Scott Speed, the former Formula One driver, was back racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series last Sunday. The 28-year-old from Manteca, California signed a 3 race deal to drive the No. 37 Ford for Max Q Motorsports at Indianapolis, Pocono, and Watkins Glen. The team will be running a Ford Fusion with the FR9 Roush Yates engines. They will have to qualify on speed as the team is out of the top 35 in points. In the Brickyard 400, last Sunday, Scott qualified in the 34th spot and was only able to complete 19 laps before have rear gear problems and finishing in the 39th position.
“The plan is to run full races, and hopefully find some sponsorship along the way,” Speed said. “It’s a tough road, but at least I’m with a group of guys that works really hard. We unloaded terrible. There’s only a handful of us over there, and we fixed the thing and made it a lot better. So hats off to all those guys.”
“We are excited to have Scott Speed join us,” said Larry Gunselman, Max Q Motorsports owner. “He has shown great talent in a small period of time in stock cars and with the right operation I think things can really take off. We will start by focusing on qualifying and go from there.”
Scott had spent the last 2 years racing in the Sprint Cup Series for the Red Bull Racing team before being released at the end of 2010. Now, Red Bull has decided to pull out of Sprint Cup entirely.
“I am excited to get back to the track,” said Speed. “Max Q Motorsports seem to have a good operation and a great group of guys working on the 37. Ford has a great engine package so I’m hopeful that we can get the ball rolling quickly and be competitive out the gate.”
Scott has recorded one top-five and three top-10s in Cup. He has eight top-10s in 13 starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and one win, four top-fives and nine top-10s in 16 career starts in the Camping World Truck Series.
Scott spent most of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway attempting to qualify for the Indy 500. The Dragon Racing car never had the speed necessary to qualify. Teammate Patrick Carpentier, who took the car out for some laps trying to help with the adjustments, slammed hard into the wall ending Scott’s hopes of making the race.
The Brickyard 400 last Sunday, included for the first time this year, five Northern California race car drivers. They were: A.J. Allmendinger from Los Gatos, Jeff Gordon from Vallejo, Mike Skinner from Susanville, T.J. Bell from Sparks, NV and Scott Speed from Manteca.
To view Scott Speed’s race results please visit his page at www.racing-reference.info.