Scott Speed is an American racing driver who competed in the various series across the world, including two seasons in Formula One and six years in NASCAR, but he gained the greatest success in rallycross, taking four consecutive championship titles in North American competitions between 2015 and 2018, three in the Global Rallycross Champion and one in the ARX Americas Rallycross.
Young Californian started racing at the age of 10
Scott Andrew Speed was born on January 24th, 1983, in Manteca, California. Scott's racing career started at the age of 10 in karting. From little cars he switched to big cars in 2001, entering US Formula Russell. In 2002, with two wins in 13 races, he finished third in the Formula Dodge Championship.
Connection with Red Bull since 2003
Scott travel to Europe in 2003 as a member of the Red Bull Driver Search programme and he competed in the British Formula 3 Championship for Alan Docking Racing. During the season, he get sick and was forced to return to the United States for treatment
Two championship titles in one season
He competed again in Europe in 2004, winning two championship titles in the Formula Renault Eurocup and Formula Renault Germany, scoring 12 wins in 30 races of both series. This success promoted him to the GP2 Series for 2005. Scott was driving for iSport International and with five podiums in 24 races he finished third in the final standings, behind Nico Rosberg and Heikki Kovalainen.
Speed was the first American in the F1 since Michael Andretti
After just one season in GP2 Series Speed was rewarded with a seat in the Formula One team. At the 2005 Canadian Grand Prix on June 12th, Speed participated as a test driver for Red Bull Racing, becoming the first American driver to participate in a Formula One event since Michael Andretti in 1993. He repeated his test duties at the United States Grand Prix a week later.
Speed and Toro Rosso debuted in Formula One in 2006
For 2006 Formula One season, Red Bull Racing created the second team, named Scuderia Toro Rosso. They chose Scott Speed and Vitantonio Liuzzi as its drivers. Speed debuted at the Bahrain Grand Prix, finishing 13th. At the Australian Grand Prix, the third round of the championship, it looked that he scored his first point, but he was later penalized for overtaking under yellow flags and dropped to 9th place. It remained his best result in a debuting season.
At the United States Grand Prix, he qualified a career-best 13th but retired in the race after a first-lap collision. Scott finished 14 of 18 races during 2006, but without points, so he wasn't classified in the final standings.
Best F1 result 9th place in Monaco
For 2007 season, Toro Rosso again signed Speed and Liuzzi. Speed equalized his best result with 9th place at Monaco Grand Prix, but in general, the season was opposite to previous, because he retired seven times in 10 races. He was then replaced in the team by Sebastian Vettel.
Speed decided to left Formula One and return to the United States. He planned to compete in NASCAR, but before that he entered ARCA Series. He competed in just one race at the end of 2007 and raced full 2008 season with Eddie Sharp Racing. He was driving the Red Bull-sponsored Toyota Camry, which proved that he remained in a good relationship with Red Bull people, despite his not so nice break with Toro Rosso team.
Controversial end of the 2008 ARCA Series season
In the 2008 ARCA Series Speed was fighting for the title, but in the final race, he was wrecked by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., also a title contender. With four wins Speed finished 5th in the final standings.
During 2008 Speed also debuted in the NASCAR Craftman Truck Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He competed in 16 races of the Truck Series with Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Chevrolet and Bill Davis Racing Toyota, scoring one victory at Dover.
NASCAR Sprint Cup debut for Scott in 2008
In the Sprint Cup Series, Speed debuted in October 2008 at Martinsville Speedway. He was driving the #84 Toyota Camry for Red Bull Racing Team in five races. In 2009, Scott expanded his activities to the full season in the Sprint Cup, again with Red Bull's Toyota, but renumbered to #82. He also competed with #97 Nemco Motorsports Toyota in two races. Speed ended the season in 35th place.
In 2010, Speed scored two Top 10 finished and finished 30th in the series standings, driving #82 Toyota of Red Bull Racing Team. It was his last full season. Speed was released from his contract at Red Bull Racing to make room for the returning Brian Vickers. It caused a Speed's lawsuit against Red Bull accusing them of violating his contract. Speed was without a ride for most of the 2011 season, he drove 13 races with Ford for Max Q Motorsports and Whitney Motorsports.
Unsuccessful attempt at Indy 500
In 2011, Speed attempted to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 with Dragon Racing but he failed. He struggled with a car and was replaced on the final day of qualifying by Patrick Carpentier.
For two more seasons, Speed occasionally raced in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, but without notable results. His final arrangement was with Leavine Family Racing in 2013. The highlight of the season was 9th place at Talladega Superspeedway.
Rallycross was a new challenge for Scott
During 2013 Speed discovered new motorsport discipline – rallycross. He joined Swedish team Olsbergs MSE in the Global Rallycross Championship, driving #77 Ford Fiesta. Speed surprisingly won at his first event in Brazil. Later in the season he took one more victory in Charlotte, to finish fifth in the final classification.
For 2014, Speed moved to Andretti Autosport after the famous team founded its rallycross division. His teammate was Tanner Foust, Speed put his number 77 to the Volkswagen Polo R and won three of ten races during the season. He finished third in the championship, behind Joni Wiman and Ken Block.
Global Rallycross Championship and Formula E in 2015
Brand new Volkswagen Beetle was Speed's victorious car in the 2015 season. He won two events and clinched the championship title.
During 2015 Speed also competed with Andretti in the inaugural season of the FIA Formula E Championship. He finished second in his debuting race in Miami, behind Nicolas Prost. Speed participated in three more races. He retired in Long Beach and scored no points in Monaco and Berlin. Andretti was frequently changing the drivers, so Speed was replaced by Justin Wilson.
Two more GRC titles with Andretti Volkswagen
In 2016, Speed focused to the rallycross only, driving the #41 Volkswagen Beetle. His main rival was teammate Tanner Foust in the similar car. They fought for the title until the last round, winning eight events together (four plus four). At the end, Speed became the champion with four-point advantage over Foust.
In 2017, the GRC season was similar to the previous year with Speed and Tanner again fighting for the title. In twelve rounds, Speed finished on a podium eleven times, including four wins, capturing his third consecutive GRC trophy.
2018 - new championship, old champion
In 2018, the GRC was converted into the ARX Americas Rallycross. Scott Speed stayed with Andretti Autosport and clinched his fourth consecutive championship title. He won two of four events in the #41 Volkswagen Beetle Supercar, defeating again his teammate Tanner Foust in the championship battle.