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Jul 23, 2002

Florida Star Shane Prieto Retires From Racing

From a press release:<BR><BR>SHANE PRIETO HANGS 'EM UP<BR><BR><img src="../issues/jul02/shane1.jpg" border="1" align="left" hspace="5">In last Sunday's CCS Florida Region race at Moroso, Shane Prieto graciously announced his retirement. A dominant rider for 10 years, Prieto left holding several records, including Most Consecutive Unlimited Grand Prix victories with 12. And, Most Unlimited GP Victories All-Time. "I had been thinking about it for awhile, and last week, it just clicked in my head that it was time," said Prieto. "I intend to spend weekends water-skiing with my family now." When Prieto was younger his family did that together and he misses it. He is an accomplished bare-foot skier.<BR><BR>By the time racing started Sunday morning, everyone in the paddock had heard the news, and there was more attention than usual paid to the battles throughout the day between Prieto and this year's champ Marco Martinez. These two have produced some very exciting contests throughout the last several years, and this event was no exception. In this day's Unlimited GP, both were riding Suzuki GSX-R1000s.<hr noshade size="1" width="300" align="left"><img src="../issues/jul02/shane2.jpg" border="1"><hr noshade size="1" width="300" align="left">Prieto jumped out to a 15-bike lead before Martinez made an outside pass in turn seven, to mixed emotions from the crowd, on lap five of the six-lap sprint. On lap three, Martinez set a new track record running him down on the newly tightened course. Prieto was on Pirelli DOTs and Martinez used Dunlop slicks.<BR><BR>Shane Prieto was the overall champion for two different seasons riding with the Number One plate in 1995 and 2001. Mounted on Suzukis, his brother Sean Prieto has been his mechanic, operating out of Prieto Racing, Inc. in Pompano Beach, FL. Prieto Racing is now the foremost road racing shop in Florida.<BR><BR>Florida Region Promoter Henry DeGouw says: "I hate to see him go, he's been such a fixture here." DeGouw, a former Florida Champ too, knows what he's going through. He retired after three years himself, sat out for a year and "I was going crazy" he said. "Then I came back for 18 more years."<BR><BR>CCS Racing in Florida features 12 races this year at Moroso Motorsports Park in West Palm Beach, Homestead Miami Speedway, and North Florida Motorsports Park in Jennings, FL.<BR>