Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – BENNINGTON, VT – For almost his entire life, Scott Duell has been sitting in a race car. From his dad, Kim’s, rides to his own racing machines, Scott knows the rush of coming to the green flag and hitting the loud pedal.
Unfortunately, for 2019, that may not take place, as recent events have left his season in doubt.
Duell made news recently when he shared on social media that he was looking for a ride for this season. The car he was driving this past season was owned by Jen & Brian Pessolano. After the season was completed, they took the car back. This left the veteran racer looking to find a new direction for 2019.
‘I’m not ready to sit on the sidelines and watch,” Duell said. “Jen and Brian made some decisions and they wanted me to possibly run Fonda this year and have both cars at the same track. Brian couldn’t get to Malta on Friday’s with his work schedule this past season and I couldn’t do Fonda. It was too far from home so we went our separate ways. We are all still very good friends.”
Duell, who recently married the former Jade Stratton, has moved to the Bennington, VT area which made things even harder to travel to the ‘Track of Champions’ on the weekends.
“I’ve got no hard feelings towards them at all,” he said. “They were great to me and it was awesome to have Brian as a teammate and all, but this was just circumstances…plain and simple.”
This now leaves Duell searching for a new ride for the 2019 season. Three years ago, he was in a Lazzaro Motorsports car and then moved to the Dodson Racing team in 2017 before going with the Pessolano’s last year. While he didn’t win in their equipment, he was extremely consistent and nearly visited victory lane on several occasions.
“This past season couldn’t have happened without the Pessolano’s,” he said. “We finished top 10 in both the King of Dirt Series and the Albany-Saratoga points and I’m very proud of that. This just means that now, I’m looking.”
Duell is willing to discuss any possible opportunities that may be out there. He’d just love to be back in the seat, a place he’s practically lived in since he was eight years old.
“I’m open to anything that’s available,” he said. “The response from the Facebook post has been overwhelming and several people have offered to try and help me find a ride. I have sponsors that have told me they were sticking with me if I found something. It’s very humbling to know I have so many people behind me.”
However, if Duell doesn’t find a ride, you’ll probably still see him in the pit area, assisting with family members who are still racing. Only problem is, when you know you’re supposed to be on the track, it’s tough to watch from the sidelines.
“I put the hashtag on the Facebook post #NotReadyToWatch and honestly it’d be tough to do,” he said. “I have a lot of family with my side and now being part of the Stratton clan that are getting ready for this season, so I’d be in the pits to help. But when your heart is on the track, it’s hard to not be out there.”
Does Scott still think he can win?
“I feel like I’m plenty capable of winning races still,” he said. “The last race we ran was the Vermont 200 at Devil’s Bowl. I won my heat and was running in the top five with guys like Brett Hearn, Danny Johnson and Bobby Hackel for the first 100. I just made a wrong tire selection which put us back a bit and got us caught up on in the big accident on the frontstretch.
Scott Duell is dedicated to the sport of Auto Racing. He’s lived it for years. When he gets a cut, dirt comes out more than blood. It’s in his DNA and he can win as well as go after titles. He just wants another chance to show what he can do.
He’s #NotReadyToWatch just yet.