Brant James: Petty, Wendell Scott in spotlight

- Contributor
Saturday, Mar. 06, 2010

Brant James' posts from Atalanta Motor Speedway on Saturday:

Petty pondering bobsled spot?

Seven-time series champion Richard Petty sounds as if he’d like to take Geoff Bodine up on his challenge to ride in one of his gold-medal-winning Bo-Dyn Bob Sled Project rides next January.

Bodine, whose outfit designed the sled a four-man American men’s team used to win the program’s first gold since 1948, yearly hosts drivers at his event in Lake Placid. Joey Logano, 19, tried this year.

Petty would be on the older side of the roster at 72.

“I said ‘I don’t know’,” Petty said. “If they put enough brakes on it, it might be all right.

"Of all the things I saw in the Winter Olympics, that’s something I’ d like to do. I certainly don’t want to jump off any of those deals with snow boards or skis and doing flips. I don’t want to flip in that bobsled either, but it looks like a thrill.”

Strap down the cowboy hat, King.

Track salutes Scott, 19611 start

Sybil Scott feels her late father’s legacy living through the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program.

That’s more true than she knew, even as she visited Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday as part of a commemoration of Wendell Scott’s first Sprint Cup Series start on March 4, 1961 at AMS. Scott, who died in 1991, became the only African-American to win a race at NASCAR’s highest level with a victory in Jacksonville, Fla., on Dec. 1, 1963.

All the cars and trucks competing in Atlanta bore a patch celebrating Scott. In that first start, Scott finished third in a borrowed car to collect $50.

Scott legacy was palpable at AMS on Saturday. Among the DFD participants in attendance were was Michael Cherry, a 20-year-old in his third year in the program. A former child model and actor from Valrico, Fla., who had 19 top-10 finishes the past two years at Motor Mile (Va.) Speedway and Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway, Cherry has used Scott’s No. 34 since meeting Wendell Scott Jr. before his first race in the program in 2008.

“I asked him if I could run his father’s number and he said it would be an honor. So we put away my personal ‘45’ and we’ve run it ever since,” Cherry said.

“You got to look at your past. You’ve got to see who’s opened doors for you.”