Link to the online article: http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2007/04/23/local_sports/21967440.txt
 
Question posed to The Journal Times’ Glad You Asked column:
 
"Why there is a rocket ship on the top of the Daytona 500 trophy?"
 
 
Answer:
 

The trophy which is given to the winner of the Daytona 500 each year is called the Harley J. Earl Trophy.  It is topped with a replica statuette of the Firebird prototype designed by Earl. This famous automobile designer was also the second NASCAR commissioner and is often referred to as the Father of the Corvette.

 

In 1953, Earl’s Firebird prototype was built. This automobile was basically a jet airplane on wheels with a bubble top, wings and even a tailfin. Though not very practical, the Firebird and Earl’s designs took sports cars to a new level – and fast.

 

The Harley J. Earl Trophy is hand designed each year by Omaha sculptor, John Liba.  Liba puts many hours into each hand crafted trophy. And according to an interview with WOWT, an Omaha news station, he feels it is a great honor.

 

By the way, for those who may not follow NASCAR (which is probably me and 3 other people), the honored Daytona 500 winner this year was Kevin Harvick with average speeds registering at 149.333 mph. He not only took home the coveted trophy, but also his $1,510,469 prize.  That should cover any speeding tickets.

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