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Posted: 8/30/2004 11:56:29 AM EDT
Rusty Wallace to retire in 2005, citing concerns about getting hurt

August 30, 2004

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace will retire at the end of the 2005 season, citing concerns about getting hurt and saying Monday he wanted to leave at the top of his game.

Wallace's decision was influenced by the death of his competitor, Dale Earnhardt, who was killed in a crash at the Daytona 500 in 2001.

``I think after Earnhardt lost his life three or four years ago, it kind of got to me,'' Wallace said at a news conference at the Daytona International Speedway. ``It made me feel nervous. It made me think hard about it ... I don't want to get hurt.''

Wallace, 48, has won 55 races. The St. Louis native made his NASCAR debut in 1980 and has won almost every major race except the Daytona 500, which Wallace said he is focused on winning before he retires.

``The Daytona 500 is still the granddaddy of them all. It's the race I haven't won and I'm going to try my darndest to win it,'' he said.

Updated on Monday, Aug 30, 2004 1:06 pm EDT


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