Pruett nets Rocketsports Trans-Am Team Owners' Title DENVER -- Scott Pruett, who padded his points lead in the MotoRock Trans-Am Tour for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup championship with a victory in the MotoRock Mile High 100 last Sunday at Denver,...
Pruett nets Rocketsports Trans-Am Team Owners' Title
DENVER -- Scott Pruett, who padded his points lead in the MotoRock Trans-Am Tour for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup championship with a victory in the MotoRock Mile High 100 last Sunday at Denver, took home much more than a trophy. With the triumph, Pruett earned yet another spot in the history books, a chance to be named the top driver in the sport, an invitation to rock out with Elton John, and finally the ultimate honor for his Rocketsports team.
With his victory at Denver, Pruett and his Rocketsports crew clinched the Team Owners' Championship, clinching Rocketsports Racing's first title since the current Team Championship format was adopted last season.
"We're doing what we came here to do," said Pruett. "We started by clinching the Manufacturers' Championship for Jaguar at Road America. That was our first big hurdle. We cleared the next obstacle by winning the Team Owners' Championship. Now, our next step is to grab the Drivers' Championship.
"It's just been a great season," added the two-time Trans-Am titleholder. "I stepped into a championship-caliber team. The team's immense talent and my experience combined to make all of the pieces fall into place."
The Team Owners' Championship points structure is designed to award consistent results throughout the season. It is computed by taking a team's combined starting and finishing position and adding them together. The lowest cumulative total for each race is awarded 15 points. Pruett has taken top honors in seven of nine events this year. Additionally, bonus points are awarded for the following: three points for moving up five or more positions during a race, one point for finishing on the lead lap, two points for leading a lap, one point for leading the most laps, one point for finishing the race, one point for starting the race, and one point for setting the fastest race lap. In the nine events held this year, Pruett has accomplished the following in eight events: finished on the lead lap, led a lap, led the most laps, and set the fastest race lap. Pruett has also started and finished every race.
Additionally, Pruett was nominated for the ultimate honor aside from winning a championship: the SPEED Channel DRIVER OF THE YEAR AWARD. Pruett, a third-quarter nominee, joined the likes of Helio Castroneves (IRL), Larry Dixon (NHRA), Kevin Harvick (NASCAR), Ryan Newman (NASCAR), Paul Tracy (Champ Car World Series) and J.J. Yeley (USAC) this quarter. In its 37th year, the third-quarter DRIVER OF THE YEAR will be determined by an independent vote of the 18-member panel of blue ribbon auto racing journalists and broadcasters, and one vote based on the cumulative tally of fans voting at www.speedtv.com. At the end of the year, a separate vote will be held for the 2003 DRIVER OF THE YEAR.
"I'm very pleased to receive this honor," said Pruett. "The fans in this industry are what it's all about. We've been doing really well in both Trans-Am and Winston Cup, but the competition is really stiff. Then again, you never know.
"I've had a great season on the track, but this award is also given for accomplishments off the track as well," added Pruett, who is also a commentator for the Champ Car World Series broadcasts on SPEED. "I believe in giving back, and through the Scott Pruett Charity Golf Tournament, we've given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. I'm also involved in Give Kids the World. That's what this is all about; being involved in things you believe in."
Pruett also earned a unique opportunity from MotoRock for his victory at Denver. MotoRock, which will run its first event in conjunction with the Trans-Am Tour this year in Miami, Sept. 26-28, will feature rock and roll's original "Rocket Man" Elton John during the Saturday, Sept. 27 festivities. For his efforts at Denver, Pruett will be a guest of honor at that concert, sitting in the front row, and will attend a special reception with Elton John.
"That is very cool," said Pruett. "When you look at the great performers in rock and roll history, Elton John easily rises to the top. This opportunity is just the icing on the cake.
"MotoRock will offer people the value for their money they've come to expect," said Pruett. "MotoRock is a new and exciting idea that will give back to the fans.
"All of the drivers I know love music, and most performers enjoy auto racing," concluded Pruett. "This is a perfect fit."
Finally, with his Denver win, Pruett kept climbing the rungs of the Trans-Am all-time win list, with number 21, tying Bob Tullius for fourth. Interestingly, Tullius won the 1978 Drivers' Championship and Manufacturers' Championship for Jaguar, the British carmaker's first of three titles. Pruett clinched the manufacturers' title for Jaguar two weeks ago at Road America. In fact, with two more wins this year, Pruett will start next season just one victory behind three-time champion Paul Gentilozzi.
The MotoRock Mile High 100 will re-air on SPEED Channel this Friday, Sept. 5 at 10 p.m. EDT. The next race for the Trans-Am Tour, Round 10 of the 2003 MotoRock Trans-Am Tour championship is scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 26-28, as part of the Grand Prix of Americas in downtown Miami.