The Trophy

By Jim

I was walking through the pits saying “Hi” to this one and “Hi” to another. One of the guys said, “Chuck’s over there by the race car.” “Oh, thanks.” I walked over. “About time,” he said. I laughed as I put on my helmet. “If I set fast time, I’ll let you run the trophy dash.” All the guys standing around laughed at that. Chuck said, “Those lessons you take don’t do that much good.” “We’ll see.”

A few minutes later the announcer called our “Number 77.” “That be me.” Chuck and I took turns racing and qualifying. We had raced stock cars in the past. But to move up in class, it cost more money. So we bought an open top coupe together.

I was thinking as I pulled onto the track, “Trophy dash here we come.” Hank told me to keep it wide open and run on the high side. “Here goes.” I ran my two laps and did what he said. As I was going back into the pits, I heard the announcer say, “That – race fans – was the fast time of the night.”

In those days it was a big deal to run the trophy dash. Chuck did it and won. The flagman gave him the checkered flag and he drove around the track. He came back to the starting line. The crowd was going crazy, yelling, clapping. Not very often do two nobodies set fast time and win the trophy dash. After the noise calmed down, the announcer said, “Chuck, pick your trophy girl.” Girls held their hands up and yelled, “Pick me.” Chuck pointed to the top of the grand stand and one row down. A real fat guy stood up and said, “Me?” Chuck said, “Sit down.” The crowd was laughing like crazy. The girl behind him said softly, “Me?” “Yes. Please join me.” She ran down the steps, the flagman helped her onto the track. She gave chuck the trophy and he gave her a kiss. It was an honor to be a trophy girl. How does this story end?

A couple of years later, Chuck and I sold the car. I kept the trophy. I married the trophy girl and Chuck was my best man!

June 2014

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