Bill Lester Wants to Take Race out of Racing

Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel, May 17, 2011

{snip}

“Throughout my career, I’ve been described as a black driver,” says [Bill] Lester, who moved to Orlando a few months ago when his wife Cheryl became a regional general manager of Wal-Mart Central Florida. “I can tell you that’s not how I perceive myself. It’s a label put on me by the media and the public. It’s their doing, not mine. I have very little control over it.”

Especially in the aftermath of Lester’s historic victory Saturday when he became the first black driver to ever win a GRAND-AM Road Racing event. {snip}

{snip}

But racing has always been different, especially stock-car racing in the South. Here’s all you need to know: The GRAND-AM series is now owned by NASCAR, which means Lester is the first black driver to win a NASCAR event in a national series since Wendell Scott’s Sprint Cup victory nearly a half-century ago. Ironically, Lester’s victory on Saturday came in Danville, Va.–the hometown of the late Scott, who remains a sad symbol for one of the most shameful events in major sports history.

The day of Dec. 1, 1963 will always live in NASCAR infamy. For it was that day in Jacksonville when Scott became the first black man to ever take the checkered flag at a NASCAR event, but race organizers shamefully refused to recognize him as the winner.

They instead awarded the victory to a white man, Buck Baker, who was three laps behind when Scott crossed the finish line. NASCAR claimed a scoring error had occurred, but Scott knew the real story. “Everybody in the place knew I had won the race,” he told a reporter before he died in 1990, “but the promoters and NASCAR officials didn’t want me out there kissing any beauty queens or accepting any awards.”

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  • rjp

    Lester, now 50, once had a cup of coffee behind the wheel of a Sprint car and spent eight years in NASCAR’s Truck Series. ….

    “Let’s put it this way,” Lester said of his days in the Truck series, “I wasn’t universally embraced by the fans. …..’ “

    No, let’s put it this way, a white driver who couldn’t win a race would have never had a ride for 8 years. Lester was an Affirmative Action experiment, and he failed the test. And like almost all Blacks getting, or who got, something they didn’t deserve because of they are Black, it still isn’t enough.

  • Tim in Indiana

    one of the most shameful events in major sports history

    No, what’s shameful is the way this MSM reporter callously manipulates this story in order to stir up enmity, just like the mendacious MSM always does in stories involving race (L.A. riots, anyone?).

    How about the holier-than-thou grandstanding and callous use of hyperbole with phrases such as “a day that will live in infamy” that are usually used to describe acts of warfare?

    NASCAR officials said a scoring error had occurred, and yet this writer and Mr. Scott know what “really” happened.

    Shame on you, MSM.

  • Anonymous

    “Let’s put it this way,” Lester said of his days in the Truck series, “I wasn’t universally embraced by the fans. …..’ “

    Looks like it is LESTER who is putting race back into racing, doesn’t it? Blacks are NEVER satisfied. Almost all sports is now comprised of mostly blacks, isn’t it? WHY is that? Are they that good? I don’t believe they are, period.

  • AWG (AVERAGE WHITE GUY)

    Due to the White demographic domination of NASCAR and GOP conventions, we are told such events must be “racist.”

    Below are two images of one such event where tens of thousands of White people rallied. Can you guess what “racist” event drew such a large White crowd?

    A. NASCAR event

    B. Republican rally

    C. K-People Rally

    D. Tea Party rally

    E. Elton John concert

    Photo 1: http://tinyurl.com/43qbgwa

    Photo 2: http://tinyurl.com/44gpo9k

    Here is a YouTube link where you can watch this all-White “racist” rally:

    http://youtu.be/RH276U5PiGQ

  • Madison Grant

    “It’s a label put on me by the media and the public. It’s their doing, not mine.”

    Therein lies the irony; even if this is a decent man who doesn’t want to play the race card the white sycophants in Madison Ave and the media won’t let him.

    They’ll insist on portraying him as a “pioneer” overcoming white priviledge while “breaking through barriers”.

  • Anonymous

    When NASCAR is full of blacks then I will stop watching!

  • Anonymous

    A little off subject but I want to post this link on the difference between black and White.

    Let us not forget that RACE has everything to do with it. Including this. Compare this to the “katrina victims” whining on TV 24/7.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1388660/Mississippi-River-flooding-Residents-build-homemade-dams-saves-houses.html

  • sbuffalonative

    NASCAR is not an affirmative action sport. It’s all about individual performance. Either you have the skills to compete or you don’t.

  • Ted

    I no longer watch major sporting events because to be honest ” I don’t care how fast a black can run or how far he can toss a ball ”

    Most people do not go where they really are not that welcome, the exception to this rule are the blacks who seem to thrive on inhabiting projects and places others (non blacks) have built.

    They have not taken all this Special Handling from others, WE have served it up to them on a Silver Platter.

    Check Out: Youtube ( Kenya pioneers ) and see their genius in action. Where they are building a plane is a hoot. The builder says he knows nothing of aeronautics, look at the plane and decide for yourself.

    Thomas Jefferson our 3rd President is quoted as having said “blacks will never be able to live among any civilized society, we need to send them back to where we found them”

    The sad part is how many AA blacks actually believe they are not only equal but better than others who have actually earned their positions in life.

    Blacks will never solve the problem and as the days go by I wonder if Whites ever will either?

    As far as I can see WE have brought this situation on ourselves and we don’t seem to anxious to rectify it?

  • Anonymous

    @6 Anon,

    Well Done. Makes a lot of sense ‘if it’s gonna breach anyway’ to conserve the length of riverfront you levy to a much shorter stretch, even if it does form a loop. Smart thinking.

    I don’t believe in ‘sandbagging’. Takes too long. You take a look at modern field fortification technology and you notice that they have a system similar to stackable ice cube trays. You lay them down like steps in a pyramid and you fill with a front loader. Instant wall.

    Can’t say much for the rest.

    NASCAR is big money sports and they do what they can to make the take ever bigger. When the whites are maxed out, that means you go cheap and expand into ‘other demographic groups’.

    Add to this the increasing economic participancy of said A/A ethnies and you have the making of a black motor sports culture.

    Hispanics are _real_ car freaks so it’s likely to get worse.

    Never had much interest in watching automotive cheetahs go round and round a laser flat track. I prefer off roading. More terrain interaction and strategy. More variation in the obstacles. More vehicle classes. Less restriction in the mods you can do to your ride.

  • Anonymous

    5 — Anonymous wrote at 12:17 AM on May 20:

    When NASCAR is full of blacks then I will stop watching!

    —————————————————————–

    I quit watching a long time ago when they started promoting blacks. I don’t care if they have one black I wouldn’t ever watch. Remember that lying black woman in the org. that sued Nascar and won?

    Even Amren had an article about this back when it happened…check the archives.