With Brian Scott’s pole for Sunday’s Aaron’s 499, the question is raised on whether or not he could make it in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS).
On one hand, he’s an unproven driver with only a pair of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins to his name. The wins came several years apart and for different teams, and in both instances he wasn’t close to becoming a championship contender.
In his sixth season of running in the NASCAR Nationwide Series competition, he remains winless in 151 career starts. He earned a pair of runner-up finishes in 2013, coming close to victory at Indianapolis in July and dominating until the latter stages at Richmond in September. Other than that, he’s been the subject of “rich kid” fodder from the naysayers.
He made his Sprint Cup Series debut at Charlotte in October of 2013, starting a respectable 19th and finishing 25th. He’s been running a limited schedule in 2014, including a decent run in February’s 500-mile race before crashing out. His runs at Phoenix and Fontana were sub-par, although Fontana was mostly due to a crash with Aric Almirola.
Now Scott’s stock is on notice, thanks to his NSCS pole at Talladega.
This could be attributed to the Richard Childress Racing (RCR) affiliation that Circle Sport Racing has. Prior to qualifying at Talladega Scott’s qualifying performances have been mediocre to downright poor. But considering Talladega is the most unpredictable track on the circuit Scott’s chances of finishing well were pretty even with the rest of the field.
But a strong finish at Talladega doesn’t mean much because Talladega is such a wild card. If Front Row Motorsports, an underfunded team, can finish first and second in a race at Talladega, then anything can happen there. Therefore it would be hard to determine whether or not Scott’s finish was based on skill, luck or both.
Then again, Scott has been doing quite well with RCR. In the 2013 Nationwide Series campaign Scott had a career season, finishing seventh in the points with one pole, three top-fives and 13 top-10s.
Had Kyle Busch competed in fewer events, including Indy and Richmond, then Scott would have posted two wins instead of going winless again. His performance in 2013 indicates that he just might post a victory in 2014.
If he’s to run well in the Sprint Cup Series, he needs to bolster his resume in the Nationwide Series. As it stands right now, Scott is only riding around. If he wants to do well in the Sprint Cup Series he needs to show that he can get the job done elsewhere.
Once he does that, then he should do fine once he lands a respectable Sprint Cup Series ride.