Scott Donald Pruett (born March 24, 1960 in Roseville, California) is an American race car driver who has competed in NASCAR, CART, IMSA, Trans-Am and Grand-Am. He and his wife Judy have three children, and are children's book authors.
Pruett began racing in karts at the age of eight. In 1984, he moved to sedan racing. His first victory took place in 1986, when he won the IMSA GTO Championship, which he would again win in 1988. In 1987, Pruett won the SCCA Trans-Am Championship. At the Indianapolis 500, he was the co-rookie of the year in 1989, recording his best finish in four starts in the race, 10th, driving for Truesports.
While driving for the Truesports racing team, on March 16, 1990, during pre-season testing for the 1990 season, Pruett suffered leg and back injuries in a crash at Palm Beach International Raceway (formerly Moroso Motorsports Park).
Pruett won the opening round of the 1991 IROC series season at Daytona. In 1994, Pruett joined Patrick Racing as a test driver for Firestone tires. The same year, he also won the IMSA 24 Hours at Daytona, and also won a second Trans-Am Series championship.
For the next 4 years, Pruett continued driving Indy Cars for Patrick Racing and usually made the top ten in the series championship. In 1995 he was in contention for the Indy 500 until crashing late with 18 to go, although soon he won his first CART race at the Michigan 500 by beating Al Unser Jr by .56 seconds. His best CART career championship finish was in 1998 finishing sixth in points with three podium finishes and one pole position.
In 1999, Pruett changed to Arciero-Wells and participated in the Toyota engine program development. He also earned Toyota's first pole on an oval (California Speedway) and earned Toyota's best qualifying effort on a road course at the current time (third at the Australian Grand Prix).
In 2000, Pruett raced the #32 Tide-sponsored Ford for Cal Wells in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Replaced by Ricky Craven after the season, he briefly retired from NASCAR, but returned in 2001 to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans LMGTS Class in a factory Chevrolet Corvette C5-R. The following year, he won the GTS class in the 24 Hours at Daytona and also joined Speed as a reporter. For them he covered the 2002 FedEx Championship Series as well as the Champ Car World Series in 2003. This year, Pruett also won the Trans-Am Championships in the Motorock Trans-Am Series for Rocketsports Racing.
In 2002 at Watkins Glen, Pruett replaced Jimmy Spencer in the #41 car for a one-race deal. Pruett started 19th and spent most of the race in the top ten. He finished 6th. The next year in 2003 Pruett drove the #39 Ganassi car at Watkins Glen and finished second-his career-best finish.
In 2004 Pruett was scheduled to run 3 races driving the #39 Target-spnsored Dodge for Chip Ganassi Racing and the #09 for James Finch. At Sonoma, Scott Pruett spent all his time in the top ten, leading one lap and nearly winning but finishing in 3rd spot behind his teammate Jamie McMurray. At Indianapolis Pruett found his #09 Dodge losing an engine and his race finishing in an abrupt end. At Watkins Glen Pruett did not qualify. At Watkins Glen in 2005, Pruett originally didn't qualify the #39 car due to rain. However he ran the 2005 Sirius at the Glen in the #40 Coors car for Ganassi after Sterling Marlin left the race to attend his father's funeral. Starting 43rd due to the driver change, Pruett charged through the field to finish 4th after briefly contending for the win.
In 2006 Pruett returned to the Busch series in the #1 car for James Finch. Pruett had a promising race at Watkins Glen during the Zippo 200, starting 2nd and finishing 10th. He drove the #40 car for the road course races in Cup as well. Pruett managed to take advantage of a last-lap crash to charge from 12th place to finish 6th during the final lap of the AMD at the Glen.
In 2007, he won the overall race and Daytona Prototype in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, with Juan Pablo Montoya and Salvador Durán in the #01 Telmex, Target, Lexus Riley for Chip Ganassi Racing. Later that same year he nearly won his first Nationwide Series victory at the Telcel-Motorola Mexico 200 at the Mexico City road course only to lose it in the closing laps when his Chip Ganassi teammate the aforementioned Juan Pablo Montoya spun him out and Montoya would win his first NASCAR race. Pruett would recover to a 5th-place finish, his best Nationwide finish at that time. After the race however Pruett was none too pleased with his teammate stating, "that was...nasty, dirty driving".
Later at Montreal in 2007, Pruett had a promising run and was in third spot on a restart with 3 laps left. In the first turn a hard-charging Kevin Harvick slammed into the back of Pruett who spun and collected Ron Fellows, Ron Hornaday Jr., Jeff Burton, Brad Coleman, and Scott Wimmer. Pruett recovered from the spin and was running 4th on the final lap but ran out of gas, finishing 14th after leading 9 laps. To add insult to injury, Harvick won the race.
The next week at Watkins Glen, Pruett was running 3rd with less than 30 laps to go and got a speeding penalty on pit road. After slipping to 33rd after the penalty, Pruett spent the rest of the race charging back towards the lead. Pruett was running 11th on the final lap but got spun out by fellow road racer Ron Fellows, throwing both of them into the final-turn gravel trap. Pruett recovered for an 18th-place finish while Fellows finished 24th.
The year 2008 was very successful for Pruett. He drove the #40 Fastenal-sponsored Dodge Charger for Chip Ganassi again in the NNS series sharing the ride with close friend Dario Franchitti who was trying out the NASCAR series. Pruett dominated the Mexico City Nationwide series event, but lost the lead with 8 laps to go during a battle with Kyle Busch. Pruett finished 3rd - his career-best finish in the Nationwide series. In qualifying the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Montreal, Pruett claimed the pole. The 2008 NAPA 200 in Montreal is his last career start in the NASCAR Xfinity series.
He won the overall race and in the Daytona Prototype Class at the 2008 Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park and also the Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype season championship. In the Daytona Prototype Class at the Mexico City 250 he made the second place overall. Moreover, Pruett won the closest finish in the history of Grand-Am at the time, beating Alex Gurney in the finish to the 2008 Brumos Porsche 250 held at Daytona International Speedway by 0.081 seconds, after 145 minutes of racing.
Pruett was racing for Chip Ganassi in the Grand-Am Series during the 2010 season. In July, Hendrick Motorsports chose him as a standby driver should Jeff Gordon have to miss Watkins Glen due to the birth of his son. Pruett, combined with Memo Rojas, won 9 of 12 races to win another Grand-Am Rolex Championship. The nine victories was a series record.
In 2011, Pruett won the 24 Hours of Daytona, his fourth overall victory in the event.
In 2012, Scott Pruett was one of the Commentators for Speed Channel's coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Pruett once again led Ganassi Racing to their 3rd Rolex Series Championship in-a-row with Co-driver Memo Rojas. The team put the #01 Telmex BMW Riley on the podium for 9 out of 14 races, top five for 10 out of 14 races with only 2 wins on the season, besting 2nd place Ryan Dalziel by 12 points. This year's results mark Ganassi's 4th title in 5 years, and Pruett's 5th Rolex title.
In 2013 Pruett opened on a strong note, winning the 51st Rolex 24 at Daytona with co-drivers Memo Rojas, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Charlie Kimball. 2013 marks his fifth win at the annual endurance race, tying the legendary Hurley Haywood for most victories in the grueling twice around the clock race. Despite some serious set-backs during the 2013 season, including accruing 0 points at Detroit, the Championship came down to the last race, with the 01 Ganassi Team taking the Team Title, but Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli taking the Driver's Title under Wayne Taylor Racing/Velocity Worldwide, with Pruett and Rojas taking 2nd place in the Driver's Standings.
In 2014, Pruett competed in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship for a full season with longtime co-driver Memo Rojas in the Prototype Class.
In 2015 Joey Hand joined Pruett in the 01 for the full season. The team saw some very disappointing results early in the year due to the aging Riley chassis being outclassed by the Corvette Daytona Prototype. However, despite not having won a race until late in the season, the 01 had remained consistent enough to be in the championship battle by the last race of the season Petit Le Mans. By the end of the rain-shortened race only 8 points separated the top 4 teams......Ganassi taking the 4th spot.
2016 Will see Pruett depart CGR. Pruett has joined with Paul Gentilozzi who will be fielding a Lexus RC F GT3 in the WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship. The team will not be ready for competition until sometime after the 12 Hours of Sebring. He was later announced that he'll be driving for Action Express Racing part-time for the season until the team is well prepared.
You can read more about Scott's racing career from Wikipedia: