BUSCH: Hand-carved boots for Texas winner

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (March 12, 2001) - When the winner of the NASCAR Busch Series Jani-King 300 raises the trophy in victory lane, he will be hoisting a specially carved pair of wooden boots. The trophy is being designed and carved by local artisan...

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (March 12, 2001) - When the winner of the NASCAR Busch Series Jani-King 300 raises the trophy in victory lane, he will be hoisting a specially carved pair of wooden boots. The trophy is being designed and carved by local artisan Robert Cortez of Fort Worth.

"We are honored to have Robert create a special one-of-a-kind trophy for our Busch Series race," speedway vice president and general manager Eddie Gossage said. "He is a master craftsman who is developing something for us that is unique to Texas Motor Speedway." The hand-carved presentation will be a full replica of a size nine pair of boots mounted on a wood base. The Texas Motor Speedway logo is carved into the top of the boots and genuine silver spurs, outfitted with specially cut lone star rowels, will be attached to the boots. The spurs are being designed by Joe Spiller of Poolville, Texas.

Cortez designed and carved another special pair of boots for Texas Motor Speedway in 1998. That trophy was for the Texas Two-Step, an award which was given to the highest points holder from the June and September Indy Racing events at the speedway Billy Boat, driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, took home the Texas Two-Step trophy that year.

It was quite a challenge for Cortez who, prior to that, had never made a trophy, nor had he carved a pair of boots before. Working without a pattern to follow, his creation was one of magnificence. Cortez is a self-taught carver who has developed a hobby into a passion. Today, he works to advance the recognition of local artists through his involvement in the Working Artists Network.

"The artists in this area have a tremendous amount of talent and the expertise to do many things," Cortez said. "Hopefully, people will notice these talents and utilize their abilities."

Fans in attendance, as well as those in the television audience, will certainly notice the latest creation of Robert Cortez - as it is held high by the Jani-King 300 winner in victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 31.

-TMS

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Billy Boat , A.J. Foyt