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(AP Photo/John Raoux)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- It's hard to come up with a good retirment gift for a race car driver, particularly when the driver has an accomplished 50-year career.
Daytona International Speedway did its best to come up with something different when it came time to honor Scott Pruett. Track President Chip Wile gave Pruett a core sample from the start/finish line on Friday to mark Pruett's final race.
Pruett is retiring after the Rolex 24 at Daytona, a race he's won a record-tying five times.
Wile also gave Pruett a book that commemorated many of his moments racing at Daytona.
"This has been such an incredible experience, and there's a special places and special things that you do, and when I look back, one of those places has been Daytona," Pruett said.
Pruett has arecord 60 wins in American sports car competition. His five Rolex 24 wins are tied for most with Hurley Haywood, and Pruett also won five titles when the series ran as Grand-AM and two championships under IMSA.
"I think overall, people, long past I'm gone, will remember me for sports cars," Pruett said. "That's where my heart is, too. Even though I have all those achievements in other forms, by far sports cars I think was my fit. Dig driving the cars, loved the competition.
"When you come to a race like this, it's not driver, it's drivers, it's team. There's so many elements that come into it. To be a part of that, to win as many times as we have, have it shared among so many, it's very difficult to put into words how wonderful that truly is. Being able to do that as many times as I have makes it even that much more special."
Pruett turns 58 in March. He will continue to work with Lexus, the manufacturer he teamed with to help develop and promote the Lexus IS F performance sedan and Lexus LFA supercar in 2008.
Although sports cars are where Pruett dominated, he was also one of the first drivers to adapt to various disciplines. He raced Indy cars under the CART banner for 10 seasons and won two races, scored 15 podiums and was the 1989 Indianapolis 500 co-rookie of the year.