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The 5 Best Trophies in NASCAR

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Joshua Lipowski

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NASCAR trophies are some of the most iconic in all of motorsports. From the simple, yet iconic ones to the wacky ones, to the prestigious ones, NASCAR trophies are unlike any other. These are the 5 best.

  • For this list, we will take multiple factors into account. The prestige of the race and trophy itself will be considered, but, also creativity. Some trophies are included mainly due to just how creative the ideas are.
  • Trophies in NASCAR have evolved over the years. From the simple cups and small trophies drivers won in the early days to the modern-day masterpieces.
  • Fans and competitors both love iconic NASCAR trophies. They signify incredible accomplishments, and they are moments of the crowning achievement of many drivers’ careers.

5. Darlington Raceway: The Johnny Mantz Trophy

A “Crown Jewel” race deserves a “Crown Jewel” trophy, and the Johnny Mantz trophy is that. The trophy features black and white headshots of past Southern 500 winners, similar, albeit not quite as cool, as the heads on the Borg-Warner Trophy for winning the Indianapolis 500. Still, it gives the drivers a sense of the elite company they are joining.

The Southern 500 represents something incredible. It’s NASCAR’s original 500-mile endurance race, and it’s one of the few races today that still pushes man and machine to the absolute limit. When drivers win the Southern 500, they know they’ve done something incredible.

4. New Hampshire Motor Speedway: The Lobster

Wait a minute, I used the lead of this piece talking about the lobster, and I only put it at number 5 on this list? Well, let me explain. The lobster is still an incredible trophy, hence why it is number five on this list.

What other race track can say that they have won a living creature at a race track? However, the trophy does not necessarily appeal to everybody. Denny Hamlin literally ran away from the lobster before wincing to take a picture with the thing after winning there. This trophy fits the New England area, and it’s truly unlike anything else in NASCAR. It deserves a spot on this list.

3. Dover: Miles the Monster

Dover Motor Speedway is affectionately nicknamed “The Monster Mile” What better a mascot for the track than a concrete monster? That is exactly what they did.

Not only is that the track mascot, but they actually implemented the mascot into the trophy. Every series winner at the track gets their own version of “Miles the Monster” as their reward for winning. It’s pretty cool to see a race track that can give the same trophy to different series.

Kyle Busch is one of the few drivers who has wins at Dover in all three series. One can only wonder what he does with all of those “Miles the Monster” trophies.

2. Daytona 500: The Harley J. Earl Trophy

To those who win the Daytona 500, one of the most iconic trophies in all of NASCAR awaits, the Harley J. Earl Trophy. The trophy is in the shape of the Daytona International Speedway tri-oval with the GM XP-21 Firebird on top. A car that was famous for setting land speed world records at Daytona.

The trophy gains a lot of prestige for it being the winner’s trophy of the Daytona 500. However, it also just looks really cool. It may be a somewhat simple design, but, sometimes simple is better. It’s an iconic piece of NASCAR history, and, when you see it, you know exactly what it is for.

Of all places, the trophy given to the driver is sculpted in Omaha, Nebraska by John Lajba.

1. Martinsville: The Grandfather Clock

Whenever NASCAR comes to Martinsville, the question is not “Who will win?”, but it is, “Who gets that grandfather clock?” It’s a big trophy that represents a big accomplishment, winning at NASCAR’s oldest race track.

It’s a trophy that is big, but there is no mistaking what it is. It’s a trophy that has been a part of the race track since 1964, and it differentiates it from any other trophy on the circuit. There truly is nothing quite like it, and the trophy stands the test of time (No pun intended).

Maybe more trophies will develop grand traditions over time as NASCAR goes to newer and newer race tracks. Will these trophies remain the best of the best?

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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