Aptly named Scott Speed: Gaining ground in NASCAR circles

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You may be familiar with his flashy personality rather than his MPH on the race track. As long as you hear from him, he’ll take care of the rest. His name alone gives reason to sit up and pay attention.

Speed. Scott speed, that is. Yes, that is its original name and it comes from Manteca, California. The 25-year-old has taken the Formula One route in an era where American drivers are sticking with NASCAR, with occasional changes to IndyCar. After 13 events in the ARCA Re/Max series, he has four wins and leads the race in points (he also tops the ARCA SunTrust Rookie of the Year standings) and has already joined the NASCAR parade as a driver for Red Bull Racing. The energy drink with the angry red bovine is the perfect sponsor for Mr. Eccentric himself.

Speed’s style for the quirky includes blue and purple painted toenails (he gets pedicures before races to help him relax), bright and embellished clothing, oversized sunglasses, and an occasional case. loose lips. If you see him nod his head or wag his tongue, it’s just the latest song on his I-pod with headphones. Think of former NBA star Dennis Rodman without the tattoos and dyed hair. Wow, don’t give him any idea.

His full-time ride at ARCA, the No. 2 Red Bull Toyota Camry, is owned by Eddie Sharp Racing. In the Craftsman Truck Series he drives the No. 22 Red Bull Tundra owned by Bill Davis Racing. A Nationwide gig is next, followed by a coveted Cup ride, but he’s in no hurry. His expected run in the Sprint Cup Series is 2010 at the earliest, which is fine with him. He’s having too much fun to rush the schedule, no pun intended.

Speed ​​broke into NASCAR with a bang last March at Martinsville, finishing 10th in his second career start. His first win came in his sixth start on May 30 at Dover. He currently has two top-five finishes and four top-10 finishes in eight races. Your time in the seat is part of a BDR driver development program intended to prepare you for top-tier competition.

And the boy can drive. In fact, he contends, NASCAR is a doddle compared to Formula One. So if he can conquer the final track, Kyle Busch has nothing on His brashness, style or racing ability. Just ask him.

Busch is two years Speed’s junior and appears to have NASCAR within easy reach. Speed ​​is unimpressed and scoffs at Shrub’s latest goal: racing a Formula One car in the off-season. Busch has already scheduled an F-1 test for later in the year and would try it if all goes well, though the race itself is less exciting, he says.

Speed ​​says otherwise. He dismissed the idea that another American, especially one so used to NASCAR, could handle the g-forces and put up with neck strain. He claims that going from the hardest (F-1) to the easiest (NASCAR) is the way to go, and Busch is stuck in reverse.

Speed’s Truck Series halftime race kicked off at Kansas on April 26, followed by Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Dover, Michigan, Bristol, Talladega, Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami. His Truck credentials include two previous races at Atlanta and Martinsville.

Imagine the exposure you’ll get in the next two years.

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