossibility. Now, it seems that only Richard Petty's unassailable series-record 200 victories is out of reach. Through treatment and exercise, Gordon's back is better. NASCAR's new Gen-6 race car better suits his driving style, especially since the implementation of the no-ride-height rules this year. Gordon has bonded with crew chief Alan Gustafson, and together they have found top- of -the-line speed in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Despite his superstar status within NASCAR racing and the crossover appeal that makes him a comfortable fill-in co-host with Kelly Ripa, for example, Gordon isn't above team-building within his organization. Two days before the AAA 400 , after a hair-raising qualifying lap at the Monster Mile, Gordon spent the evening at a local Dover fish house with Gustafson and his crew. Wearing a T-shirt and baseball cap and sitting inconspicuously at a family-style table, Gordon was just one of the guys. On the track on Sunday, he was an opportunist. Kevin Harvick was the class of the field, but mechanical issues bit Harvick's No. 4 Chevrolet as they often have since his last victory at Darlington in April. Gordon seized the moment, passed Brad Keselowski for the lead on Lap 305 of 400 and controlled the balance of the race. As he invariably does, Gordon deflected talk of reaching the century mark in victories. "I'm going to tell you the same thing I say every time I'm sitting here after a win: It's awesome to have 92, and I look forward to challenging for 93," Gordon said in the Dover media center. "I can't even think about 100 until we get to 99. "I mean, I never dreamed in a million years that I would be here talking to you after 92 wins, and especially at this point in my career, this many years in the sport, to be having the year that we're having, it's just something I never thought could happen. It feels amazing, and right now if I felt like we could stay this competitive for the next several years, I would say, yeah, we could get there." But Gordon, of course, has a more immediate goal. "We're just laser-focused on this championship and going to the next race," he said. "I don't think we're going to get to 100 this year, but I hope we get past 93. That would be pretty awesome to get a couple more, and it almost takes a win to get to Homestead. That's our goal, getting to Homestead, whatever it takes." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Drivers discuss difficult second round during Contender Media Day RELATED: Follow your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – With NASCAR's home to history as a backdrop, members of the Contender Round discussed the perils that face them over the next three weeks. Brad Keselowski , who finished the recently completed Challenger Round first in points, described this upcoming round thusly: "You look at this round, the Contender Round with Kansas, and you've got Talladega at the end. … Two of the three races are as much of a wild card as you can get in NASCAR racing these days. I think when we get all said and done, and it comes to Homestead and the champion's crown, whoever wins it will have earned it." This was Contender Media Day, a two-hour program held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame to set up the Contender Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The three tracks that will test the versatility of all 12 Contenders: Kansas Speedway , Charlotte Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway . Hosted by ESPN's Kevin Negandhi, drivers still in contention for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship recapped the thrilling Challenger Round and looked ahead to the 12-driver three-race Contender Round which starts Sunday at Kansas (2 p.m. ET on ESPN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Wednesday's media day, streamed live on NASCAR .com, was the first of its kind under the revamped Chase format. Starting this season, the Chase is broken down into four rounds. After each of the first three rounds – each consisting of three races – four drivers are eliminated, setting up a four-driver finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway . The first to the finish line among the remaining four contenders at Homestead will win the title. And speaking of Miami, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship race just got bigger. Announced today during Contender Media Day, country music superstar Jason Aldean will perform a pre-race concert in the infield prior to the start of the race (Sunday, Nov. 16 at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The elephant in the room during today's media sessions: Talladega Superspeedway , now a cut-off race. Always a wild card in the previous 10 editions of the Chase, it is even more so under this revamped format. "It will be interesting to see how Talladega plays out from the guys that have a good lead going into the last race, whether they're going to maybe try to hang back," Denny Hamlin said. "Then you'll have a group that's going to want to be aggressive and lead laps, so it will be very interesting to see how the final Chase cutoff race for this round plays out." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation