Brian Scott (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brian Scott (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A frequenter of Jimmy Spencer's attentions on SPEED Hub for all the wrong reasons last year, Brian Scott is hoping to put his inconsistent 2011 behind him and start winning in 2012.  The 24-year-old Idaho native will start his second Nationwide season with Joe Gibbs Racing with the might of new sponsor Dollar General behind him, and like JGR Cup driver Joey Logano, who also has a new sponsor, Scott needs a big year to prove Spencer, among his other doubters, wrong.

“I felt the pressure to perform and I was going out there, wanting to run up front,” Scott said. “But I was ultimately making bad decisions on the race track, putting myself in higher-risk scenarios that ultimately led to more wrecks.

They were like, ‘Look, just finish the race. Do the things you can do.’ When I realized that’s what they expected out of me, it was easier to realize I could pull out of certain situations.

Once he started finishing races, Scott was able to turn his season around, taking four top 10 finishes in the second half of the year including a breakthrough pole at Chicagoland. 

Once we started having a few positives go our way, we started really chipping away and climbing out of a hole that we had been in the first half of the year,” Scott said. 

Itching to get going in 2012, Scott considers himself a valid contender to wrest the Nationwide Series title from Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

“You need to have an average finish of about eighth to win the championship,” Scott said. “You need to qualify up front. You need to be in contention to win races and be in the championship picture. And that’s our No. 1 goal.

“If we’re there and we have a chance at it, come the last part of the year, we’re going to feel it’s been a pretty successful season – because all of the other objectives, goals and expectations will have fallen into place to get us there.

You’ve got to be disciplined and not set everything too high and go out there and think you’re going to win every race,” he added. “So you try to pull the reins in a little bit, set your expectations realistically, go out there and take one race at a time and do the best you can. Hopefully then you can let the results speak for themselves.”