Brian Scott was once a laughing a stock in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Most fans associated Scott as a guy that wrecked a ton of cars, and the only reason he was still racing was because his family owns a resort.
Now, after getting a shot to drive for Richard Childress Racing this year, something has changed. Scott has become more consistent than ever. In the past, if Scott didn’t wreck, he was running towards the back end of the top-20. This year, a bad race for the Boise, ID native is not running inside of the top-15.
Maybe it just took time for Scott to get adjusted to the high level of competition. Or, maybe he just didn’t click with his former Joe Gibbs Racing team (which Elliott Sadler now drives for — and is also struggling to run well). Either way you look at it, Scott has developed immensely over his 198 career starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series since 2007.
Scott made a name for himself when he raced in the Truck Series for his father (who bought out Xpress Motorsports and was sold back to Kyle Busch in 2009) when he ran in the top-10 in points, including a win at Dover. After that, Scott bounced around the Nationwide Series, putting up inconsistent numbers on a yearly basis.
While driving for JGR, Scott finished in the top-10 in points for each of the two seasons with the team, but his results were horrific considering the team he was with. Last year was a better season for Scott, but he just wasn’t able to do much. RCR has helped Scott become much more consistent.
Scott has only finished off of the lead lap twice this year, and is seventh in points. There was no race like Richmond for he and the No. 2 Chevrolet team. Scott flat out dominated the race, leading all but the final 11 laps. It was the first time in his career that Scott truly led a race, and he did it in stunning fashion. The disappointment was immense, but in the end, it landed him a chance to race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Richard Childress Racing announced that Scott will make his Sprint Cup Series debut at Charlotte in October. Scott will drive the No. 33 car, which is usually utilized by Circle Sport Racing. However, the team started running two cars (the No. 33 & No. 40), which allowed Richard Childress Racing to run the No. 33 car as the two have a small partnership.
Besides running at Charlotte, the Idaho Statesman reported that Scott will attempt to run 5-10 races in NASCAR’s top-tier series in 2014.
The team hopes that Scott will run well enough to give him a shot to run full-time in 2015. However, that seems that is unlikely with Ryan Newman signing a contract with them, Austin Dillon being called up to the Cup Series next year, Paul Menard staying until 2016 and Ty Dillon likely getting the call by 2015/2016.
Obviously, things can change. Richard Childress Racing may end up having a partnership with a smaller team at the end of next year (possibly Circle Sport or Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing which they share an engine program with). If Scott performs semi-well in his limited opportunity, expect him to get a decent deal in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to become a household name for years to come.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.