Scott Russell Announces Retirement

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Scott Russell, known as"Mr. Daytona" for his record five Daytona 200 By Arai victories,announced his retirement on Friday at Daytona International Speedway.

"Today, right now, I'm retiring because of the injuries caused by theaccident here last year," Russell said. "It's not going to allow me toride the bike the way I need to ride it and perform at the level I wasdoing once before. My career is over. It started and kind of ended hereat Daytona which is good and bad and all that stuff in between."

The 37-year-old Russell of Conyers, Ga., has a long list ofaccomplishments, including the 1992 AMA Superbike championship and the1993 World Superbike Championship...

He's also a three-time Supersportchampion and he's tied for fifth on the all-time AMA Superbike wins listwith 14.

Daytona International Speedway always seemed to bring the most out ofRussell. His five 200 victories are unmatched and he has always had themystique of being the rider to beat. His favorite victory is his thirdtriumph in 1995 where he fell on Lap 2 and came back to win.

"I was here for one reason and that was to win it," Russell said. "Ifanybody got in the way, I tried to go around them."

HOW'S THE RECOVERY GOING?
"It's slow. I haven't really been pushing hard to get back in shapebecause I knew that was it. I think after that incident, I thought Iwanted to come back, but I didn't. Due to the injuries, I'm not going tobe 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 agrain of salt. I never trained hard to be who I was. I didn't have to. Itcame 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. Theseguys these days are knocking a second of these lap records every yearnow. That's a lot of big gains. That's something I'm not prepared comeout 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 whatI want to do. To come back and so far be the all-time winner here isunbelievable to me. I'm very happy to do that and I was able to be sosuccessful 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 bestfeeling in my life to be at the 'World Center of Racing' and be theman. It's pretty nice. How I did it? It was great help from great teamsand the support they gave me. Muzzy Kawasaki were just magical years. Icouldn't ever go anywhere else and get that kind of thing going withanother team. That was just magic stuff. I was here for one reason andthat 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 therace, that for sure stands out in my mind out of all them. That one wasso good."

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Brent Avis
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