Championship won in Miami

Pruett Etches His Name into the Trans-Am Legacy by Clinching Third Drivers' Championship MIAMI -- Scott Pruett is fond of saying his career has come full circle this season. That statement gained new credibility at Miami as Pruett, with his ...

Pruett Etches His Name into the Trans-Am Legacy by Clinching Third Drivers' Championship

MIAMI -- Scott Pruett is fond of saying his career has come full circle this season. That statement gained new credibility at Miami as Pruett, with his victory in the Motorock Miami 100 Sunday at the Miami Street Circuit, clinched his third Motorock Trans-Am Tour for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup Drivers' Championship. Pruett, driver of the No. 7 Motorock/Jaguar R Performance XKR, previously won the title in 1987 and 1994, and joins the likes of the late Mark Donohue, four-time titleholder Tommy Kendall and Paul Gentilozzi as the only drivers to win three Trans-Am driving titles.

Pruett also joins Gentilozzi as the only drivers to win three titles in three different marques. Pruett won his first title driving a Merkur XR4Ti, and he wheeled a Chevrolet Camaro to claim his second championship. Gentilozzi's titles came while driving a Chevrolet Corvette in 1998, a Ford Mustang in 1999, and a Jaguar XKR in 2001.

"My approach this season was different," said Pruett, who's third driving title came on the heels of him earning Rocketsports Racing this year's Team Owners' Championship, and helping Jaguar to clinch its third manufacturers' title. ".". "In the past, this was a stepping stone to something else. Now, I'm here because I want to be. It's a whole different mindset this time. It's been a dream season. It's been a lot of fun. (team owner) Paul (Gentilozzi), my guys, Jaguar--and now Motorock--they've all been great.

"This whole season has just been fantastic," added Pruett. "This team really began to jell during (Round 5) at Infineon Raceway. The only thing that's failed is the driver. We've had no mechanical failures this year; not one. I messed up at Lime Rock, where I parked it in the mud. I overdrove the car a little bit and finished third at Long Beach. It's been a terrific year, but this is really a team effort. The driver is the focal point, but I would never get to the checkered flag without the hard work and dedication of all of the Jaguar guys, the Rocketsports team, and all of the blood sweat and tears they put into this effort.

To say Pruett has had a dominant season is an understatement. The veteran wheelman--who returned to the Tour this year after an eight-year hiatus during which he competed in the Champ Car World Series and the NASCAR Winston Cup Series--has racked up eight wins, and has finished off of the podium just once. He earned his 22nd career victory here, taking sole possession of fourth on the all-time list, breaking a tie with Bob Tullius.

"Paul and I have always talked about doing something together," said Pruett. "He asked me about Champ Car and I said no, those days were done when I walked away in 1999. Then he said 'I think I'm going to retire'. I told him if he did, then I'd be excited to be part of the team.

"This is really a team effort," he added. "The driver is the focal point, but it takes their hard work and dedication. We've had zero mechanical problems this year."

The season finale for the Motorock Trans-Am Tour for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 26 at the Puerto Rico Grand Prix. That race will air LIVE on the SPEED Channel at 1 p.m.

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Scott Pruett , Paul Gentilozzi , Bob Tullius , Mark Donohue , Tommy Kendall