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Wednesday September 17, 2014

Wendell Scott called Martinsville Speedway his home track during a long NASCAR career, and for the family of the 2015 NASCAR Hall-of-Fame Inductee the last weekend in October will be a homecoming.

Several tributes to the late driver, the first African-American driver to win a NASCAR premier series event, were announced Tuesday during a ceremony at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Front Row Motorsports and their driver David Ragan will honor Scott with a full throwback paint scheme on the team's No. 34 Ford in the Goody's® Headache Relief Shot® 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway on October 26.

Darrell Wallace Jr., who became the first African-American to win a NASCAR national series race since Scott, will change the number of his Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota from 54 to 34 for this year's Kroger 200. Wallace's first win came in last year's Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville.

Wendell Scott and his family lived in Danville, VA, about 30 miles east of Martinsville Speedway. Even before he made the jump to NASCAR's top series, he raced in lower divisions on the half-mile track. From those early days on, it was his favorite track.

"We loved coming to Martinsville, because driving, with the size of the track, driving meant so much," said Frank Scott, one of Wendell's sons and a crew member for his father's team. "He (his father) could compensate for the lack of horsepower or the lack of handling because he was so good in that environment (Martinsville)."

Ragan is a NASCAR history buff, and because of that, was quick to OK the tribute paint scheme.

"I'm a big fan of NASCAR racing and to know the history of Wendell Scott and what he has meant to this sport, it's really a special thing, and to honor him and to have his family there watching our No. 34 Ford," said Ragan, who is the only driver since Scott's 1966 victory to win a Sprint Cup race in a car sporting the No. 34. "This is a look-a-like of his race car. That's going to be special."

Wallace has a great appreciation of what the Hall-of-Fame driver accomplished in his career. He's spent time with the family over the past couple of years, and is almost like family to them now.

"This is huge to be able to represent the Wendell Scott family and what Wendell Scott has done for the sport," said Wallace, who has won two more NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races since his inaugural win last fall at Martinsville. "To be able to carry on his legacy is outstanding. You know, it's a lot of pressure when you sit down and think about it."

Many members of the Scott family were present for Wallace's truck series win at Martinsville Speedway last fall and visited him in victory lane afterward.

"I won't say it was ironic, it was fate that this happened for this young man in Martinsville 30 miles from home, a track my father raced on yearly even as a sportsman and modified driver," said Frank Scott, referring to Wallace's Kroger 200 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.

Tickets to the Goody's® Headache Relief Shot® 500 on October 26, the Kroger 200 on October 25 and the Virginia Lottery Pole Day on October 24 can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.

Tags: Henry County, Insider's Tips, Martinsville, Martinsville Speedway, Motorsports, NASCAR, Racing, Sports,