Former Red Bull Racing NASCAR Cup driver Scott Speed has secured a seat with Whitney Motorsports for the rest of the 2011 season, starting with this coming weekend's race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Speed recently returned to Cup competition at the Brickyard 400 in a three-race deal with Max Q Motorsports that covered the races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pocono and Watkins Glen - all ideally suited to Speed's strengths as a former F1 driver with Toro Rosso.
Speed also had a one-off seat in the Nationwide Series race at the F1 Circuit Gilles Villenevuve in Montreal at the weekend, and finished a strong sixth place for Kevin Harvick's team.
Now he's been handed the opportunity to drive the #46 Whitney Motorsports Ford Fusion for the remaining 13 races of the 2011 season, and Speed was quick to say how much he enjoyed the set-up and feel of his new team.
"They work really hard with the little amount that they have," he said. "There is a lot of passion over here and I love how tight of a group we are, we are the underdogs and I love it."
"We are extremely excited about having him drive our car," said team owner Dusty Whitney. "He is a great guy with an amazing talent."
Whitney confirmed that they had sponsorship for the car for Atlanta and Kansas, and "are on the prowl for the other races."
The #46 - previously run part-time with the likes of JJ Yeley, Bill Elliott, Andy Pilgrim, Brian Simo and Erik Darnell at the wheel - sits outside the top 35 in the car owners' points standings and so will need to make the grid based on qualifying performance every week, adding to the pressure on Speed to deliver from the get-go.
Speed's career includes 79 Cup starts since his 2008 debut, 14 Nationwide starts and 16 in the Camping World Truck Series including a win at Dover, as well as 28 F1 Grand Prix outings in 2006 and 2007 with Toro Rosso.
He has also raced in GP2 and A1GP, and earlier this year was part of Dragon Racing's ill-fated attempt to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 in May.