All You Need to Know About the Iconic and Unique Trophy for the NASCAR Race at Martinsville Speedway

Published 10/30/2020, 11:40 AM EDT
MARTINSVILLE, VA – MARCH 24: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Reese/Draw Tite Ford, poses with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 24, 2019 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)


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.

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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.

MARTINSVILLE, VA – MARCH 26: Clint Bowyer, driver of the #14 Haas Automation Demo Day Ford, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the weather delayed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 26, 2018 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

The history of the unique NASCAR trophy at Martinsville Speedway

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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.

What the drivers feel about winning the trophy

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.

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Can Martin Truex Jr or Brad Keselowski win another one?

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.

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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