Brian Scott drives the No. 11 AccuDoc Solutions Toyota Camry for Braun Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The 22-year-old Idaho native currently sits 8th in points after last weekend’s crazy-as-usual Talladega race. He’s also leading in the hunt for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award.
In talking to Brian I was struck by how self-aware and contained he was, just like all of the Nationwide drivers I’ve interviewed recently. They really know who they are and what they want to accomplish. I don’t want to be all cheesy but they’re really driven to succeed, and Brian Scott is no different.
Me: So, who and/or what got you into racing? Why racing?
Brian: Well, “the who” is probably mostly my father. “The what” is I originally just wanted a go-kart to drive around the neighborhood and my dad wanted to look at ways to do it in a controlled fashion so he went and looked at go-kart racing. Ultimately I did not get into go-kart racing but got into Mini-Sprint racing, progressed through Mini-Sprints and then on to sprint cars. I graduated high school, moved up to North Carolina and started trying to do it as a profession. That was in 2006 and it’s been a steady progression up until now.
Me: What are your goals for yourself and for your team this year?
Brian: Just to develop a consistency in the top-15 and especially the top-10. Just get consistent finishes, capture the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title and just continue to develop and get better at each race as a team.
Me: Speaking of the Raybestos Rookie of the Year, you’re leading the points right now and I know there are, like, a bajillion races still ahead but what would winning the Rookie of the Year award mean to you?
Brian: Well I think it would speak a lot for this team and for the sponsors of Braun Racing. We’re going up against some Cup affiliated teams. We’re going up against Diamond Waltrip with Trevor Bayne that have the obvious Waltrip affiliation. We’re going up against two Roush drivers. We’re going up against James Buescher and a slightly Hendrick affiliated team. That’s pretty stiff competition. There’s a lot of resources that those teams have to pull from. We’re a standalone Nationwide team at Braun Racing and we’ve developed good relationships with our partners: Dollar General, BigSpot.com and Great Clips. I think it’s important to show that we can compete with those guys and that we can make a name for ourselves regardless of affiliation. I think it speaks a lot for how good the people are here.
Me: Since you’ve been in the Nationwide Series what have you learned about yourself? Are there any moments that stick out in your mind?
Brian: I’ve learned that I can compete on this level. I feel confident in my abilities and my team’s abilities to compete with the Cup drivers and compete with the guys that have made a living in the Nationwide Series. I feel like our equipment and me, at times, are capable of running right up there in the top-5 and I think we showed that at California. I think that we’re strong enough and I’m good enough to produce some top-5 finishes this year and maybe even get a win if we’re lucky enough.
Me: Are there any drivers that you looked up to as a kid, or that you still do today, that you’re kind of modeling your career after? Is there anyone that you’ve looked at and say “Hey, I want to have a career like that guy.”?
Brian: Well, I look up to and admire all of the successful drivers. I think it’s hard to not say that any young driver, or any rookie, wouldn’t look up and say, “God, I want to have the success of Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.” I aspire to be great. I aspire to be successful. I aspire to win Championships and I want to do it in a respectable and good fashion like those guys have. Coming through the Camping World Truck Series I really admired and learned a lot from guys like Ron Hornaday, Jack Sprague, and Dennis Setzer. A lot of those guys have helped me, taught me a lot, took me under their wing and tried to teach me what you have to be good at and what you need to do to compete at this top level. And those guys have had a lot of success in their careers; Ron won four Camping World Truck Series Championships. I admire all of those guys.
Me: Outside of racing, what are you the most passionate about? What do you like to do?
Brian: If you’re looking at another hobby or something I would have to say it’s hunting. Growing up in Idaho in the mountains and the outdoor family & community that I come from I love hunting and being outdoors. I love, love to hunt in the mountains of Idaho. I love to just be up there and be in that scenery and how beautiful it is. I think it’s a great, great relaxer for me; getting away from your cell phone, to really just chill and hang out. It’s a good family time and bonding time. It’s a good time.
Me: I know that you use Twitter a lot. What has that been like for you in connecting with fans? And what’s it like to have fans in general? Is that something you thought about as a kid?
Brian: I didn’t think about fans or being famous or anything like that. I just thought about competition. I mean whether it was playing golf or lacrosse it was about being better than everyone else and then that mentality just transferred over when I started racing. When you get to a serious level of any sport fans are something that come along with it. Fans are what feed our sport; fans are the greatest thing about this sport. I’m appreciative of all my fans. I didn’t do it to be in the spotlight. I didn’t do it to have fans and become a name. I did this sport because I thrive off of competition, and fans are just a bonus that come with that.
Social media, I think, is something that’s really exploded in the last couple of years. I think in the last year especially. The power of social media is amazing, the ability to connect with fans on a more personal level and keep people updated with a click of a button. They don’t have to go to someone’s website. They can get alerts right on their phone whether it’s Facebook or Twitter. I think it’s a tremendous tool and it’s a tool that if used properly can really, really work to your advantage. You can develop great relationships with your fans. You can get a lot of exposure for yourself and for your sponsors. You can really inform a lot of people, not only fans, but also people in the media that follow you and are looking for the freshest info, for the new release or for this or for that. It’s a great way to bring awareness to events or to organizations like Autism Speaks or Victory Junction. You can inform people on what you’re doing and what you do in day-to-day life, which I think fans like. It’s a really powerful tool if used in the right way and it can also be a tool, if you use it in the wrong way that can really bite you. So it’s really important, and it’s something I work on, to always make sure I utilize Twitter and Facebook in the right capacity and not post anything that could get me in trouble or that could cause me grief or harm anybody.
Me: Describe your personality. How would your friends and family describe you? What type of guy are you?
Brian: I’m pretty easy-going. I’m really outgoing. I get along and talk to a lot of people. I’m a joker, the class clown. I do a lot to try to make people laugh. I play a lot of jokes and pranks on people. I’m a smart ass. So people, when they first meet me, they might be struck by my sarcasm and might not be sure how to take me. But I think once people get to know me they know that I just like to try to lighten the situation, find humor in life and just joke around and make a good time out of everything.
Follow Brian Scott on Twitter @bscottracing