[Editor: Scott Pruett sent the following thank you letter to friends and colleagues who offered kind words in a video tribute to one of America’s great all-around race drivers on the occasion of his final race.]
My last race is now in the history books, the Rolex Daytona 24hrs. In a perfect world it would have been the cherry on top if we had made it to the podium; however, taking the checkered flag and getting a top 10 is a triumph of its own and a significant improvement from last year. It was wonderful having my family, friends and all the fans cheering us on.
The last two months have been crazy, especially after the Roar early January, when I announced I was going to retire after the 2018 Rolex 24hr race. The fan and media outreach was overwhelming and humbling. To be honest, it has all been a bit surreal. It was business as usual with my training and preparation leading up and into my final race, so I’m not sure it has truly hit me yet. We’ll see how I feel in a week or two as the next race rolls around, the Sebring 12hr test and then race, and I’m not packing my bags to go.
So what does the next chapter look like for Scott Pruett? Typically I’m that guy with my head down, focused forward, never distracted by looking back. So, for starters, I’m going to pause and take some time to look back, reflect, and savor the memories of just how wonderful this career has been. As I have said many times, the good Lord has blessed me and it’s only right that I take time to express my gratitude and savor the moment. And then the next day…..haha
I believe the dictionary defines retirement as “ceasing from work”. Anyone that knows me at all, knows that is not going to happen. I love to work. My biggest concern retiring from racing was how I was going to get that adrenaline fix that I have become so accustomed to! I’m happy to say that I will be continuing my partnership with Lexus as a brand ambassador, so besides being honored to represent this amazing company, I’ll get to drive some fast, high performance, kick-ass cars.
Then there is my alter ego life as a vintner. I will continue to put energy and time into our wines and vineyard management with the same intensity as I always have, with the continual goal of making them better and better. I have some great new Gehl heavy equipment to play with… guess you can say I’m trading tracks for trax.
I’ll also be putting more time and energy into my family. We all know this lifestyle requires a great deal of time away from home, and even when we are home our minds often don’t accompany our bodies. If my wife and kids have their way, I just might learn to “play” a bit.
Already calls and emails are coming in with offers of things to fill my calendar. I don’t think having time on my hands will ever be a problem.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for joining me on this adventure. It’s been one hell of a ride…literally! It’s been great having you in the passenger seat, and it’s not over yet.
Here are a couple of links to stories about my retirement: IMSA, RACER, AutoWeek, Autosport and Motorsport365. Again, I’m humbled by all of the kind words and well wishes from so many.
Let the new chapter begin!