The grandfather clock of Martinsville, kissing of the bricks at Indy and the custom cowboy boots of Texas Motor Speedway are iconic trophies in the sport of racing. The rich traditions of these trophies are tied to the identity of the local people themselves. If a driver wins in Nashville they get a hand-painted guitar, the winner in Vegas gets a championship belt built for a boxer, but not every track has a championship-caliber history to represent in trophy form.
A few race tracks are still searching for a memorable way to commemorate the victorious driver. Here are the five least memorable trophies in NASCAR.
Phoenix Raceway’s Live Rattlesnake Trophy
Phoenix International Raceway is nestled in the Valley of the Sun with Rattlesnake Hill rising above Turn Four in picturesque beauty. Anyone who has ever hiked up the hill to watch races can testify to the simple majesty of the view. To commemorate the most famous landmark at the raceway, race officials give the winning driver a live rattlesnake in Victory Lane. All seven winners of this trophy have been severely bitten about the face and neck by the rattlesnake trophy.
The Sour Cream Dip at the Glen
As part of a product integration with their sponsor, Glen officials choose their own version of kissing the bricks. At Watkins Glen, the winning driver is forcibly dipped into a life-sized bowl of sour cream and fights to escape the bowl like it was a physical challenge on Double Dare. Glen officials incorrectly assumed that drivers would want to celebrate by emerging from the bowl covered in sour cream.
The Maple Syrup Shower at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
New Hampshire’s maple syrup is often overlooked compared to the famous maple syrup of neighboring Vermont. To raise awareness, the tourism board of Loudon, N.H., decided to shower the race winner with 200,000 gallons of maple syrup. It took last year’s winner, Jimmie Johnson, over three hours to extricate himself from Victory Lane.
The Most Dangerous Game at Pocono
To add a little drama to Pennsylvania 500, the winner receives two prizes: a big cash payout and the chance to be hunted as prey by a recluse Pennsylvanian billionaire. The winning driver is quickly whisked from Victory Lane to the remote wilderness beyond the backstretch where he must survive on his cunning and skill while being stalked by the aforementioned recluse billionaire. No driver has ever been physically harmed due to the reclusive billionaire’s inability to properly fire a gun and his distaste for standing outside in the cold.
Fontana’s Exact Replica of the Hollywood Sign Trophy
Capitalizing on the fame and recognition of Fontana’s largest landmark, the winner goes home with an exact replica of the Hollywood sign. The trophy is 45 feet tall and over 350 feet long. The trophy is amazing, but it presents some logistical hurtles. Some folks postulate that Jimmie Johnson let Kevin Harvick win at Fontana this year to avoid tying the sign to his RV and driving it back to Charlotte. It took a convoy of 15 haulers to bring back the sign to RCR this year.