Donald Scott Pruett (born March 24, 1960 in Sacramento, California) is an American race car driver who has competed in NASCAR, Champ Car, IMSA, Trans-Am and Grand-Am. He and his wife Judy are children's book authors.
His stepdaughter's name is Lauren Pruett (Previously Couch).
Pruett started racing go karts at the age of eight and went on to win ten professional karting championships. In the 80's, he established himself as a top American sports car racer, eventually winning two IMSA GTO Championships and three Trans Am Championships.
In the 1990s, Pruett was a regular in the CART (now Champ Car) series. From 1988 to 1999, he made 145 starts with two wins, five poles, and fifteen podiums (top three finishes). In preseason testing in 1990, Pruett was involved in a serious crash at West Palm Beach, Florida, where he seriously injured both legs. Pruett sat out the entire 1990 season in order to recover.
Following his Champ Car career, Pruett raced a full season in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 2000 with PPI Motorsports, with little success. He then moved back to sports car racing, winning his third Trans-Am championship in 2003. Since 2004, he has raced in the Grand-AmRolex Sports Car Series for Chip Ganassi Racing. Pruett is still a regular starter at NASCAR road course races, and is often referred to as a Road Course Ringer. Pruett has won eight American sports car championships, two with Grand-Am (2004, 2008), to go along with previous championships in IMSA GTO (1986, 1988), Trans-Am (1987, 1994, 2003) and IMSA GT Endurance (1986).
Pruett also worked for several years as a commentator for Champ Car races on Speed Channel.
- In a very controversial finish, Pruett was leading late in the race in the Nascar Busch Series in the Telcel-Motorola 200 where he started on the pole, when his very own teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya, spun him out with ample laps to go. Up until that point Pruett had led a number of laps but Montoya had been closing in even after a fuel problem forced him pit an extra time. He was quoted of saying of his only teammate after the race "Now that is no good, low-down, dirty racing right there". The owner of the two cars, Chip Ganassi said sometime before the incident that he just asked that they do not wreck each other out. The win officially marked the first of Juan Pablo Montoya's Nascar career.
- Won overall race and Daytona Prototype in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, with Juan Pablo Montoya, and Salvador Duran in the #01 Telmex, Target, Lexus Riley, for Chip Ganassi Racing.
- Won the pole for the Telcel-Motorola 200 at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
- Earned his third Trans-Am Championship in the Motorock Trans-Am Series for Rocketsports Racing, piloting the #7 Jaguar XKR.
- Ran two NASCAR Winston Cup races for Chip Ganassi Racing, culminating with a second place finish at Watkins Glen.
- SPEED commentator for CART’s TV coverage of the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford Series.
- Joined Speed Channel as pit reporter, broadcasting the 2002 FedEx Championship Series.
- Won the GTS class in the 24 Hours at Daytona.
- Participated in select races, including the Nascar Winston Cup event at Watkins Glen.
- RPM2Nite Broadcaster
- ABC/ESPN Commentator-CART races
- CART Radio Network Broadcaster
- Won the 24 Heurs Du Mans-LMGTS Class in a factory Chevrolet Corvette C5-R.
- Won the pole at the Watkins Glen Busch Race.
- Competed in the Daytona 24, 12 Hours of Sebring and other selected races.
- Was selected as one of the 2002 Olympic Torchbearers.
- Nascar Winston Cup, PPI Motorsports. Campaigned rookie year with rookie team. Earned second starting position at Las Vegas and top ten finish at the Brickyard 400. Finished 37th in points.
- CART, Arciero-Wells, developing Toyota engine program. Earned Toyota’s best qualifying effort ever, pole position at the California Speedway, earned Toyota’s best qualifying effort on a road course, third at the Australian Grand Prix.
- CART, Patrick Racing. Three podium finishes: Portland (2), Mid-Ohio (2) and Vancouver (3). One pole at Fontana. Seven top-five finishes and three top-ten finishes. Finished sixth in the championship standings, a CART career best.
- CART, Patrick Racing. Three podium finishes: Australia (1), Long Beach (3) and Rio de Janeiro (3). Two poles: Portland and Michigan. Eleven top-ten finishes. Finished ninth in championship.
- Bathurst 1000, Australia teaming with 1980 World Formula One Champion Alan Jones & Jason Bright in a Ford Falcon finishing 11th.
- CART, Patrick Racing. Three podium finishes: Rio, Australia and Laguna Seca. One pole: Detroit. Nine top-ten finishes. Finished tenth in championship.
- Competed in International Race of Champions (IROC) and finished seventh in championship.
- CART, Patrick Racing. Recorded first CART career win, and Firestone’s first win upon returning to the series at the Michigan 500. Won three additional podium finishes: Long Beach, Australia and Detroit. Ten top-ten finishes. Finished seventh in championship.
- Competed IROC and finished third in standings.
- Joined Patrick Racing as Firestone Tire test team driver.
- Competed and won second SCCA Trans-Am Series Title.
- Competed in IMSA 24 Hours at Daytona and won the coveted overall title.
1993 and Prior:
- Won two IMSA GTO Championships (1988, 1986)
- Won SCCA Trans-Am Championship (1987)
- Competed in IROC for four years.
- Was the 1989 co-rookie of the year at the Indianapolis 500.
- Inducted into the World Karting Association Hall of Fame.
- He began racing at age 8 in karts and moved to sedans in 1984.
Indy 500 results