Born: Feb. 20th, 1959.
Died: May 17th, 1996.
When you think of open-wheel racing breeding grounds the tiny town of Coldwater, Michigan isn't one of them, but that's never bothered anyone in the Brayton family very much. The son of Lee Brayton, himself a member of the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame, Scott started out his racing career as many youngsters do by participating in Go-Kart racing, racing Formula Karts
beginning in 1975. By 1979 he had moved on and won nine races and the Skip Barber Series title.
In 1981 Scott made the jump to the IndyCar (now CART) circuit racing for the family team Brayton Racing and made his first start on March 22nd at Phoenix. He also qualified for the Indianapolis 500 at the 29th spot, and finished seventh at the inaugural Michigan 500 in Brooklyn, MI.
After a brief stint with Hemalgarn Racing from 1986-1988 (where he raced alongside Jacques Villeneuve and Arie Luyendyk), Brayton then joined Dick Simon Racing where he stayed until 1993, finishing no worse than 15th in the season PPG Championship standings each year. In 1992 he also made his career-best finish of 3rd Place at Milwaukee.
After the schism between Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George and the CART series in 1993, Scott joined Team Menard and raced in the Indianpolis 500 every year as well as the odd Indy Racing League (IRL) event. In 1995 Scott held the pole position for the Indy 500, finishing in 17th place.
Scott again became the polesitter in 1996 after withdrawing a car he had qualified in the second row earlier in the day, and in doing so became the favorite to win the race. On May 17th while practicing, Scott blew a tire going into Turn Two, spinning and hitting the wall at what his team and crew approximated to be about 235 miles per hour. He was pronounced dead at
Indianapolis Methodist Hospital an hour later.
Brayton became the 40th Indy 500 driver to die during racing, practice, or qualifying.
In 1997 the Indy Racing League began anually awarding the Scott Brayton Driver's Trophy to the driver who "best exemplifies the character and racing spirit of late driver Scott Brayton", with driver John Paul Jr. winning the first award.