Root Insurance reveals iconic paint scheme in tribute to Wendell Scott's historic 1963 victory.
The No. 23 Root Insurance Toyota Camry will honor the legacy of Wendell Scott this Sunday, May 9, at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway with Bubba Wallace in the driver’s seat. The car’s throwback design pays homage to Scott’s iconic “Scott Blue 34” paint scheme (a dark powder-blue) with white numerals from his historic 1963 victory at Jacksonville’s Speedway Park. The car’s look was unveiled today on 23XI Racing’s social channels as seen here.
“The legacy of Wendell Scott is one of the most important happenings in civil rights and sports history,” says Warrick Scott, CEO of the Wendell Scott Foundation and grandson of Wendell Scott. “We appreciate Root Insurance, Bubba Wallace, and 23XI Racing for acknowledging Wendell Scott’s legacy with the "Scott Blue 34" throwback scheme. My grandfather built the ultimate bridge for diversity in NASCAR. His struggles led to his greatness, and in doing so he has left a lasting impression of ingenuity, perseverance, and love that continues to manifest through the work of the Wendell Scott Foundation.”
Bold change happens because of the courage and determination of those who came first. Wendell Scott was the first African-American team owner and driver to compete full-time in the NASCAR Grand National Series, and the only African-American driver to win a race in what is now the NASCAR Cup Series.
“Progress started here” is emblazoned across the No. 23 Root Insurance Toyota Camry in honor of Scott’s legacy as a trailblazer who fought for progress that continues today. Scott was known for his skill as both driver and mechanic, and the No. 23 Toyota Camry paint scheme includes the script “Mechanic: Me” as a nod to the same line found on Scott’s racing car. Credited for his tireless toughness and tenacity, Scott was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class in 2015 where his son Franklin spoke at the induction ceremony.
Scott’s legacy lives on today through the Wendell Scott Foundation, which provides STEM-focused mentoring, job skill training, educational opportunities and supportive services to at-risk, under-served students. In support of the Wendell Scott Foundation’s mission and their incredible work, Root Insurance and Bubba Wallace’s “Live To Be Different” Foundation have made matching $10,000 donations. Learn more by visiting wendellscott.org.
“To honor Wendell Scott this weekend at Darlington and celebrate his legacy is such an honor,” said Wallace. “He may have been the first, but we are all working every day to provide opportunities to others and to make sure we continue his legacy both on and off the track. I was able to drive a Wendell Scott throwback scheme in 2014 when it was announced he was being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and we were able to get him back to victory lane with us that day. Since then, I’ve grown so much and understand even more today what it means to honor those that have come before us and to use my voice and platform for good. I’m excited to not only be driving the throwback scheme this weekend, but to also make a donation to the Wendell Scott Foundation to help continue empowering the next generation. Thanks to Root Insurance for being a part of the change, pushing the boundaries, and allowing us to honor Wendell (Scott) this weekend at Darlington.”
The 2021 Official Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway celebrates NASCAR’s past, present, and future. Sunday’s race is the second of three this season when the No. 23 Camry, driven by Wallace, will carry the Root Insurance livery as a primary sponsor. To learn more about Root’s partnership with Wallace, visit joinroot.com/progress.
About Wendell Scott:
Wendell Oliver Scott (August 29, 1921–December 23, 1990) was an American stock car racing driver from Danville, Virginia. He is the only African-American driver to win a race in what is now the NASCAR Cup Series. In 1973, Scott was injured seriously in a wreck that forced him to retire. After retiring, Scott worked full-time in the auto repair shop he’d opened around 1950. The money he made from racing and the repair shop helped him send all six of his children to college.
Scott’s commitment to racing and the adversity he faced so winningly have earned him spots in national and international halls of fame. The only hall of fame induction that Scott received while alive was to the Black Athletes Hall of Fame. In 2015, Wendell was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Wendell Scott’s legacy of integrity and determination endures today within NASCAR and beyond with the Wendell Scott Foundation.