Scott Speed, driver of the Red Bull No. 82 Toyota in NASCAR's Cup series, has been a busy boy recently—and for the most part, it all has been pretty good. In fact, this past weekend prior to the Daytona race, Speed had two excellent adventures.
First, Speed, his fiance Amanda Mathis, and his NASCAR buddy Kyle Busch, headed off to Discovery Cove in Florida prior to the race weekend. They swam with dolphins, fed the sharks and sting rays, and snorkeled.
Speed and Busch even got some dolphin racing in, challenging each other to see whose dolphin could get to victory lane first.
The dynamic duo then had another adventure together right before the Daytona July 4th race. Busch and Speed drove in the Grand Am Rolex Series, making their double debut driving for Chip Ganassi Racing.
While the pair did not catch the checkered flag in that race, after an IV for fluids for Busch and a nap for both of them, they were ready to race in the Coke Zero 400 Cup race.
Unfortunately, both ended up in accidents, with Speed coming in 31st and Busch finishing 14th after a wild battle with Tony Stewart and no less than three spectacular hits—including other drivers and the wall.
Speed, however, has rebounded nicely from the disappointing Daytona run. This weekend, Speed qualified in the outside pole position at Chicagoland Speedway for the Cup race on Saturday evening.
Speed's teammate Brian Vickers qualified in the pole position—one of the first times that Red Bull has claimed the front row to start any Cup race.
So, while life has been mostly good for Speed, he has also had his share of challenges this season. He fell out of the top 35 in points and has had to qualify his way into many of the races recently—putting extreme pressure on himself and his team.
At the New Hampshire Motor Speedway a few weeks ago, things were not good at all, especially for Speed and his teammate Vickers. Speed got into Vickers on the last lap of the Nationwide race, pushing Vickers into the wall.
Vickers retaliated, shoving Speed back on the cool-down lap. Both were running in the top ten, however, each lost several positions thanks to the altercation.
Vickers had a few choice words for Speed, saying, "I don't know what his problem is. I don't know if he's frustrated he runs so bad in the Cup series, but he just flat ran into us and wrecked us."
"I've never had a teammate do that to me before," said Vickers. "The only thing he could say was 'I couldn't slow down. You guys slowed down right in front of me.' No kidding. It's a turn. I've got to stop and turn left."
In spite of the harsh words, things seem to now be "all good" between Speed and Vickers again. Apparently, they have talked through their differences and are most pleased to share the front row at Chicagoland together.
One can only hope that things are good between them. Otherwise that first lap in the Cup race will be very interesting indeed.
While there is no doubt that Speed is looking forward to racing with Vickers to take the green flag at Chicagoland, he is most likely looking forward with even greater anticipation to the following weekend after the race.
With that off-weekend in sight, the plan is for Speed and long-time girlfriend Amanda Mathis to tie the knot in wedded bliss. They will be married in a most beautiful castle-like setting at the Graylin Conference Center in Winston-Salem, NC.
Speed revealed that he and Amanda will share their nuptials with about 150 of their closest friends and family members in attendance at the ceremony and the reception to follow.
In a recent radio interview, Speed naively shared that he does not anticipate any changes in his relationship with Amanda after the wedding. There is no doubt, however, that Amanda will set him straight once the wedding ring is on both of their fingers.
Whether on the outside pole at Chicagoland Speedway or walking down the aisle with his beloved Amanda, life is indeed "all good" for Scott Speed.
At least for the most part.
Photo Credit: Mary Jo Buchanan with Scott Speed on the grid prior to the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.