Race Car Champion | Author | Viticulturist

Race Car Champion:

Hailed as North America’s greatest sports car driver, Pruett broke the record for most wins in IMSA in 2016 earning his 60th win. His extensive resume includes Rolex Grand American Championships in 2012, 2010, 2008 and 2004 and he holds a record-breaking eight American Road Racing Championships.

Pruett's titles include four Grand-AM Daytona Prototype Rolex championships (2004, 2008, 2010, 2012), two IMSA GTO titles (1986 and 1988), one IMSA GT Endurance (1986) and three Trans-Am championships (1987,1994 and 2003). In more than 10 seasons of sports car racing since 1986, Pruett has never finished below second in a championship race.
He's one of the most decorated American road racers in history, with a record eight class victories in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, four Rolex 24 overall victories, multiple championships in Trans-Am and IMSA competition and a class victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to go with his Rolex Series accomplishments.

Pruett started racing go karts at the age of eight in 1968. He practiced on the landing strip at his Grandfather's ranch in Antelope Ca. He went on to win ten professional karting championships.

In 1988 Scott gambled his entire life savings on an Indy car (CART) Car start at Long Beach. Driving for Dick Simon Racing he qualified in top ten on provisional grid, wound up starting thirteenth. He drove in two more races that year filling in for the injured Kevin Kogan.
In 1989 he was signed to drive full time for Truesports in their Budweiser sponsored car. Scored podium finishes at Detroit and NJ Meadowlands and finished in the top ten 9 other times including in his first outing in the Indianapolis 500. Scored 101 points finishing 8th in the drivers championship.

See Scott Pruett - F Performance Racing

In preseason testing in 1990, Pruett was involved in a serious crash at West Palm Beach, Florida, where he seriously injured both legs. Pruett sat out the entire 1990 season in order to recover.

In 1995 he moved to Patrick Racing and got his first win at Michigan (also the first win for Firestone since it left Champ Car racing in 1974.)
He spent 11 years racing in CART (Indy Cars) with 145 starts, two wins, five poles, and fifteen podiums (top three finishes). He was Indianapolis 500 Co-Rookie of the Year in 1989.

He spent one year in NASCAR and is still a "road course ringer" in the series. (Some teams bring in road course specalists for the two road course races, since some of the drivers only know how to turn left on an oval.)

Pruett was voted an International Race of Champions legend in 2005 in the road-racing category.

In 2004 Chip Ganassi asked Scott to drive his Daytona Prototype car in the new Grand-Am series. Scott won the championship that year.

In practice for the August 2008 Grand-AM race in New Jersey hit a barrier trying to avoid a car that swerved in front of him. His car impacted the end of the barrier separating pit road from the racing circuit. The impact tore the car in half. The cockpit of the car remained intact, with Pruett coming to a stop on pit road.

The championship leader was taken to South Jersey HealthCare Regional Medical Center, where he was evaluated and released. The championship leader was taken to South Jersey HealthCare Regional Medical Center, where he was evaluated and released. A later neurological exam cleared him to race on Sunday. They had to start last because they had to prepare another car and ship it from Indianapolis, so missed qualifying; He worked his way up to as high as second. This series requires two drivers. Scott was helped out of the cars for the driver change and looked like he was going to pass out. They had the paramedics in the pit who examined him and after a rest put him on a golf cart to go back to their trailer.

He was quoted saying: "My side just felt like somebody was punching me the whole time. When you take a hit that big, it's pretty ugly.... I'm beat up and I'm sore. I'm really looking forward to a couple weeks off."

They finished 9th with enough points to clinch the championship.

Note: The authors favorite drivers when he was growing up were all time greats, Dan Gurney and Mark Donohue. Both had very fast fluid driving styles and were intelligent, patient drivers, averse to reckless moves. They were multifaceted, not only excellent athletes (mental and physical aspects of driving), but were part mechanical engineers (helping with design and setup of cars. Donohue had an engineering degree), physicists (gear ratios, G-forces aerodynamics), and chemists (fuel mixtures).
Pruett is cut from the same mold and in the same class; His father encouraged him to get involved in all aspects of the sport when he was racing go karts.
In an age of specialization and drivers who make their name with agressive intimidating driving, Scott proves that the traditional school works, and like Gurney and Donohue, he can switch to an agressive style when necessary.
An interesting note is that two of Pruett's toughest competitors in the Grand-AM series are Gurney and Donohue's sons.

For 2016 Pruett joined Lexus to test and race their RC F GT3 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

Other Interests:
Pruett worked for several years as a commentator for Champ Car races on Speed Channel.

The Author/Publisher

Scott and Judy have written and published several children's books available at Word Weaver Books.
Other books: Twelve More Little Race Cars

The viticulturist/enologist - Pruett Vineyards

Scott had an interest in wines. After giving up on some property to grow Pinot Noir in Oregon, he decided to create a Syrah vineyard on his property in Auburn. He is involved in the whole process from planting to bottling and labeling.
His first Syrah was available in 2009.
He introduced his third wine, a high-end Syrah, in April 2010 at the Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival. . He said it was received incredibly well.
Brian Mox, winemaker for Lewis Cellars [Randy Lewis is a former race car driver], is the Pruett's consulting winemaker.
At the end of 2010 he had 5 labels:
Section 8 Commando Cabernet 2008 | Fole 2008 (a Syrah blend) | Grenache 2009 | Section 8 Lucky Lauren 2008 (Syrah - Cab blend)
and a limited edition Pruett Vineyard Championship Cuvee (Cabernet Sauvignon) 2008.
Most of the grapes come from Pruett Vineyards and neighboring Sierra Foothills vineyards. The Championship Cuvee is from a Napa Valley vineyard.
See: PruettVineyards.com available at Carpe Vino, Old Town Auburn.
See the story of his wine making at Carpe Vino's site.

Scott Pruett - F Performance Racing
Pictures from 2008 Grand-AM race at Watkins Glen
Interview at GrandAM
Scott and Judy biographies at WorldWeaverBooks, Pruitt's publishing company.
Scott Pruett - Forums
Scott at the California Automobile Museum
Auburn's Renaissance racer at PlacerOpolis.com
Racecar champion Scott Pruett embarks on wine-making venture in Auburn at AuburnJournal

Scott Profile at ChipGanassiRacing

Merkurs in Racing
Auto Racing Summary at donsnotes.com
Scott Pruett in the Lexus IS F Test Drive at SEMA - AOL Video

last updated 19 Dec 2010