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Pruett: “People Will Remember Me for Sports Cars”

Scott Pruett believes he’ll be remembered for his success in sports car racing…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

Despite his achievements in the open-wheel ranks and NASCAR, Scott Pruett feels that he’ll be best remembered for his time in sports car racing, as one of the most successful drivers of his era.

Pruett announced Friday that he will retire from racing following this month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, following a storied 50-year driving career that’s spanned multiple championships and racing disciplines.

The 57-year-old, who has a record 60 wins in IMSA competition including a record-tying five overall victories in the Rolex 24, will compete in his final race as part of 3GT Racing’s lineup in the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3.

While known for his success in sports car racing, Pruett is also a race-winner in Indycar competition, having competed from 1988 to 1999 before transitioning to NASCAR, racing from 2000 to 2008, where he earned a second and third place finishes in its Premier series.

He is also a three-time Trans-Am champion, having claimed 24 wins in the series, while also racing in IROC for eight seasons and earning two victories along the way.

“I totally dug doing Indy cars for ten years and my NASCAR stint, but I think overall, people long pass I’m gone will remember me for sports cars,” Pruett said. “That’s where my heart is too.

“Even though I’ve had all those achievements in other forms, by far, sports cars I think was my fit.

“I [dug] driving the cars, I loved the competition, whether it was IMSA, Grand-Am and back to IMSA. The thing was constant with competition.”

The seven-time IMSA champion, who earned five of the titles with Chip Ganassi Racing, returned to full-season competition last year as part of the Paul Gentilozzi-led 3GT Lexus effort, in the manufacturer’s first year in the GT Daytona class.

Pruett will team with Jack Hawksworth, David Heinemeier Hansson and Dominik Farnbacher, in pursuit of his 11th class victory in the Florida endurance classic.

“When you come to a race like [the Rolex 24], it’s not driver but drivers, team and there’s so many elements that come into it,” he said.

“To be a part of that and to win as many times as we’ve had and have it shared among so many, it’s very difficult to put into words how wonderful that truly is.

“To be able to do that as many times as I have makes it even more special.”

Pruett to Stay Busy Despite Retirement

Despite his retirement from racing, Pruett will continue to play an active role as a Lexus brand ambassador and anticipates spending more time with his family and award-winning winery.

“As you know I’m a very dedicated family man,” he said. “My wife, who is here, Judy, is always a huge supporter, and the rest of the family, I’m going to do that.

“The wine business has gone far beyond my expectations… I’ve just extended my relationship with Lexus. So you will continue to see me around the race track and being able to get out there and drive fun cars and a brand that I truly love.

“My wife and I were looking at it and I think I may not have the exact number of starts but I first raced this [race] when I was 24 [years old]. I believe this is my 24th race doing the Rolex 24…

“Maybe all those wonderful 24s will come together here in a couple of weeks.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Overtake24

    January 5, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    It’s interesting with all his success in sports cars, he only raced at Le Mans once in his career.

  2. N8

    January 5, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    I remember first seeing him race in the old SCCA Trans Am, but when it was an all Pro, manufacturer supported series. To forge a CART career out of that series says a lot about his talent level. Hats off to an amazing career.

  3. Thomas

    January 5, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Will it be “hi to my family at the track” in this final race?

  4. WBrowning

    January 6, 2018 at 12:42 am

    Loved watching him in Jack Roush’s GTO and Trans Am Mustangs, Capris, Cougars, and Merkurs at Long Beach, Riverside, Laguna Seca and Sears Point.They were awesome cars and Scott made them perform to their fullest. Miss those days and will miss watching him drive!

  5. Becky Johnson

    January 7, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Mark Johnson and I always say hello when we pass his photo at Turks in Dana Point Harbor. A true professional racer. He represented us well in Champ Car. Happy retirement Scott.

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