By Parker Smith
Scott is fast and drives in a dangerous sport, but he is smarter than you.
Scott Speed drives in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Series in the 7-Up Volkswagen Beetle for Andretti Rallycross. This is Speed’s first full season in Red Bull GRC, but he shouldn’t be known as a rookie.
Speed grew up in Manteca California and started racing go-karts at a young age. Speed and his parents made personal sacrifices to keep funding his go-karting and racing career. Speed kept winning, which got the attention of the energy drink company Red Bull. From then on, Speed’s life changed.
Speed moved to Europe and competed in Formula Renault racing and made his way through the ladder series of Formula One. Speed became a test drive for Red Bull Toro Rosso Formula One team and became the first American to race in Formula One since Michael Andretti in 1993. Speed was on cloud nine.
He later became a full-time driver for the team, and had a multi million-dollar contract traveling the world in Formula One and becoming known as the “American Hope”. Unfortunately, the American hope had a hopeless job. His team had a small budget, which in Formula One means you have zero chance of winning. McLaren and Ferrari have billion dollar budgets devoted to testing and scrutineering their cars to make sure they are the fastest and have the best overall performance. Speed was later fired in the middle of the season, and was forced out of Formula One.
Speed had no ride, and he lost his Red Bull Sponsorship. He was in the dumps, hitting a new low in his career. Speed then spent a couple years around the NASCAR paddock, but he never found a home. Then Michael Andretti called with an offer.
Andretti called Speed regarding plans to field a team in Global Rallycross and have Volkswagen be the official manufacturer. Speed did what he has done his whole racing career, he said hell yes.
Speed joined the 7-Up sponsored team, and his teammate ex-stunt driver and Top Gear host Tanner Foust. Speed has not only found a job, but a home. Speed is enjoying the Red Bull GRC series with his boss, the other ex American Formula One driver. It is not only a common low point in their careers, but it is a common bond amongst them. It is an experience they have both learned from, Speed now is enjoying his driving, and hosts his 2 year-old daughter and wife Amanda at every race. He is relaxed, confident and driving at his very best posting 3 wins on the season, and finishing third in the drivers championship. He is happy, which is why I am writing this blog.
Happiness is found by comfort, not by money. Speed learned the hard way, a way that we all should learn by. People everyday make decisions based on money, not by fun. Speed can now experience racing in its purest form: fast and dangerous.
You can follow Speed and his journey through Red Bull GRC by going to redbullglobalrallycross.com