Hollywood has Oscar. Broadway has Tony. The NHRA has Wally. And now Memphis Motorsports Park has Elvis.
In another display of the unique partnership between Elvis Presley Enterprises and Memphis Motorsports Park, officials from both organizations joined Memphis and NASCAR champions Bobby Hamilton and Bobby Hamilton, Jr., at the gates of Graceland today to unveil a one-of-a-kind trophy that will be awarded to the winner of the NASCAR races in Memphis.
But not indefinitely. Adding to the trophy’s allure and intrinsic appeal to the racers is the fact that there will only be twelve produced over the next five years – one each for the winning drivers of the summer Craftsman Truck Series and fall Busch Series races, and one each for Graceland and Memphis Motorsports Park.
“This trophy is a signature piece that will stand alone in NASCAR’s victory lanes,” said Jason Rittenberry, Memphis Motorsports Park Vice President and General Manager. “Like our first-ever NASCAR night race this Saturday, the trophy is yet another chapter that we’re proud to add to this city’s storied sports history, and something that the track and Graceland will proudly display for all of our collective fans.”
Bobby Hamilton, the current NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion and winner of last year’s O’Reilly 200, counts himself as one of those fans. "I toured Graceland for the first time last week and was moved by it," Hamilton said. "It was by far one of the best things I've ever done in my life. I am excited to be a part of the unveiling of such a unique trophy for Memphis Motorsports Park and hope I can be the first to win it. The tie-in with Elvis is a great idea for the Memphis area and all of us Elvis fans out there. You bet we will be fighting for that trophy."
Likewise, Hamilton Jr., who is currently driving in the Nextel Cup Series and won the Memphis Busch Series race in 2003, is a fan of the idea and the area. “I have very fond memories of Memphis Motorsports Park and winning here, and the connection between racing and rock ‘n’ roll makes perfect sense to me."
The trophy design – 27 inches tall and 60 pounds of cast bronze - is based on the statue of Elvis that stands on Beale Street, the only statue ever officially commissioned by Elvis Presley Enterprises.
Jack Soden (CEO, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.), Memphis and NASCAR champions Bobby Hamilton Jr. and Bobby Hamilton, and Jason Rittenberry (VP & GM, Memphis Motorsports Park) unveiled the track’s new “Elvis” trophy inside the gates of Graceland on Wednesday morning.
"Elvis was a sports enthusiast, cars were one of his passions, and he loved Memphis. This award in his image embodies all three,” said Jack Soden, CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. “Elvis is the face of our city, and you can see that in this unique trophy. Fans from around the world love Elvis, and now NASCAR drivers will have a chance to win the ultimate Elvis collectible.”
Source: Google / Updated: Jul 21, 2005