DRIVER PROFILE: Scott FitzGerald

Driver: Scott FitzGerald
Hometown: West Rutland, VT
Date of Birth: 2/21/69
Family: Wife – Kathy; Children – Tara, Nikki, Kaitlyn, Katelyn, Andrew, Roo, Tyler
Favorite Food: Devil’s Bowl Cheeseburgers
Hobbies: Hunting
Started Racing: 1989
Accomplishments: Devil’s Bowl Speedway Asphalt Renegade Rookie of the Year (2014); Sportsmanship Award (2014, 2016); Most Improved Driver Award (2015)

Division: Super Stock
Car No.: 5
Car: Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Car Owner: Scott FitzGerald
Crew Chief: Tom Lacz
Team Members: Eric Mallory, Kathy FitzGerald, Tyler FitzGerald, Andy Salamin
Sponsors: Mallory’s Automotive (Forestdale, VT), FitzGerald Services (West Rutland, VT), Yorkmont Auto Auctions (Fair Haven, VT), H&R Block (Whitehall, NY), Advance Auto Parts (Rutland, VT), Brandon House of Pizza (Brandon, VT), Low Cost Exhaust (Rutland, VT), RC Drywall (West Rutland, VT)

Scott FitzGerald in victory lane at Devil's Bowl Speedway on July 30, 2016.  (Andrew Cassidy/Devil's Bowl Speedway photo)

Scott FitzGerald in victory lane at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on July 30, 2016. (Andrew Cassidy/Devil’s Bowl Speedway photo)

How did you get your start in racing?
“I guess I really got my start with my father and my uncle bringing me to the races as a young kid. And then I think I was 15 years old when I first joined a pit crew and I was 19 when I started building my first car. I took about 20 years off from driving and I was completely away from the sport for six or seven years at one point, but I’ve been involved somehow since I was 15.”

Did you have a favorite driver before you started racing?
“My local favorite growing up was always Butch Jelley. And of course as a kid, who didn’t like to watch Charlie Brown race at Devil’s Bowl?”

What is your favorite moment of your racing career?
“I’d have to say that being able to win the Renegade Rookie of the Year award along with my son in the Mini Stocks in same year was pretty special. And I also have to say that I think really my favorite moment hasn’t happened yet – I’m more excited to be in the same division with both of my boys (Andrew FitzGerald and Roo Forrest) than I’ve ever been going into a new year.”

What is your most embarrassing moment?
“That’s easy. This past year I lost a race on the last lap on a restart with Eric Messier. I was leading and there was a caution on the last lap. There was some water and speedy-dry down on the inside, so I chose the outside on the restart thinking there would be better grip. That was the dumbest move I think I’ve ever made, but I have to say it was also one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in the last five years. It was a rookie mistake made by a veteran. I should’ve taken the inside and held my line. Oh well.”

Scott FitzGerald (#5) racing with Larry Bristol (#6) and Garrett Given (#82G) at Devil's Bowl Speedway on August 6, 2017.  (Barry Snelling/Devil's Bowl Speedway photo)

Scott FitzGerald (#5) racing with Larry Bristol (#6) and Garrett Given (#82G) at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on August 6, 2017. (Barry Snelling/Devil’s Bowl Speedway photo)

Who is your biggest rival, past or present?
“Coming up next year I think it’s going to be Chris Murray. I love the kid to death and I talk to him two or three times a week, but he’s the one I want to beat. He reminds me of Robert Gordon on the asphalt – he makes all of us have to work harder to beat him. He makes you drive harder on the track and he works hard in the shop. But aside from that, I think everyone knows that Jim McKiernan and I are big rivals.”

If you couldn’t drive your car, who would you want to be your substitute?
“My boys have got their own cars, so they’re on their own as far as that goes. There are some really good guys here and up at Airborne that I would consider, but then again I think it would be cool to bring back Warren Pease and have him in my car.”

Are you looking forward to the new ½-mile dirt track at Devil’s Bowl?
“I am looking very much forward to getting back to my roots at my home race track. My heart is on the dirt. I had a lot of success on the asphalt, and it was neat because it was different and we really had to work at it, but my roots are on the dirt and I’m really excited about getting back to it. And I’m excited to get back to racing on Sunday nights at Devil’s Bowl, too.”

What are your racing goals for 2018?
“Like everybody, I want to run for a championship, but a realistic goal is to finish in the top three in points. We’ve been in the top three every year that we’ve run full-time since we came back. But really, I just want to have fun with the boys. I can’t stress enough how cool it’s going to be to run with them both this coming year.”

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