The Stanley Cup. The Green Jacket. The Vince Lombardi Trophy.
The biggest events in sports come with some of the most storied and iconic trophies bestowed upon their winners. At Bristol Motor Speedway (TN), race winners receive an engraved sword, from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series to the Short Track U.S. Nationals on Friday and Saturday, May 31 - June 1.
The awarding of the sword began in 2014, with Carl Edwards receiving the first trophy of its kind after the March Cup race that year driving for Roush Fenway Racing.
“It’s something that started five or six years ago for just the NASCAR Cup winners,” Brandon Cross of Bristol Motor Speedway told Speed51. “It then extended to the Xfinity guys.”
When the Short Track U.S. Nationals were introduced, the swords came along with the experience for Late Model and grassroots racers who challenged “The Last Great Colosseum.”
“Once we started the Short Track U.S. Nationals, these guys are winners,” Cross said. “These guys have earned a win at Bristol Motor Speedway, running on that race track, bumping and grinding, fighting their way to first place. They deserve that too.”
The event may lack some of the mainstream exposure of a NASCAR weekend at Bristol, but the Speedway fully recognizes the challenge of winning a race against some of the best short track racers in the country.
“We do not hand those swords out to just anybody,” Cross stated. “You have to earn it. Winning a Short Track U.S. Nationals event is definitely earning it.”
While Bristol is excited to share the swords with their winners, they are less inclined to tell you everything about them. You can’t spoil all the fun, right?
“There is top-secret information,” Cross responds when asked about the construction of the swords. “It is absolutely top-secret. It’s actually really cool stuff, what all goes into it, but it’s really top secret.”
Four divisions will compete for the Bristol swords at this year’s Short Track U.S. Nationals, with Super Late Models, Pro Late Models, Street Stocks and Compacts taking to the high banks. Sanctioning series include the ARCA/CRA Super Series, CARS Tour, Southern Super Series, JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour, Van Hoy Oil CRA Street Stock Series and Vores Compact Touring Series.
The links for the entry forms are as follows:
Van Hoy Oil CRA Street Stocks: https://carstour.wufoo.com/forms/zazoz9500nsptz/
JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Pro Late Models: https://carstour.wufoo.com/forms/z1np7d471vv6adf/
Super Late Models: https://carstour.wufoo.com/forms/z96ral703csmlf/
For more information about the Short Track U.S. Nationals, visit bristolmotorspeedway.com.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo