By admin | May 14, 2010
By Richard Allen
There are a number of trophies any sports fan can immediately recognize. The Heisman Trophy, the Claret Jug, the Borg-Warner Trophy, the Vince Lombardi Trophy and the Harley J. Earl Trophy are among some of the most coveted hardware in all of sports. Each of those pieces is so highly valued because it represents the pinnacle of achievement for a particular endeavor.
Winning the Autism Speaks 400 in Dover may not necessarily be one of the make or break moments in the career of a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver but the trophy given to that winner has to be one of the coolest in all of sports.
A track known as the ‘Monster Mile’ has to have a mascot and to actually put that mascot on the trophy is even better. ‘Miles the Monster’ even mirrors his track’s concrete surface in his menacing appearance.
Jeff Burton won at Dover in 2006. The trophy was one of his most prized racing rewards. However, Burton’s wife, Kim, decided ‘Miles’ needed to be relocated.
“She decided that it needed to be somewhere else,” he explained. “Well, of course, I’m never home, so she went to do it herself. It’s not a light piece, and my wife weighs all of 95 pounds. She tripped and fell on top of it, breaking it into 60 pieces…When she did it broke her ribs. It damaged her, destroyed the trophy, and it was quite a mess. The monster bit her.”
Hopefully, a better fate awaits ‘Miles’ after this weekend. While winning in Dover may not carry the same honor as a win in Daytona or Indianapolis, the trophy to be received is nonetheless quite a prized one.
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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.
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