NOTEBOOK: K&N PRO SERIES CHAMPIONS WILL HAVE NEW TROPHY TO HOIST AT SEASON'S END LAKEVILLE, Conn. -- Seems everything in racing is about hardware -- from wrenches and jacks to toolboxes and war wagons. The K&N Pro Series East teams found out...
NOTEBOOK: K&N PRO SERIES CHAMPIONS WILL HAVE NEW TROPHY TO HOIST AT SEASON'S END
LAKEVILLE, Conn. -- Seems everything in racing is about hardware -- from wrenches and jacks to toolboxes and war wagons.
The K&N Pro Series East teams found out Saturday morning at their pre-race drivers meeting at Lime Rock Park that they've got a new piece of hardware coming. NASCAR officials unveiled a new championship trophy for the series, one that will become a permanent fixture beginning with the conclusion of the current season.
Six series champions -- Matt Kobyluck, Mike Olsen, Andy Santerre, Dale Shaw, Mike Stefanik and Ryan Truex -- were on hand for the unveiling.
"It's great to have K&N in the series, and obviously they're putting a great effort in," said Santerre, a four-time champion as a driver who now heads Revolution Racing and its four entries. "Seeing that championship trophy for 2010 is pretty awesome. They did a nice job. It looks like something you'd see more in Cup or Nationwide. ... I think it's a pretty cool deal."
An identical trophy was unveiled Saturday at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, Calif.
Kobyluck and Truex still actively drive in the series, while Stefanik competes full-time on the Whelen Modified Tour, where he's a seven-time champion in addition to the two K&N Pro Series East titles on his resume. Shaw's son, DJ, now competes as a driver, while Olsen fielded two teams in the K&N 100 Saturday out of his Fadden Racing stable.
"I think the good thing about that whole deal is that we're all still here in some respect," Santerre said. "We may not be turning the steering wheel, but Mike Olsen, Dale Shaw -- some of the other guys there -- we've all put a lot of effort into building this series. It's nice to see everybody sticking around and being a part of it."
NASCAR will have two versions of the trophy each year. One will stay at headquarters in Daytona Beach, Fla., while the other will go to the championship-winning team. The trophy will be adorned with a perpetual base, similar to the National Hockey League's coveted Stanley Cup as well as NASCAR's other national and touring series trophies, with a list of each champion in series history.
"The new K&N Pro Series East trophy is definitely a classic," Kobyluck said. "It's one of those first-off editions that everybody wants to get their hands on. It's really cool looking. I'm really happy to have K&N as our title sponsor, and they've brought a nice trophy for us all to race for and get there at the end of the season."