The winner of this weekend’s NASCAR race will receive a unique trophy… one that is made locally.
It’s the outcome of a long-standing relationship between Watkins Glen International and the Corning Museum of Glass.
With that being said, you can probably already guess what it’s made out of, but what it represents makes it unique.
The museum has been creating the trophy since 2012, and the partnership evolved when racetrack officials asked CMoG for help.
“We jumped right at the opportunity because it’s so much fun to be able to work with another institution and really bring a great idea to life, a great concept to life,” Eric MeEk, hot glass programs manager at CMoG, said.
Every year, the trophy combines the two regional attractions into one and focuses on what make this region special.
Looking at the glass from the top, you can see the shape of the track and the iconic blue guard rails – something both parties agree make it unique.
Looking at it straight on, the long blue body represents the many waterfalls and gorges the area boasts.
A team of roughly six glassblowers begin their magic by working from the inside out, trying to perfect the track’s body by hand.
The whole project takes about a week with the team creating about 12 to 15 trophies before they construct the one.
“When the driver gets out of that car and he hoists his trophy up, I’ve seen moments when the driver will take a closer look at it, even right then amongst all of the excitement, take a look at it, and it really puts a smile on his face,” Meek said.
Although the process takes roughly a week, the project was completed way in advance – about two to three months ago.
(Some footage courtesy of CMoG)