Pruett Inducted Into Two Hall Of Fames In A Week’s Time

Scott Pruett powers into turn 9 at The Glen in his 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3. [Joe Jennings Photo]

Scott Pruett powers into turn 9 at The Glen in his 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3. [Joe Jennings Photo]

by Joe Jennings

Watkins Glen, N. Y. – In most sports, an athlete has to be retired for a while before being considered for a Hall of Fame nomination but not so with motorsports. Scott Pruett is one of the exceptions and in recent days, he’s been inducted into two Hall of Fames, one on the west coast, the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Daytona Beach. And he’s still racing.

“It’s been incredible and humbling,” the well-spoken driver said. “It is an honor to be a part of all of that and very exciting. Just going to Daytona and everything that goes on down there is fantastic. It was a big black-tie function at the museum. And Chip (Ganassi) is the one that presented me with the award, which was special and an incredible experience. Chip and I had a lot of wins and championships together, so it was appropriate that he made the presentation. It is one of those things that seemed surreal, especially since I am still driving.”

Pruett also enjoyed inter-acting with his peers such as Terry Labonte and Steve Kinser, who were included in the induction, plus previous inductees such as Rusty Wallace and Hurley Haywood.

And if that is not enough for him, he jetted from Daytona Beach to Watkins Glen to compete in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen where he raced a Lexus RCF GT3 in the GTD class of the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship.
“I love coming to The Glen. The track is so good and all the work they do, which includes the run-offs,” noted Pruett. “The fans here are second to none as they are always so supportive and encouraging.”

Regarding the Lexus program, Pruett said, “There’s a lot of ground to cover, particularly for a new program, but it is coming along well. A lot of manufacturers have been doing this for generations of cars and this is a first for Lexus, so we knew this was going to take some time. Lexus is committed for the long haul and in short time, we have gone from top-15 in qualifying to top-10 to top-five. We are making good progress.”

Pruett realized what he was getting into, adding, “I am totally up for it.”

Co-driving with Pruett is youthful Sage Karam, who wiped the Lexus out during qualifications and forcing a major overnight rebuild. The determined team rallied back to finish sixth in the GTD standings.

After spending years running at the front in sleek prototypes, Pruett’s challenge has been getting accustomed to being passed often in the slower GTD entry or just moving over to let the faster traffic go by. “You have to have one eye looking forward and one eye in the mirror, for sure, but this is how I started out my career,” he noted. “There has to be a lot of give and take out there.”

During his illustrious career, Pruett has raced Indy cars, stock cars and sports cars. He’s probably best known for his sports car accomplishments where he’s picked up 60 victories, including five Rolex24 at Daytona wins and four more at The Glen. In addition, he has earned seven IMSA championships and three SCCA Trans-Am titles.

Looking youthful and fit at age 57, Pruett has no plans for slowing down soon, but when that happens, he will stay on with Lexus as an ambassador, plus he will spend more time managing his baby – the Pruett Vineyards in northern California. According to Wine Spectator, the Pruett Vineyards has the highest-rated Syrah in the world.

”I love doing the wine-making, being in the vineyards, so when I’m not at the race track, you will find me in the vineyard,” stated Pruett with satisfaction written all over his face, expressing satisfaction with his two careers.

Pruett is a true champion and an outstanding ambassador for racing in general and Lexus in particular.

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