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.
He raced Indy cars for 10 years and NASCAR full time for a couple of years and on and off for quite a few years.
In more than 10 seasons of sports car racing since 1986, Pruett has never finished below second in a championship race.
Pruett's titles include:
Indianapolis 500 co-rookie of the year (1989) Motorsports Hall of Fame of America tonight in Daytona Beach.
West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.
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 the provisional grid and started thirteenth. He drove in two more races that year filling in for the injured Kevin Kogan.
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 one year in NASCAR and is still a "road course ringer" in the series. (Some teams bring in road course specialists 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, which I attended, he 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. 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 of weeks off."
They finished 9th with enough points to clinch the championship.
Note: The author's 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 the design and setup of cars. (Donohue had an engineering degree), physicist (gear ratios, G-forces, aerodynamics), and chemist (fuel mixtures). Gurney went on to build his own cars. Both raced in a variety of venues.
For 2016 Pruett joined Lexus to test and race their RC F GT3 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
He retired in 2018.
Several racing journalists have said that Scott would be successful in Formula 1 racing if there wasn't an anti-US driver bias.
Pruett worked for several years as a commentator for Champ Car races on Speed Channel.
Word Weaver Books.
Other books: Twelve More Little Race Cars
The viticulturist/enologist - Pruett VineyardsScott 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, the winemaker for Lewis Cellars [Randy Lewis is a former race car driver], is the Pruett's consulting winemaker.
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 ..
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