New Trophy Unveiled for NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
Previous Champs Featured on New Hardware
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour kicked off the season Sunday at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway. Before the racing got underway, the drivers got a glimpse of what they were chasing.
NASCAR and series sponsor Whelen Engineering unveiled a three-tiered championship trophy that honors the Modified’s history, recognizes its present and leaves plenty of room for the future champions.
“Whelen is committed to preserving the heritage of the Modified Tour,” said Phil Kurze, Whelen’s director of motorsports. “This trophy is a big step toward accomplishing that.”
The trophy, which is just over 3 feet tall, includes a chronological list of names of every Modified champion, dating back to Red Byron’s inaugural title in 1948. The list of the NASCAR Modified national champions, which encircles the eight-sided bottom base, includes racing legends the likes of Bobby Allison, Bugs Stevens, Red Farmer, Richie Evans and Jerry Cook. The second tier is devoted to the Whelen Modified Tour, starting with Evans’ ninth championship in 1985. It spans Mike Stefanik’s seven titles and Tony Hirschman Jr.’s five crowns , as well as Jimmy Spencer’s two championships, and titles won by current drivers Jerry Marquis, Jamie Tomaino, Rick Fuller and Todd Szegedy.
“This prestigious trophy reflects the stature of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship and celebrates its rich heritage,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR’s managing director of racing operations. “The design also provides future space to add today’s up and coming drivers who can become the Richie Evans, Jerry Cooks and Mike Stefaniks of tomorrow.”
The top tier is reserved for the 2007 winner, with the text “CHAMPION” etched across the gold plaque that dominates the front. The body of all three tiers of the base is fabricated in durable and elegant black acrylic Burlstone Sunstone. The trophy is topped by a hand-blown cut crystal bowl with a deep etched NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour logo.
The new NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion's trophy. (NASCAR/Hodge Photo)
At the end of the season, the trophy will be presented to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion and an identical trophy will be produced for 2008. The etched magnetic plates can be easily updated and provide space for future champions to add their name.
The trophy was custom designed for NASCAR by Jostens. The Minnesota-based jeweler is the exclusive designer/manufacturer of all NASCAR championship diamond rings. In addition, they have created 27 of 41 Super Bowl championship rings and the Heisman Trophy.