Defending Race Winner Kahne Joins LMS to Unveil New Coca-Cola 600 Trophy
When Charlotte Motor Speedway celebrates the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24, the winner of the race will not only take home the lion's share of the recording-breaking nearly $6.7 million purse, he will also receive the priceless new trophy speedway officials unveiled today.
Defending Coca-Cola 600 champion Kasey Kahne ('06, '08) joined Speedway Motorsports Chairman Bruton Smith and Charlotte Motor Speedway President Marcus Smith to reveal the trophy to the public for the first time in The Speedway Club.
"We're celebrating a milestone event at Charlotte Motor Speedway and it's only fitting that the trophy represent just how special this historical event is," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We commissioned a new trophy that honors 50 years of racing at the world's greatest speedway. It's a one-of-a-kind treasure that represents all the sweat, determination and drive it takes to win at Charlotte. There's no way to put a price tag on what it will mean to the driver who takes it home after the 50th Coca-Cola 600."
More than 120 man-hours of work went into the design and construction of the finished piece of artwork that weighs 225 pounds. The trophy is 18 inches wide and 31 inches tall. The base was cut from black Oscuro marble and the center was bored out to relieve weight and accommodate the vertical portion of the trophy. The first World 600, 50th Coca-Cola 600 and Charlotte Motor Speedway Fifty Years of Firsts logos are engraved across the front of the base.
In the center of the base sits the familiar prize that winners of the Coca-Cola 600 have received since 1981. The piston was cast in Everdur bronze and plated with 22-carat gold. Surrounding it are 10 monolithic columns of fine crystal that were hand-etched with the winners' names and dates from the past 49 Coca-Cola 600s. The name of the winner of the 50th Coca-Cola 600 will be added to both a crystal column and the marble base.
"Bobby Allison may have thought our original piston trophy was hard to lift when he received it after winning the 1981 Coca-Cola 600, but this year's winner will need more than a little help to lift our special trophy,"
said Smith. "It may be heavy, but the winner of the 50th Coca-cola 600 will mark a special place in Charlotte Motor Speedway's history, and this trophy signifies that winning the Coca-Cola 600 means more than any other race."
The new trophy was conceptualized by Efron Design and constructed by Innocast Execuline, a company that has been commissioned to produce fine art and gifts for numerous heads of state, celebrities and several presidential administrations. Recipients of their designs include former presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush and Ronald Reagan, the National Football League, Walt Disney, and celebrities Clint Eastwood, Robin Williams, Martha Stewart, Stevie Wonder and Will Smith.
Charlotte Motor Speedway will host the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24. Ticket prices start at just $39.75 per person with a Coca-Cola four-pack purchase and are available through the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.