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Former NASCAR team owner Harry Scott Jr. passes away at age 51

Harry Scott Jr., a team owner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series from 2013-16 as well as a co-owner in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, died Wednesday.

A statement from the family of Harry Scott Jr. reads: “We are shocked and saddened to confirm that Harry Scott, Jr., age 51, passed away yesterday, August 2, 2017. Harry will be remembered as a loving family man and successful business owner. We ask that everyone please keep Harry’s smile, generosity and essential kindness in your thoughts and prayers. Details about funeral services will be announced when they are finalized.”

RELATED: NASCAR community offers its condolences | Teams to honor Scott Jr.

The sanctioning body of NASCAR issued a statement as well on Scott’s passing: “Harry Scott Jr. possessed an endless passion for racing. Owning cars in the national series and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, his crowning achievements were his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championships. The sport was proud to have Harry as our champion owner during that storybook era. NASCAR extends its deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

Scott began his NASCAR efforts as co-owner of Turner Scott Motorsports with fellow team owner Steve Turner in 2013. The group fielded entries in the Camping World Truck Series and XFINITY Series. Later that season, Scott agreed to purchase the assets for Phoenix Racing, a single-car entity competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Justin Allgaier, Michael Annett and Clint Bowyer were among the competitors who drove for the premier series team, renamed HScott Motorsports, from 2014-16. At one time, Scott had ownership ties to eight teams competing in NASCAR — in addition to his two Monster Energy Series teams, he also co-owned one XFINITY Series team in collaboration with fellow owner Chip Ganassi and five NASCAR K&N Pro Series East teams with co-owner Justin Marks.

Scott became a first-time championship winning team owner in 2013 when the Turner Scott Motorsports group won the K&N Pro Series East title with driver Dylan Kwasniewski. Justin Haley (2016), William Byron (‘15) and Ben Rhodes (’14) won K&N Pro Series East championships for the Scott/Marks organization.

Combined, the Turner/Scott and Scott/Marks efforts won 24 races between 2013-16.

In a posting on Twitter, Marks said “I will always remember Harry’s infectious smile and kind laugh.

“I know he took tremendous pride in seeing every one of our drivers at HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks realizing their dreams and starting their journey in our cars. Harry loved racing and was truly committed to seeing success across all of his teams. Without his commitment to the sport many would not have had the opportunity to ascend to positions they hold today. My thoughts are with Harry’s friends and family during this difficult time. I’ll always remember my first business partner in NASCAR with gratitude, pride, and joy.”

Marks also posted a photo on his Twitter account of himself with Scott Jr.

Allgaier, who drove for the HScott Motorsports from 2013 to 2015, also issued a statement on Scott’s passing that read: “Ashley and I are extremely saddened to hear the news today of the passing of team owner, Harry Scott, Jr. Not only have Harry and his wife, Lori, been a part of my racing career, but friends to my family as well. Harry believed in me and gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream of driving in NASCAR’s top series and I will forever be thankful for that. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to Lori, the entire Scott family, and all who knew and loved Harry during this difficult time.”

HScott Motorsports was located for much of its brief history in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The organization earned no wins and no top-five finishes in 189 career starts. It had affiliations with Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing at different points of its existence, from which it obtained vehicles as well as technical support. 

Scott closed the operation, which had grown to field two full-time entries, at the end of ’16 due to a lack of funding and driver availability. Driver Michael Annett departed for JR Motorsports, where he currently drives the No. 5 Chevrolet for that team in the XFINITY Series. Teammate Clint Bowyer had agreed to move to Stewart-Haas Racing, replacing three-time champion Tony Stewart in that organization’s No. 14 Ford.

“Over the past several months, I considered a number of options for moving forward with the team,” Scott said at the time. “Regrettably there are not viable sponsor/driver options immediately available to allow the team to participate in 2017.”