FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. says winning at Texas did amazing things for his NASCAR career.

Earnhardt was 25 years old at Texas in 2000 when he won in the Cup Series for the first time. That was two years after he got his first victory in NASCAR's second-tier series at the same track.

With Earnhardt back in Texas for his last Cup race before he retires from full-time racing, track President Eddie Gossage rode a horse into the media center to recognize NASCAR's most popular driver.

The horse wasn't his retirement gift, but the track is sponsoring a therapy horse in his name at a nearby center.

Gossage presented Earnhardt with the top of the electronic scoring pylon from his Cup victory, with the No. 1 spot lit up with number 8, his car number at the time. The track also gave Earnhardt and his wife, Amy, who are expecting a daughter, a pink stroller that is a small replica of a classic Chevy convertible.