Five-time Grand-Am Prototype champion and five-time Rolex 24 at Daytona overall winner Scott Pruett has been named as the 2016 recipient of the Road Racing Drivers Club’s Phil Hill Award for outstanding service to road racing. The award presentation was made at the annual RRDC banquet preceding the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Pruett’s 60 IMSA victories are a record, and he is also a three-time Trans-Am champion, where his 22 wins rank him fourth on the all-time list. He also won two IMSA GTO crowns, and his tenure in Indycars earned him two race wins as well as co-Rookie of the Year honors at Indianapolis in 1989. He was a class winner at Le Mans with Corvette Racing in 2001, an IROC winner at Daytona and raced for three seasons in NASCAR’s premier Cup series. Before switching to cars, Pruett was the man to beat in karts, racking up 10 professional championships to earn enshrinement in the World Karting Association’s Hall of Fame.
Pruett concluded his acceptance remarks for the evening by saying, “When you look at the quality of driver that Phil was and the recipients of this award, I’m truly honored to have my name in that category. I don’t feel worthy of it, but I certainly do appreciate it.”
Also presented at the RRDC banquet was the club’s Bob Akin Award for the person who best exemplifies the extraordinary qualities and characteristics that Akin represented, including a passion for motorsports and automobiles, a high level of sportsmanship and fair play, and who has contributed to the sport of motor racing and the community at large.
That honor went to Judy Stropus, a former professional timer/scorer, driver and award-winning publicist. In the days before digitized data crunching came to racing, Stropus was well known for her ability to keep accurate track of sports car endurance races, and since stepping down from the timing stand her long list of public relations clients has included the likes of Chevrolet, BMW, Duracell and Mattel.
Stropus closed her acceptance speech by saying, “Racing is my family. Racing is what I know, and it is such an honor and a privilege to receive this award in the name of Bob Akin. Bob and Ellen were fabulous friends of mine, and I’ve known Bobby since he was a little boy. We had such good times together. Thank you so much.”