Along with the thrill of winning, the NASCAR drivers are also quite interested in the piece of silverware they earn. While there are many unique trophies going around in NASCAR, there is nothing as unique as the one awarded to the winners of the races at Martinsville Speedway.
The trophy isn’t one in the general sense of it and its uniqueness is what makes it special to earn for the drivers. It is in the shape of a long clock and was introduced by Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles. The Martinsville area is known for its furniture industry and Earles wanted something that commemorates that.
The seven-foot-tall trophy is known as the ‘Grandfather Clock’ or the Ridgeway Clock. It was presented for the first time, back in 1964, to NASCAR Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen. Back then, and for many years, the trophy was manufactured just down the road from the iconic short-track.
Clockmakers Howard Miller then bought Ridgeway, who were the manufacturers of the clock, and started making them in their unit in Zeeland, Michigan. Howard Miller makes many of these clocks around the year. However, they receive the largest demand for them during the NASCAR Martinsville race week.
There is a meticulous and delicate process involved in making these clocks and the stakes are high as they are used for a NASCAR race as well.
It is indeed a very interesting idea to make a clock and a very unique looking one at that, as a trophy for one of the most important races of the year. And the drivers understand the importance of owning one. Many of them proudly flaunt them in their homes.
“I would say it is a unique piece that ranks in the top-five of all trophies. It is something that every driver has on their checklist,” Kurt Busch said of the same. His brother Kyle Busch, who has two of those himself, also highlighted its importance.
“The clock is up there. It’s certainly pretty cool. It’s fun to have the clock, set it, and have it go off in your house every day. Having a couple of Martinsville clocks is good,” Kyle expressed.
Brad Keselowski has also won the iconic trophy and went on to say it is the only one he hosts in his house. “It’s the only trophy I have in my house, which is all I can say,” Keselowski said. The Team Penske driver starts on pole position in this Sunday’s race at Martinsville.
Martin Truex Jr. has won back-to-back Grandfather Clocks and starts on the front row this Sunday. The NASCAR Cup Series drivers will be highly motivated to visit Victory Lane this Sunday. A win would earn the driver this unique trophy and also all the momentum before the championship race next weekend.