• Apr 3rd 2008 at 8:31AM
  • 11

Remember Scott Speed? Despite having the best name in racing, the American driver is easy to forget. While drivers like Juan Pablo Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve found great success in Formula One, Speed just dropped out of the bottom of the pinnacle racing series, and has continued to fall since. The former Scuderia Toro Rosso driver has finally landed at the bottom rungs of the American stock-car racing ladder, but he's preparing to race his way back up to the top.

The latest development sees Speed getting behind the wheel of a Toyota racing pick-up in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Thanks in (large) part to Speed's benefactor, Red Bull, he'll be joining the Bill Davis Racing line-up, making his debut with the team in Kansas later this month before moving on to ten more races this season in addition to a full calendar of ARCA races in the No.2 Toyota that's sponsored by...you guessed it, Red Bull. Speed will also have an experienced coach in his corner: Richard "Slugger" Labbe, whose previous pupils include the likes of Dale Jarrett, Michael Waltrip and Speed's fellow F1-NASCAR migrant Jacques Villeneuve. Even with all the support, we'll have to wait and see how Speed fares on the lower rungs of the American oval racing ladder.

[Source: AutoWeek]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      There seems to be a new trend. If you can't make it in F1 and nobody else wants you, go to NASCAR.
        • 7 Years Ago
        He could probably race in many other series, such as the American Le Mans Series or Rolex Sports Car Series, but the money is in NASCAR.

        Personally, I'd rather see him in the ALMS, but I wish him luck in stock car racing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Based on the recent C+D profile of Speed, I disagree with the gratuitous bashing. If C+D's depictions are correct, he's a extremely talented driver who was completely mistreated by STR management. I'm not saying it's necessarily true, just that there are two sides to this story.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I also agree. Speed was definitely better than Liuzzi and not just in driving style. He often qualified and finished higher. The impression that he was treated differently is backed up in the remarks he made that caused him to be dropped.

        Scott's still a little raw. He needs a teammate who can mentor him. STR should have dropped Liuzzi and kept Speed.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree. He did better or at least as good as his teammate Liuzzi, who was kept on longer than he was. Some say he was fired for his bad attitude as well, but part of the blame could be put on Torro Rosso management depending on your point of view. And the rumor was also he partied too hard. I find that ironic considering the reigning world champ is known to be a fan of the sauce and the team's sponser (Red Bull) product is often mixed with vodka.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I, too, agree with the C&D article, but I do remember the very first interview I saw of Scott in F1. His entire approach was one of today's American youth - Yo Dude, complete with appropriate hand signals.

      Although that sort of thing is not looked down on too much in the U.S. anymore, in F1 you've got to be a lot more mature than that. Just witness any interview with any driver, and remember these guys are very young. No way would I have been able to give that mature an interview at that age.

      We're talking very big money here and teams and sponsors, understandably, do not want the Yo Dude image projected.

      Scott changed his approach as time went on, showing much more maturity, but you only get one chance to make a first impression and his getting off on the wrong foot certainly didn't further his standing and interaction with the team principals.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Being an avid F1 fan I followed Scott's career in F1 and agree that he was not only a better qualifier than Liuzzi, he finished better as well. Say what you will about sponsors wanting this or that but finishing higher in quali and the race goes a long way. I thought STR was really stupid to move him out of F1. he should still be in F1 even if it is with another team. The kid is quick. Also, I met him and he's a nice guy to boot.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The NCTS isn't the bottom rung of American oval racing. Of the three big series in Nascar, it is the smallest. It is, however, a bigger series than the Late Model series, ARCA, etc. As far as what happens on the track, the NCTS has closest finishes, most side by side racing and the most passes of any major racing series. Under the truck body panels is the same basic set up as a Sprint Cup car, only the extra room around the fenders allows for more close racing.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Agreed, but it has to be bashed because it's NASCAR.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This sounds like punishment to me.
      • 7 Years Ago
      For Scott: Charollet, Sarah and myself raced at Dixon with your family from 1995 to 2000
      We allway got there Friday and did not leve untill late Sunday night. We started with a little open traler and later got an enclosed we where sponsered by INVADER do you remember us if contact me at danclucas@excite.com. Keep up the good driving

      Dan Lucas
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