Stock car racing legend Rusty Wallace will call it a career after the 2005 season. At a press conference in Daytona Beach Florida Monday, Wallace, who hails from St. Louis, announced his intent to retire next year. Wallace said yesterday that he’s been thinking about retiring since Dale Earnhardt’s death at the Daytona 500 in 2001. “It really…kind of got to me. (It) made me a little nervous, made me think hard about it. And you know what? I’ve won a lot of races and I want to have fun in the sport and I don’t want to get hurt.” Wallace recalled a conversation he had with NASCAR president Bill France Jr. In the night of Earnhardt’s death, “Mr. France told me at the hospital that night, “You know, don’t stay in this thing too long, kid. You’ve done a lot for this sport. You don’t need to keep grinding; you don’t need to prove nothing. You’ve won a ton of races, you’ve done enough.’ And that stuck in my mind a long time.” Wallace broke into the NASCAR full time in 1984 and was named the rookie of the year after finishing 14th in points. In 1989, Wallace won the Winston Cup championship. Earlier this year, he snapped a 105-race winless streak with a victory at Martinsville, Virginia. He was named to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. He plans on taking a more active role behind the scenes with Team Penske.
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