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Scott Andrew Speed (born January 24, 1983) is an American race car driver. Formerly a driver for the Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 team, he made his Formula One race debut at the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix, becoming the first American to race in F1 since Michael Andretti in 1993. Speed has currently turned his career towards stock car racing, specifically NASCAR while still allied with Red Bull's racing program. He currently drives the #82 Red Bull Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the Red Bull Racing Team.

Early yearsEdit

Speed's career started at the age of 10 in karting, his stint there lasting from 1993 until 2001, winning the SKUSA Super Pro Title for JM Racing driving a Tony Kart Swedetech Honda in 2000 2 IKF Grand Nationals driving a 6 year old kart, and 3 IKF regional titles. He also won the 2002 Rock Island GP in 125cc Shifter Karts. He moved up to Formula series in 2001, competing in US Formula Russell and becoming champion. He drove in both the US Barber Formula Dodge and US Star Mazda Series followed in 2002, although he failed to win either title, and in 2003 the American drove for the ADR team in British Formula Three after winning the Red Bull Driver Search programme. During that year he fell ill with ulcerative colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease, and was forced to return to the United States for treatment.[1]

2004 saw two championship titles for Speed, though, with him first winning in Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup and later German Formula Renault. This was despite his worsening colitis,.[1] His performances resulted in a drive in the inaugural season of GP2 Series for 2005, as number two for the iSport team to Can Artam. Speed was later promoted to first driver for the team, and ended the season third place in the driver championship standings behind Nico Rosberg and Heikki Kovalainen.

At the end of 2005, Speed drove the first three races of the new A1 Grand Prix series for A1 Team USA, achieving a best result of fourth in the Feature Race of the 2005-06 A1 Grand Prix of Nations, Portugal, held at the Autódromo do Estoril.

Formula OneEdit

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File:Scott Speed Canada 2006 (crop).PNG
File:Scott Speed 2007 Britain.jpg

2005Edit

File:Scott Speed 2005 USA.jpg

In 2005 at the Canadian Grand Prix, Speed took part as a test driver for Red Bull Racing[2]; becoming the first American driver to participate in a Formula One event since Michael Andretti's 1993 stint.[3] He was also the test driver for the United States Grand Prix.[2]

Following its purchase of Minardi, Red Bull Racing announced the creation of Scuderia Toro Rosso with Speed and Vitantonio Liuzzi as its drivers in 2006 season.

2006Edit

In his debut race at the Bahrain Grand Prix, he finished 13th. A week later at the Malaysian Grand Prix he retired after 41 laps due to a clutch malfunction.

After the Australian Grand Prix it looked as if he had scored his and Toro Rosso's first point. Later on however, he had 25 seconds added to his race time for overtaking under yellow flags, dropping him to 9th place and out of the points. He was also fined $5000 for using abusive language towards David Coulthard during a post-race hearing.

He finished the San Marino Grand Prix in 15th place. A week later and after a decent run at the European Grand Prix he finished 11th. He retired from the Spanish Grand Prix with an engine failure and in his first Monaco Grand Prix he finished 13th.

He retired from the British Grand Prix on the opening lap with accident damage after coming together with Ralf Schumacher. Speed bounced back and ran rather well at the Canadian Grand Prix finishing 10th.

At the United States Grand Prix he qualified a career best 13th only to be taken out in a first-lap collision. In turn 2, Juan Pablo Montoya nudged his teammate Kimi Räikkönen into a spin. Montoya then clouted Jenson Button whose front right tyre got caught by BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld who was launched into a spectacular triple barrel roll. Speed was caught up in the resulting melee. None of the drivers were injured. His teammate Liuzzi finished 8th, and scored the team's first World Championship point.

At the French Grand Prix he finished 10th, matching David Coulthard's pace throughout, after suffering from back pains and breathing problems, stemming from a Friday practice accident. After crashing during the first knock-out session in Qualifying for the German Grand Prix, Speed finished 12th in the race. At the Hungarian Grand Prix he finished 11th and 4 laps behind the leader in very wet and changeable conditions.

At the Turkish Grand Prix, Speed started in 18th and finished 13th, from 15 classified runners. At the next round, the Italian Grand Prix, Speed qualified 15th in Scuderia Toro Rosso's home race and made two places to finish 13th.

At the Chinese Grand Prix, Speed qualified in 11th place in wet conditions, but an equally wet race saw him slip back to 14th by the end. The next round was the Japanese Grand Prix, for which Speed, started the race in 19th. Suffering a power steering failure with five laps remaining, Speed was unable to finish. However, as he had completed over 90% of the race distance, he was still classified.

Finally, at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix, Speed finished 11th of the 17 cars classified after starting down in 17th.

After much speculation, Scuderia Toro Rosso confirmed on 24 February 2007 that Speed had signed to continue driving for the team in the 2007 Formula One season.[4] He would once again team up with Vitantonio Liuzzi.

2007Edit

Speed's 2007 season was largely disappointing, punctuated with poor reliability and several crashes. He had two separate collisions with Alexander Wurz at Silverstone and at Canada which put him out of the race. He then spun off in the wet at the European Grand Prix, in what would be his last race for the team. After the race, it was reported that he was involved in a physical altercation with Team Principal Franz Tost,[5] although Tost has since denied this.[6] Speed also went on a verbal offensive against the team, claiming that they wanted to get rid of both him and Liuzzi.[7] Speed's future with Toro Rosso remained very much in doubt for the rest of that season.[5] The doubts were seemingly calmed after continued testing for the team. From the pre-season through to the Nurburgring, he and the team had endured constant speculation over the status of his tenure in the no. 19 car.

However, it was finally announced before the Hungarian Grand Prix that he had been replaced by BMW third driver, Sebastian Vettel. Perhaps the only shining light in Speed's season was a fighting 9th place at Monaco, just missing out on a championship point.

On 31 July 2007 Speed was released from his contract at Scuderia Toro Rosso and replaced by BMW Sauber test driver Sebastian Vettel, who is under contract to Red Bull's driver development programme.[8] Vettel also raced for Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2008 before moving on to the main Red Bull Racing team in 2009. Speed has said that no amount of money would get him to work with the Toro Rosso team bosses in the future.[9] Nevertheless, Speed's relationship with Red Bull as a whole remains good, and he secured a Red Bull-backed drive in the USA for 2008.[10]

ARCA/REMAX SeriesEdit

File:Scott Speed Pocono.jpg

In preparation for his impending NASCAR career, Speed entered into the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) series in selected races in 2007, and a full season in 2008. Driving the Red Bull-sponsored Toyota for Eddie Sharp Racing, Speed finished 5th in ARCA RE/MAX Series points in 2008. Speed, along with car owner Sharp, earned the Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge title in 2008. In 22 career starts since 2007, Speed has 10 top-5 finishes and 18 top-10s including 4 wins at Kansas Speedway '08, Kentucky Speedway '08, Berlin Raceway '08 and Nashville Superspeedway '08.[11] Speed was a championship contender in the 2008 season, however the season ended in controversy, and without a championship for Speed and Eddie Sharp Racing.

ControversyEdit

During the finale of the 2008 ARCA season, Speed and fellow competitor and championship contender, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., were battling for position. Stenhouse hit the rear of Speed's car, sending him into the wall, effectively ending Speed's chances of a good finish, and possibly a Championship. After visiting the pits for repairs, Speed's car was well off the pace, and was lapped within 2 laps of the restart. As Stenhouse came by to lap Speed, Speed accelerated and slammed his car into Stenhouse, sending both cars into the wall. Neither driver was injured, however ARCA officials parked Speed for the day, which ended his chances for a championship. Speed was widely criticized by his fellow competitors, fans and media, as well as NASCAR drivers, for taking dangerous actions on the track in retaliation.

NASCAREdit

Speed made his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 7, 2008 driving for Morgan-Dollar Motorsports #46 Chevy with Red Bull sponsorship. He recorded his first career Top 10 finish in NASCAR in just his second race, when he finished tenth at Martinsville Speedway. On April 25, 2008 he won his first ARCA race at Kansas Speedway in just his fourth start. On April 26, 2008; Speed recorded a back-to-back top ten finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Kansas Speedway by finishing in eighth place in the #22 Red Bull Toyota for Bill Davis Racing, and won his first career race the followng week at Dover. Two races after his first win, Scott scored another top five at Michigan International Speedway. On July 18, 2008 Speed won his second ARCA race at Kentucky Speedway. On Sunday October 19, 2008, Scott Speed started his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Martinsville Speedway finishing in 30th place. He finished the season in the #84 Red Bull Toyota Camry for the Red Bull Racing Team.

For the 2009 Sprint Cup season, Speed's car was renumbered to #82. He was eligible to race in the 31st Annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway, as his car was one of the top 6 Toyotas in points.

He has began his quest for rookie of the year in 2009. He won his first ever Rookie of the Race honors at the prestigious Daytona 500.

Scott Speed won the pole for the Sam’s Town 300 in his Nationwide Series debut on February 28, 2009; he also broke the track record with a speed of 182.45 mph and a lap time of 29.42. Unfortunately, he collided with Kyle Busch early on and finished 40th.

After failing to qualify for Darlington and Sonoma, Speed competed in Joe Nemechek's Toyota. He failed to qualify for the April Texas race.

Red Bull Racing finished 36th in 2009 owner's points, not high enough for guaranteed entry into the first five races of 2010. He did successfully attempt the 2010 Daytona 500.

Personal Information Edit

Speed currently resides in Mt. Holly, NC, where he lives with his wife Amanda Mathis.

His brother Alex currently races karts in America and is a 3 time Stars of Karting champion and a 3 time SKUSA Supernationals winner.

ReferencesEdit

External links Edit

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