NASCAR's newest race winner is
quite a bit different than all the
Scott Speed doesn't have a
more traditional short-track upbringing. He
doesn't really feel the need to do what's
expected, and he's doing his best not to let
results determine his confidence.
He's wide-open, wide-eyed and his tastes
After earning his first win in the
Craftsman Truck Series last weekend at
Dover, Del., in just his sixth series start,
Speed hustled into the media center and
promptly began his winner's interview with a
discussion of his recent pedicure.
The press conference ended with Speed
showcasing his now blue-colored toenails to
anyone and everyone.
This is not your typical NASCAR driver.
Perhaps that's what makes Speed so refresh-
"He's a free spirit, that's for sure," said
Team Red Bull general manager Jay Frye,
who is helping to coordinate Speed's driver
development program for the organization
"His commitment, however,
is very impressive. You may see
something different in the way
he acts or dresses or whatever,
but when it comes time to go,
the kid is spot-on."
The 25-year-old native of
Manteca, Calif., spent the
2006 and 2007 seasons as a driver for the
Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula One team.
With his debut in the 2006 Bahrain Grand
Prix, Speed became the first American driver
in the series since Michael Andretti in 1993.
He made his debut in stock cars last fall
in the Automobile Racing Club of America
series race at Talladega, Ala., in preparation
for running the full season in 2008. He won
his first ARCA race earlier this season at
Red Bull added some
Truck series races to
his schedule to
begin his transition
to NASCAR and it
didn't take long for
Speed to earn a vic-
tory there, either.
Frye said Speed's
schedule will continue
to change through the end
of the year. He already
has added Friday
series race at
Speedway to his
schedule as a
result of his win
and still plans to run in Saturday's ARCA
race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.
"I'm learning step by step. It's going to be
a long process. I mean just to have the expe-
rience to know what to do on the trucks or
on the cars. You can't just learn it right
away," Speed explained.
"It's something you have to feel and you
have to learn and the learning curve that I've
had is amazing. I've learned a ton every time
I go out on the track for a
race. I definitely come away
with a lot of feeling, a lot of
experience and knowledge."
Speed's quick success
has already prompted ques-
tions about when he will
make his debut in the Sprint
Cup Series for Team Red
"I know Red Bull will
want me to do some Cup
races soon but I'm not
in a rush. I'm having
the time of my life
just coming over
here and trying
to learn this
sport. And it's
has given me
opportunity to do this
and my hat's off to them.
Without them none of this
would have been possible."