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Pruett to Retire Following Rolex 24

Scott Pruett has announced his retirement following the Rolex 24 at Daytona…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Scott Pruett has announced this month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona will be the last race of his storied professional career after 50 years and a combined 88 wins behind the wheel.

His resume includes everything from sports cars to single seaters to stock cars, including a record 60 wins and seven championships between Grand-Am and IMSA along with a record-tying five overall wins at the Rolex 24.

Pruett raced professionally in Indy Car (formerly CART) for ten seasons from 1988 to 1999 where he earned two wins, five poles, 15 podium positions and was the 1989 Indianapolis 500 co-rookie of the year.

In three seasons competing Trans Am series he amassed 24 wins en route to three championships (1987, 1994 and 2003).

While racing part-time in NASCAR from 2000 to 2008, he earned three poles as well as a second and third place finish in the Cup Series. Pruett also raced in IROC competition for eight seasons, earning two victories.

Speaking to the assembled media at Daytona International Speedway, Pruett said he felt blessed to end his career on his own terms and at a race that he cherishes.

“As an athlete, if you’re fortunate enough to have a long and successful career and lucky enough to come to an end on your own terms, then you are truly blessed, and that’s what I’ve done,” he said.

“It’s a magical place and I love it. What better way to say goodbye to a sport I love than to do it at this revered place, surrounded by my respected peers and diehard fans.

“I’m so excited about the next chapter in my life and about getting on with the Rolex 24 here in a few weeks.”

The Californian will make his swan song alongside Dominik Farnbacher, Jack Hawksworth, and David Heinemeier Hansson in the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 for 3GT Racing in the GT Daytona class.

Pruett said his passion for motorsports remains unchanged from the first time he came to Daytona in 1985.

“My very first race here in ’85, a lot of things have changed since then,” he said. “I was sleeping in the back of a van, and I was driving an RX-7.

“The muffler fell off about halfway through and I feel like I lost the majority of my hearing because of that race.

“The think I can say is the excitement I had coming in to that day is no different than the excitement I got coming in here this weekend.

“I have so many incredible memories here that it just seemed the appropriate time and place.”

Despite his retirement from racing, Pruett will remain as a Lexus brand ambassador

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based journalist and sportscaster, covering IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365’s “Double Stint” Podcast.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. pdxracefan

    January 5, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    Oh no! No more ‘Hi to my family back home’.

  2. Kirk

    January 5, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    The worst part about using a 24 hour race as ones swan song is that there’s a very good possibility he won’t see the end of the race. Hopefully they can keep the car running for the whole 24 so Scott can cross under the checkered flag one last time.

  3. Anthony

    January 5, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    The man has done a lot for the sport and he will be missed. Class act all the way.

  4. jason

    January 5, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    In the 1990’s I did follow Indycar closely. Not so much anymore. Back then I consider it to be the big 7 and everybody else. Mi Andretti, Ma Andretti, Fittipaldi, Unser Jr, Mears, Sullivan, Rahal. If anybody else other than those 7 names won or even contended it was an upset. Scott Pruett was one of the few who mixed it up with them on occasion. He was a back marker sometimes but on other days he took it to the big 7. I liked him best in the Budweiser car and the Visteon colors. Too bad he never raced in the Indy 500 again after his near victory in 1995.

  5. WBrowning

    January 5, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    He was one of Jack’s (Roush Racing) kids who tried out and just performed and he’s a hell of a nice guy. As an SCCA worker, he really made us feel appreciated, and went out of his way to thank us at Trans Am, CART and IMSA races. You have to respect a someone like that, and he was a winner ta’ boot. We’ll miss you out there, on track!

  6. stuart

    January 5, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    I remember that race in 1985 on my Uncles Motor home in Turn one. I was talking to legendary Porsche photographer Hal Crocker and he said watch out for that kid he’s going to be great. Of course I thought Kid! I was 14 at the time:)

  7. Grand Am Fan

    January 5, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Pruett is the greatest sports car driver of all time.

  8. D.O.G

    January 5, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    One of the great all rounders of the sport.

  9. The Brad

    January 5, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    Fast and legendary. Amazing driving skill and technical know how. Miss ya already.

    Oh, and I’d like to say: HI TO MY FAMILY AT HOME!

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