All You Should Know About the ‘Vulcan Trophy’ Awarded to NASCAR Cup Winners at Talladega

Published 04/23/2021, 9:45 AM EDT
TALLADEGA, AL – OCTOBER 11: The winning trophys for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race prior to first practice for the NGOTS Sugarlands Shine 250 race on October 11, 2019 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


This weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series community is visiting the Talladega Superspeedway. As always, every race venue has its own unique trophy, and Talladega is no different.

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This trophy is known as the Vulcan Trophy and it towers at more than 38 inches and weighs over 130 pounds. Apparently, it is a locally made trophy and is presented to every visitor to Victory Lane.

Description-wise, the trophy is a hand-made, miniature version of a statue of the deity, Vulcan. The original is an imposing 56-foot tall structure on a 124-foot platform in the city of Birmingham, Alabama.

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Inaugural recipient Joey Logano said in 2016. “I was pumped to be the first driver to win one. Trophies are one of the best parts of what we do, and some of them are just cooler and more special because of what they are.

“Talladega Superspeedway nailed it when they had the Vulcan Trophy made.”

What makes this NASCAR Cup Series Talladega trophy so special?

In mythology, Hephaestus is the Greek god of fire and the forge, with Vulcan being his Roman counterpart. It is worth mentioning that Birmingham is rich in coal, iron ore, and limestone. These raw materials are crucial for manufacturing iron and steel and they are also unique to Vulcan himself.

Oct 4, 2020; Lincoln, Alabama, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (43) leads the field during the YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Interestingly, the special trophies are not just limited to the NASCAR Cup Series. The winning drivers in the ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series receive a small Hammer & Anvil Trophy.

All trophies are equally important and local artists painstakingly create them by hand. First and foremost, they pour hot iron into a created cast, then they chisel it to perfection.

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To get into a little more detail, sculptors start from scratch, namely an original wax pattern. From there, step two comprises a rubber mold and, later on, a sand mold.

Step three consists of the sculptor pouring hot, molten iron into the mold. After cooling, the sculptor removes the iron pieces. Finally, they use torches to heat the statue to get rid of moisture. The last step consists of a wax finish to the statue.

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Without a doubt, many NASCAR Cup Series drivers will be eager to get a hold of this trophy.

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Dhruv George

11409 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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