One of the best things about being a driver (or in my case, dreaming about being a driver) is getting trophies. So what if I like being rewarded handsomely for my success? Who doesn’t?
When I say trophies, I don’t mean the statuettes that sit on your mantel or bookshelves, but instead the ones that actually do something. Trophies that provide me entertainment or help me in some way (e.g., telling time) are the ones I’d seek.
Don’t get me wrong, all trophies are nice, but I want something cooler. Is that too much to ask?
With this in mind, below are the five trophies I would want to win the most. Of course, any driver would want to take home the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship trophy and the Harley J. Earl Trophy for winning the Daytona 500. So, naturally, these two are ineligible. It should go without saying that I’d want to win these.
Don’t be surprised, however, if none of the trophies on my list are the stationary ones that do nothing other than sit there and look pretty.
Lobsters: After watching this weekend’s race at New Hampshire, I was reminded how much I’d love to take home a lobster. And you know what? I’m not even sure I like eating lobster. I’ve had it once or twice, but I question the validity of whether it was really lobster or imitation lobster (is there even such a thing, like imitation crab?). I might eventually decide to eat it, but I’m not 100 percent sold on the idea. No, I’m not a vegetarian or a vegan. I’m more intrigued, however, by the idea of keeping the lil’ crustacean as a pet (okay, if you’ve seen the size of those suckers they have in Victory Lane, maybe using the adjective “lil” is inaccurate) and entering him in lobster races. That has got to be a real thing, right? If so, I’d be on the sidelines cheering on Pinchy. I think that’s the perfect name for a champion lobster.
Guitars: I think I may have admitted this previously, but I have absolutely zero musical ability. And that extends to playing the guitar. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting a Les Paul guitar with original artwork from NASCAR’s first officially licensed artist Sam Bass. I’m pretty sure I’d look cool pretending I knew how to play and I might even sign up for a lesson or two. In my opinion, Nashville Superspeedway awarding each race winner a one-of-a-kind guitar is beyond awesome. If I were to win one as a driver, I might wish they came with guitar lessons. Maybe that’s how I’d use my prize money. It’s too bad Kyle Busch had to destroy one in Victory Lane back in 2009.
Jukeboxes: I’ll be honest with you. Before this year’s NASCAR race weekend at Kentucky, I had no idea the track was awarding a jukebox to all three race winners. And apparently, they did the same thing in 2015. Where have I been? While I have no musical talent, it doesn’t mean I don’t like listening to good music. I’m not going to get into what I think constitutes good music here (maybe later), but I’m sure most music would sound great blasting from my newly acquired Crosley Radio jukebox. I think a jukebox like this, as well as the previous trophy, could be the perfect foundation for a man cave or game room that would be the envy of the neighborhood. Doesn’t having a jukebox in your house automatically bump up your cool status? There’s gotta be a law about that somewhere. In retrospect, I probably lose all cool points I may have earned for owning a jukebox by simply asking that question. Oh well. At least I would still own one.
Grandfather Clocks: Okay, so grandfather clocks might not scream trendy or hip, but when you have a cool story about how you got them, they’re pretty hard to beat in the pantheon of great trophies. And they’re even cooler when your story includes accounts of holding off Jimmie Johnson while battling for the lead or how you made a last-lap pass of Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win this beauty. The history behind the grandfather clock and Martinsville Speedway make these timepieces even cooler. The shortest track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule started awarding the Ridgeway grandfather clocks to race winners in the 1960s. They were so popular and well-received that the tradition stuck and are still presented every year. They were once built in nearby Ridgeway, Va., before the company’s manufacturing was relocated. I don’t care if I can’t eat it, race it, play it or jam out to it, I’d still love to win at least once at Martinsville, if for no other reason than to own a Ridgeway grandfather clock.
Gladiator Swords: When you’re a speedway and you’re billed as “The Last Great Colosseum,” is there anything more apropos than giving the winner of one of your races a gladiator sword? I don’t think so. Of all my trophies (and this is a huge assumption that I actually had many), I’d be a little hesitant to display this prominently. I wouldn’t keep it tucked away because I don’t like it, but because I have two young boys constantly looking for things to give them an advantage over the other in their never-ending battles. I could just see one of them telling the other, “Your plastic shield is no match for this sword I found in daddy’s man cave.” I’d prefer to avoid situations like this; however, it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to have this trophy among my collection. Maybe, I’d keep this trophy at work.
Let us know in the comments section which trophies you’d want in your collection.
Other “If I Were a NASCAR Driver” articles.
If I Were a NASCAR Driver: Open Weekends (June 21, 2016)
If I Were a NASCAR Driver: Sponsors (June 29, 2016)