Richmond Int'l Raceway news 2008-09-02

THIS TROPHY ROCKS: CHEVY ROCK & ROLL 400 AWARD TO FEATURE FULLY FUNCTIONAL GUITAR FOR FOURTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR Race at Richmond International Raceway is "One Last Race to Make The Chase" Richmond, VA (September 2, 2008)--When Saturday...

THIS TROPHY ROCKS: CHEVY ROCK & ROLL 400 AWARD TO FEATURE FULLY FUNCTIONAL GUITAR FOR FOURTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

Race at Richmond International Raceway is "One Last Race to Make The Chase"

Richmond, VA (September 2, 2008)--When Saturday night's Chevy Rock & Roll 400 winner visits Gatorade Victory Lane at Richmond International Raceway, he'll not only receive a fervent celebration with his team and owner, but he will also accept a piece of hardware that took three months to construct and refine into the piece of artwork that it truly is.

For the fourth consecutive year, collaboration among Chevrolet, Paul Reed Smith Guitars and metal sculptor Karl Saar will result in a trophy valued at more than $20,000. Since 2005, the award for winning the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race has been a four-foot tall trophy incorporating a custom, fully functional PRS guitar engulfed in polished aluminum flames. The guitar, which can be removed and played, sits atop a mahogany pedestal and is painted to exactly match the color of the Official Pace Car.

The paint design is quite an elaborate process. The paint codes used for the Pace Car are obtained from Chevy and directly applied to the trophy. There are several colors, along with a urethane topcoat, just like that used on the car. A meticulous process from start to finish, the paint design project takes about two weeks to complete. The colors this year are Crystal Black, Volcanic Red, O' So Sexy Red, Performance Yellow, Orange Glow and Sterling Silver.

The polished aluminum flames are manufactured by Baltimore metal sculptor Karl Saar. Along with the flames, the 2007 and 2008 trophies include an aluminum depiction of Richmond International Raceway's D-shaped oval. Approximately 35 pounds of aluminum is used for this part of the project, which takes approximately 230 hours to construct and polish.

"As soon as I jumped out of the car in Victory Lane, I noticed the trophy and asked one of the race officials if that was the one I actually got to take home," said Kurt Busch, winner of the 2005 Chevy Rock & Roll 400. "I couldn't believe it. It's just a really cool trophy--very unique. It stands out from all the others."

The trophy is going on a media tour this week before going on display Saturday, September 6, prior to the Chevy Rock & Roll 400--"One Last Race to Make The Chase." The race sets the field for the top 12 drivers who will battle it out over the final 10 races to determine the Sprint Cup Series champion. Tickets, which start at $80, can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 866-455-7223 or logging on to www.rir.com.

-credit: rir

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch