Scott Taylor was introduced to short-course off-road racing by Phil Reusche, the owner of Phil’s Inc, a Chenowth chassis distributor, where he ordered his first chassis. Scott and his friends quickly built a two-seat buggy and went racing. His first race was in the Fall of 1973 on a farm in Joliet, Illinois. By the following year, Scott got his first win at the 4x4 Unlimited Indian Summer Sprints at Lake Geneva Raceway driving a Class 9 Buggy.
After a couple of years, it was common for Scott to race in two or three different buggy classes during a weekend from Class 1 to Class 10, as well as Class 2 tandem. Having found success in the Midwest, Scott traveled throughout Canada as well as out West to the SCORE Off-Road World Championships, and he continued to add wins to his resume.
In 1986, Scott moved to Class 7, driving a Ford Ranger truck with his first major sponsor: BFGoodrich Tires. While racing Class 7, Scott quickly became known for his ability to manufacture quality race parts. Working with Walker Evans and Venable Racing, he was inspired to build his own short course Class 8 Ford F-150 race truck.
Thanks to his fierce competitiveness, Taylor’s early buggy and truck off-road racing career produced numerous short-course championships. During that time, he produced an impressive number of wins -- well into the triple digits -- while driving his Class 7 and Class 8 (which became Pro 2) race trucks.
Over the years, with Scott’s winning attitude and track records – along with ten titles in two separate truck classes, he has proven to be a favorite with the fans as well. Scott was selected to join forces with the iconic powerhouse Ford/BFGoodrich Tires Rough Rider Program and success continued. He won the SODA Class 8 Championship for the fourth year in a row on the strength of seven victories during the ten-race series.
Scott Taylor turned off-road racing into a full-time career and opened his own 8,000 square-foot fabrication shop in Belvidere, Illinois. Scott’s shop was open to other racers and competitors, where he shared his knowledge and abilities with the off-road community. With his manufacturing and fabrication experience, Scott thrived on getting other racer enthusiasts out on the track.
Scott dominated the CORR Series, winning six consecutive Pro 2 Championships from 1999 through 2004. He also made history at the Off-Road World Championship in Crandon, Wisconsin in 2002, where he became the first two-wheel drive Pro 2 truck to win against the four-wheel drive Pro 4 trucks. Scott won the prestigious World Championship race three times: The Borg-Warner Cup in 2002 and 2008, and the 2002 Governor’s Cup Race.
Scott raced buggies and trucks for an impressive 40 years, winning 18 championships in SODA, SCORE, ESPN Pro, and the CORR Series. He was also recognized with the Ford Hard Charger Award and was honored as the SODA Sportsman of the year and CORR Driver of the Year award two years in a row.
There are many good racers, but Scott is more than that. He attracted sponsors, racers, and positive recognition to the sport of short-course off-road racing. His special ability to give back to the fans, other racers, sponsors, and the sport of off-road made a difference and helped elevate the sport to where it is today.
“You can do anything you want to do. You just need to want it bad enough,” says Scott. “That has been my legacy and my words of wisdom to everyone I’ve crossed paths with. Over the years people have thanked me for those words. I would like to thank my family, friends, sponsors, and the fans for the honor of being accepted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.”
Learn more about ORMHOF inductee Scott Taylor in this Conversations with Big Rich podcast:
5:41 – I would take things apart I shouldn’t take apart
10:38 – I advocate deeply with high schools on how important it is to keep the five things of vocational training…
19:29 – I had a really good car and I drove the wheels off of it
27:29 – He was a lot faster than me, but I had my eyes set on somebody I had to beat
36:26 – we weren’t cheating, but we were building our own stuff and ahead of our times
45:25 – it’s like an old girlfriend calling you up after 10 years and wanting to start dating again