CHAMPCAR/CART: Pruett Signs with Arciero-Wells in 1999

SCOTT PRUETT TO RACE FOR ARCIERO-WELLS CHAMPIONSHIP CAR TEAM IN 1999 ELKHART LAKE, Wis., (August 15, 1998) -- The Arciero-Wells Championship Auto Racing Team announced today it has signed Scott Pruett for the 1999 FedEx Championship season.

SCOTT PRUETT TO RACE FOR ARCIERO-WELLS CHAMPIONSHIP CAR TEAM IN 1999

ELKHART LAKE, Wis., (August 15, 1998) -- The Arciero-Wells Championship Auto Racing Team announced today it has signed Scott Pruett for the 1999 FedEx Championship season. Pruett teams with three-year MCI Racing Team/Arciero-Wells veteran Max Papis on the two-car Toyota team.

"Scott brings additional maturity and focus to our partnership with Toyota, MCI and our ever improving development program. His unique understanding of the dynamics of Champ Car racing is unequaled in the industry. He will go a long way in teaming with Max Papis to take Toyota to the front," said Cal Wells III.

"We at Toyota have followed Scott's career since his participation in the Toyota Pro-Celebrity Race in Long Beach in 1984," said Les Unger, Toyota Motor Sales National Motorsports Manager. "His accomplishments throughout the past 15 years are impressive. We expect him to be a tremendous addition to the Arciero-Wells and Toyota Champ Car program." Pruett, known for consistency, has enjoyed a stable ten-year career in CART competition and has competed and won in various forms of racing since 1981. In ten years of CART competition, he has raced with four different teams, winning two events and three poles and a number of podium finishes. Pruett also has spent several years serving as a test and development driver for Firestone Tires, helping advance its racing tire program. Additionally, he has won championships in International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Trans- Am competition. He has raced for Patrick Racing since 1994. Pruett is currently in sixth place in the 1998 CART Drivers' Championship after 13 of 19 events. To date, for the 1998 season, he has six top-five finishes, three top-ten finishes and has finished in the points in ten races.

"I'm really glad that Scott Pruett is joining the MCI/Toyota team," said Papis. "I am especially pleased because he is such a solid person, both on the human side as well as the technical and professional side. He will help the Arciero-Wells/MCI/Toyota team achieve the goals it is working toward for success in the future."

"CART racing is the ultimate in musical chairs," said Pruett. "It is the time of the year when rumors are flying and I'm glad this one has been put to rest. I am happy to announce that in 1999 I will be joining MCI, Arciero-Wells and Toyota in its efforts. Many drivers leave a 'bad situation' in search of something better and this is not so in my case. I have thoroughly enjoyed my years with the entire Patrick Racing team. We have made great strides together and I have grown so much as a driver. I have nothing but gratitude to Pat Patrick, Jim McGee and my team.

"One of the things that was a major consideration to go to Arciero-Wells was that I would be able to remain with Firestone. I began developing that relationship in karting and over the years it has blossomed into being something more than a business relationship. I am proud to have been the driver to bring Bridgestone/Firestone back to CART racing and even more proud to have captured their first CART victory.

"I have been with Ford for almost 15 years and I have always respected the hard work and dedication the Ford Motor Company has put into its racing programs. It is companies like Ford that make racing what it is today throughout the world. Without companies like Ford and its staff of dedicated professionals, drivers like myself would not be able to pursue their dreams.

"I am looking forward to working with Frank Arciero, Cal Wells and the entire Arciero-Wells team. Max (Papis) is a talented, determined driver and I know we will be great teammates. It is a quality team that has and continues to work very hard to place themselves in a position to be competitive for many years to come. I am equally excited to join forces once again with Lee White (General Manager, Toyota Racing Development) and help with the continued development of the Toyota engine.

"I am confident we will enjoy many more years of success with the Arciero-Wells team, Toyota and Bridgestone/Firestone."

PRUETT AT A GLANCE

1997 CART, Patrick Racing.  Three podium finishes: won Australia, third at
Long Beach and third at Rio.  Two poles: Portland and Michigan.  Eleven
top-ten finishes.  Finished ninth in the Drivers' Championship. 

1996 CART, Patrick Racing. Three podium finishes: Rio, Australia and Laguna. One pole: Detroit. Nine top-ten finishes. Finished tenth in Drivers' Championship. Competed in International Race of Champions (IROC) and finished seventh in Drivers' Championship.

1995 CART, Patrick Racing. Won Michigan, three additional podium finishes: Long Beach, Australia and Detroit. Ten top-ten finishes. Finished seventh in the Drivers' Championship. Competed in IROC and finished third in Drivers' Championship.

1994 Joined Patrick Racing. Firestone Tire test team driver. Competed in SCCA Trans-Am Series and won Drivers' Championship. Competed in IMSA 24 Hours of Daytona and won overall title.

1993 CART, Pro Formance Team. Ran in only six of 17 events: two top-ten finishes.

1992 CART, TrueSports. Ten top-ten finishes. Finished eleventh in the Drivers' Championship. Competed in IROC and finished ninth in Drivers' Championship. Competed in IMSA 24 Hours of Daytona, finished second overall.

1991 CART, TrueSports. Seven top-ten finishes. Finished tenth in Drivers' Championship. Voted STP Most Improved Driver by CART peers. Competed in IROC; won Daytona and finished fourth in Drivers' Championship. Competed in IMSA 24 Hours of Daytona. Inducted into World Karting Hall of Fame.

1990 Recovered from injuries sustained during CART testing. Competed in IMSA GTP competition.

1989 CART, TrueSports. Competed in first full season of CART competition. Eleven top-ten finishes. Finished eighth in the Drivers' Championship. Voted Most Improved Driver by CART peers. Won Co-Rookie of the Year honors at Indianapolis.

1988 Started CART competition.  Simon/Machinists Union Team.  Ran three
races.  Won in IMSA GTO Drivers' Championship.  Won GTO 24 Hours of
Daytona.  Competed in IROC and finished third in Drivers' Championship. 

1987 SCCA Trans-Am. Won SCCA Trans-Am Drivers' Championship. Won seven races and nine poles. Competed in IMSA GTP and GTO divisions. Won 24 Hours of Daytona GTO division. Competed in IROC and finished eighth in Drivers' Championship.

1986 IMSA GTO and GTP. Won IMSA GTO Drivers' Championship, seven wins and nine poles. Named IMSA GT Endurance Champion. Won IMSA GTP race at Columbus, Ohio. Competed in SCCA Trans-Am and finished eighth in Drivers' Championship. 1985 IMSA GTO and GTU. Won GTO race at Pocono. Six top-five finishes and two top-ten in GTU.

1984 Started IMSA GTU competition.

1982-1983 GPX Karting.

1981 Professional Karting Association. Won World Title. Won 13 amateur and ten Pro Kart Championships.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis , Scott Pruett
Teams Toyota Racing , HART