Scott Russell, nicknamed "Mr. Daytona" for his record five Daytona 200 By Arai victories, announced his retirement in the infield media center on Friday at Daytona International Speedway. "Today, right now, I'm retiring because of the injuries...
Scott Russell, nicknamed "Mr. Daytona" for his record five Daytona 200 By Arai victories, announced his retirement in the infield media center on Friday at Daytona International Speedway.
"Today, right now, I'm retiring because of the injuries caused by the accident here last year. It's not going to allow me to ride the bike the way I need to ride it and perform at the level I was doing once before. My career is over. It started and kind of ended here at Daytona which is good and bad and all that stuff in between."
HOW'S THE RECOVERY GOING? "It's slow. I haven't really been pushing hard to get back in shape because I knew that was it. I think after that incident, I thought I wanted to come back, but I didn't. Due to the injuries, I'm not going to be able to ride the way I use to ride the bike. What do you do at 37? It's probably time to hang them on the wall anyway. That's it."
YOU JUMPED ON THE BIKE AT THE END OF LAST YEAR AT VIRGINIA "It's always been very easy for me– racing has. I take it with a grain of salt. I never trained hard to be who I was. I didn't have to. It came natural. So, being able to jump back on the bike half hurt still, it's not hard for me to ride fast, but to win that's another story. These guys these days are knocking a second of these lap records every year now. That's a lot of big gains. That's something I'm not prepared come out here and try to do again.
DID YOU EVER DREAM OF FIVE DAYTONA 200 BY ARAI VICTORIES? "Never, never. I sat here in the stands in 1985 and decided this is what I want to do. To come back and so far be the all-time winner here is unbelievable to me. I'm very happy to do that and I was able to be so successful here. This has been an unbelievable career for me."
BEING KNOWN AS MR. DAYTONA "It feels like home to me. Winning a couple of them, I thought,‘ That was great and I want to do that again. That was the best feeling in my life to be at the‘ World Center of Racing' and be the man. It's pretty nice. How I did it? It was great help from great teams and the support they gave me. Muzzy Kawasaki were just magical years. I couldn't ever go anywhere else and get that kind of thing going with another team. That was just magic stuff. I was here for one reason and that was to win it. If anybody got in the way, I tried to go around them.
WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE DAYTONA 200 BY ARAI VICTORY? "Of course 1995 would be it. To fall down on the second lap and win the race, that for sure stands out in my mind out of all them. That one was so good."