When Scott Pruett steps out of the No.15 3GT Racing Lexus RC GT3 following his final stint in this weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, it will mark the end of his illustrious driving career.
“I’m really trying to step back and savor every moment, more than anything else,” Pruett said. “I’m so excited to get back out there with the Lexus program. Last year we were here with a brand-new race car, and didn’t know anything about it. Now, we’ve got a season under our belt, we understand the car a lot better, so I’m looking forward to a solid race.
“It’s a little surreal right now. I keep telling myself, one: how blessed I’ve been; two: looking back at 50 years; and three: it’s a place I dearly love. So take it in, man, and be grateful for everything the sport’s given you. Truly, it’s been one hell of a ride. Literally, one hell of a ride. I’ve been blessed, and had a wonderful family supporting me. I’ve spent 50 years getting here, and I need to enjoy every single moment of this Rolex 24 At Daytona.”
Given that he’s competing in the GT Daytona category, Pruett is not expected to challenge for a sixth overall Rolex 24 victory – which would break a tie with Hurley Haywood as the event’s leading overall winner. However, a GTD triumph is within reach. He already leads in that category with 10 class victories in the Daytona classic, dating back to 1986.
“The chances of [winning] overall are non-existent – it’s just not going to happen. However, you never know at this race. We’ve got to do what we do – just got to keep our head down, all the drivers got to do their job, and along the way, I want to just take it all in.”
Pruett’s signature line from victory lane interviews has been “Hi to my family back home.” This weekend, he’s brought many of his relatives along for the ride.
“My wife is here, my kids are here, friends and family are here. Unfortunately, my parents don’t travel as well as they used to, so they will be home.”
To hear more from Pruett about his five decades of racing, rivalries, pushing himself to be better, ending on his own terms and his stint in NASCAR, check out his interview with RACER.com’s Kelly Crandall on The Racing Writer’s Podcast.
RACER.com’s coverage of the 24 Hours At Daytona is presented by Forgeline Motorsports, manufacturers of custom made-to-order lightweight forged aluminum street and racing performance wheels.