Scott Brayton

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Scott Brayton
ScottBrayton.jpg
Nationality  United States
Born (1959-02-20)February 20, 1959
Coldwater, Michigan
Died May 17, 1996(1996-05-17) (aged 37)
Speedway, Indiana
Related to Lee Brayton (father)
CART IndyCar World Series
Years active 1981-1996
Teams Brayton Racing
Hemelgarn Racing
Dick Simon Racing
Team Menard
Starts 147
Wins 0
Poles 2
Best finish 12th in 1991
Previous series
1996 Indy Racing League

Scott Everets Brayton (February 20, 1959 – May 17, 1996) was a race car driver from Coldwater, Michigan, on the American open-wheel circuit. He competed in 14 Indianapolis 500s, beginning with the 1981 event. Brayton was killed in practice after qualifying for the pole position for the 1996 race.

Career[edit]

During the mid-1980s, Brayton helped introduce the Buick stock-block V-6 engine to Indianapolis. His father's firm, Brayton Engineering, was a major developer of the race engine. In 1985, he qualified 2nd and set the one-lap Indianapolis Motor Speedway track record in the process. He dropped out early and finished 30th when the engine expired. He would not finish the race again until 1989, when he scored his best finish at the Speedway, 6th place but seven laps down. He would equal this finishing position in 1993, driving a Lola-Cosworth for Dick Simon Racing.

When Buick pulled out of IndyCar racing in 1993, John Menard continued developing the engine, now badged as the Menard V-6. Brayton, now without a regular ride in the CART IndyCar series, joined the Indy-only Menards team in 1994. Their belief in the powerplant paid off when Brayton won his first Indy 500 pole position in 1995, at an average speed of 231.604 mph (372.731 km/h). Turbocharger boost and pop-off valve problems relegated him to a 17th place finish.

In 1996, Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George established the Indy Racing League, and Team Menard signed up to compete in their first full season of IndyCar racing. Because the majority of the established teams and drivers of open-wheel racing competed in the rival CART series, Brayton (and rookie teammate Tony Stewart) were considered legitimate contenders for the IRL title. After a bad start to the season, Brayton asserted his competitiveness by winning his second Indy pole after a dramatic qualifying session in which he withdrew an already-qualified car to get a second chance at taking the top spot.

Brayton was making a practice run on May 17 in his backup car when it blew a tire going into turn two, spun and hit the outside retaining wall at more than 230 mph (370 km/h). Brayton's car scrubbed off virtually no speed as it spun, and as the car impacted the wall on its left side, the force was such that Brayton's head also impacted the wall. Brayton was killed instantly by the severe impact. His funeral, held in his hometown of Coldwater, Michigan, was attended by a large contingent of drivers and racing personalities.

Teammate Tony Stewart, who qualified second, took over the pole starting position. A substitute driver, Danny Ongais, took over the car that Brayton had qualified for the pole and finished seventh.

Personal life[edit]

His wife Becky eventually married another IRL driver, Robbie Buhl on Easter Sunday 1999,[1] later a partner in Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.

Memorial[edit]

A street course in Grand Rapids, Michigan, used for SCCA racing was known as the Scott Brayton Memorial course. It was used for the West Michigan Grand Prix in 1998 and 1999.

Scott Brayton Trophy[edit]

Following Brayton's death, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced a new trophy for the Indianapolis 500 dedicated to the driver who best exemplifies the attitude, spirit and competitive drive of Scott Brayton. A driver could only be awarded the trophy once in his/her Indy career. It was awarded through 2009.

Year Winner
1997 John Paul, Jr.
1998 Roberto Guerrero
1999 Eliseo Salazar
2000 Eddie Cheever
2001 Davey Hamilton
2002 Arie Luyendyk
2003 Buddy Lazier
2004 Helio Castroneves
2005 Kenny Bräck
2006 Sam Hornish, Jr.
2007 Tony Kanaan
2008 Vitor Meira
2009 Sarah Fisher

Racing record[edit]

American Open Wheel racing results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

PPG Indycar Series[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Rank Points
1981 Brayton Racing PHX
15
MIL
11
ATL
9
ATL
10
MCH
7
RIV
8
MIL
21
MCH
24
WGL
20
MEX
23
PHX
DNQ
13th 57
1982 Brayton Racing PHX
14
ATL
MIL
14
CLE
MCH
11
MIL
POC
24
RIV
ROA
MCH
10
PHX
33rd 11
1983 Brayton Racing ATL
INDY
9
MIL
CLE
24
MCH
12
ROA
POC
28
RIV
MDO
MCH
13
CPL
26
LAG
PHX
24th 5
1984 Brayton Racing LBH
PHX
INDY
18
MIL
22
POR
25
MEA
14
CLE
11
MCH
13
ROA
12
POC
6
MDO
12
SAN
11
MCH
DNS
PHX
23
LAG
15
CPL
8
23rd 19
1985 Brayton Racing LBH
11
INDY
30
MIL
DNQ
POR
6
MEA
15
CLE
25
MCH
8
ROA
POC
16
MDO
SAN
MCH
22
22nd 15
Hemelgarn Racing LAG
26
PHX
18
MIA
DNQ
1986 Hemelgarn Racing PHX
24
LBH
INDY
30
MIL
POR
MEA
CLE
TOR
MCH
13
POC
27
MDO
SAN
MCH
19
ROA
LAG
PHX
MIA
NC 0
1987 Hemelgarn Racing LBH
PHX
INDY
12
MIL
POR
5
MEA
10
CLE
TOR
MCH
22
POC
25
ROA
MDO
NAZ
LAG
MIA
22nd 14
1988 Hemelgarn Racing PHX
15
LBH
23
INDY
31
MIL
10
POR
9
CLE
16
TOR
14
MEA
11
MCH
26
POC
10
MDO
ROA
NAZ
18
LAG
MIA
24
23rd 12
1989 Dick Simon Racing PHX
15
LBH
12
INDY
6
MIL
18
DET
DSQ
POR
13
CLE
28
MEA
10
TOR
14
MCH
11
POC
14
MDO
15
ROA
13
NAZ
10
LAG
20
15th 17
1990 Dick Simon Racing PHX
13
LBH
9
INDY
7
MIL
20
DET
10
POR
25
CLE
22
MEA
9
TOR
14
MCH
16
DEN
12
VAN
9
MDO
8
ROA
13
NAZ
12
LAG
24
15th 28
1991 Dick Simon Racing SRF
6
LBH
8
PHX
13
INDY
17
MIL
6
DET
9
POR
15
CLE
7
MEA
9
TOR
6
MCH
9
DEN
16
VAN
10
MDO
13
ROA
11
NAZ
19
LAG
27
12th 52
1992 Dick Simon Racing SRF
20
PHX
9
LBH
17
INDY
22
DET
12
POR
22
MIL
3
NHA
17
TOR
17
MCH
10
CLE
21
ROA
12
VAN
8
MDO
10
NAZ
8
LAG
10
15th 39
1993 Dick Simon Racing SRF
16
PHX
25
LBH
24
INDY
6
MIL
6
DET
14
POR
17
CLE
18
TOR
19
MCH
11
NHA
6
ROA
7
VAN
24
MDO
9
NAZ
15
LAG
24
15th 36
1994 Team Menard SRF PHX
LBH
INDY
20
MIL
DET
POR
CLE
TOR
MCH
MDO
NHA
VAN
ROA
NAZ
LAG
49th 0
1995 Team Menard MIA
SRF
PHX
LBH
NAZ
INDY
17
MIL
DET
POR
ROA
TOR
CLE
MCH
MDO
NHA
VAN
LAG
34th 1

Indy Racing League[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 Rank Points
1996 Team Menard WDW
15
PHX
18
INDY
DNS
18th 111

Indianapolis 500[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
1981 Penske PC-6 Ford Cosworth DFX 29 16 Brayton Racing
1982 Penske PC-7 Ford Cosworth DFX DNQ Brayton Racing
1983 March 83C Ford Cosworth DFX 29 9 Brayton Racing
1984 March 84C Buick 26 18 Brayton Racing
1985 March 85C Buick 2 30 Brayton Racing
1986 March 86C Buick 23 30 Hemelgarn Racing
1987 March 87C Ford Cosworth DFX 13 12 Hemelgarn Racing
1988 Lola T88/00 Buick 7 31 Hemelgarn Racing
1989 Lola T89/00 Buick 6 6 Dick Simon Racing
1990 Lola T90/00 Ford Cosworth DFS 26 7 Dick Simon Racing
1991 Lola T91/00 Chevrolet 265A 19 17 Dick Simon Racing
1992 Lola T92/00 Buick 7 22 Dick Simon Racing
1993 Lola T93/00 Ford XB 11 6 Dick Simon Racing
1994 Lola T93/00 Buick 23 20 Team Menard
1995 Lola T95/00 Menard-Buick 1 17 Team Menard
1996 Lola T95/00 Menard-Buick 1 DNS Team Menard

For the 1996 Indianapolis 500, Brayton qualified on the Pole. The following Friday he was fatally injured driving a back-up car during practice. In the race Danny Ongais drove the pole car and finished 7th.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]