Photo: Dan R. Boyd

Borg-Warner Trophy to visit Japan in first ever trip outside U.S.

Leave a comment

You know the saying “if only this and this could talk, oh the stories it could tell?”

The 82-year-old Borg-Warner Trophy no doubt, if it could talk, would have a wealth of stories to provide from all the winners and 104 faces that have graced it over the years. The trophy, awarded to the winner of the Indianapolis 500, has never before been outside the U.S.

That will change this week, with the trophy heading to Japan in honor of this year’s 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil winner, Takuma Sato. It will be present for a couple weeks.

Sato saw his likeness on the Borg-Warner Trophy revealed in October at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, in an earlier event than normal as part of his hectic travel schedule. But he was even more happy than normal when his face was revealed.

Now, Japan will be the first country outside the U.S. – not even Canada, Mexico, England or Italy – to witness the Borg-Warner Trophy. Incidentally, the sterling silver trophy stands 5 foot 4, 3/4 inches tall and weighs 110 pounds – nearly identical to Sato’s proportions of 5 foot 4 and 117 pounds!

Photo: Dan R. Boyd

“BorgWarner is thrilled to be bringing the Borg-Warner Trophy to Japan to honor Takuma Sato the first Japanese driver to win the Indianapolis 500. It’s BorgWarner’s honor to help celebrate Honda’s 12th Indy 500 win and Takuma’s first “500” win in their home country,” said Scott D. Gallett, Vice President of Marketing, BorgWarner Inc.

“We are very proud to show the Borg-Warner Trophy to the people of Japan, race fans, media members and our employees. This historic and iconic trophy which weighs 110 pounds and stands over 5 feet tall represents the wonderful history and tradition of the Indianapolis 500 and it’s winners dating back the first “500” in 1911.”

Sato, who won this year’s race with Andretti Autosport and will shift to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in 2018, is thrilled to witness his home country get to see the trophy in full regalia.

“I think it is very special that the Borg-Warner Trophy is traveling to Japan,” he said. “The trophy represents winning the greatest race in the world and I am very proud to have won the 2017 Indianapolis 500 and have my image on the trophy. For nearly two weeks the trophy will be seen throughout Japan by fans and media. I am honored to be the first Japanese driver to win the Indy 500 and extremely grateful the Borg-Warner Trophy will be traveling outside United States for the first time ever to celebrate my team’s and Honda’s accomplishments. Let’s do it again next year too!”

Photo: Dan R. Boyd

Here’s the preliminary itinerary for the Borg-Warner Trophy in Japan. More events could be added:

Borg-Warner Trophy Travels – 2017 Japan Tour

Tuesday, November 28th – Borg-Warner Trophy departs Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum for Japan via van to Detroit, MI.  Then is flown from Detroit, MI to Minneapolis, MN to Tokyo, Japan on Delta Airlines.

Thursday, November 30th – Borg-Warner Trophy arrives in Japan. Haneda Airport, Tokyo.

Sunday, December 3rd – Honda Racing THANKS DAY with Takuma Sato – Twin Ring Motegi.  Motegi, Japan

Wednesday, December 6th – BorgWarner Plant visit with Takuma Sato – Nabari, Japan

Thursday, December 7th – NSK Warner Plant visit – Fukuroi, Japan

Friday, December 8th – Honda World Headquarters – Tokyo, Japan

Saturday, December 9th – Honda World Headquarters – Tokyo, Japan

Sunday, December 10th – Takuma Sato Fan Day – Tokyo, Japan

Monday, December 11th – Takuma Sato Award Event – Tokyo, Japan

Tuesday, December 12th – Borg-Warner Trophy departs Haneda Airport on Delta Airlines to Minneapolis, MN to Detroit, MI then is driven to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum to complete trip.

BREAKING: John Force taken to hospital after Phoenix eliminations crash

Photo courtesy NHRA
Leave a comment

16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force has been taken to a local hospital for evaluation and examination following a wicked crash with fellow Funny Car driver Johnnie Lindberg.

The crash occurred during the quarterfinals of Sunday’s final eliminations in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix.

Force was headed for a win when the engine on his Peak Chevrolet Camaro blew up just as it crossed the finish line, destroying the body. Lindberg, meanwhile, lost traction about one-third of the way down-track, but then got back into the gas to try and catch Force.

Force appeared to lose control of the body-less car and went across from the left lane he was in to the right-hand lane, where he hit the retaining wall in front of Lindberg.

Lindberg tried to avoid Force, but couldn’t. To make matters worse, the body on Lindberg’s car then came off and Force’s and Lindberg’s cars got tangled up in Lindberg’s parachute, sending both chassis’ into the left retaining wall.

Lindberg emerged from his Funny Car under his own power and was checked at the medical center before heading back to his pit.

Force, meanwhile, was helped out of his mangled wreck by the NHRA Safety Safari and was transported by ambulance to the hospital due to the severity of the impact.

Even though Force will be credited with the round win, he obviously will not be able to continue for the remainder of the eliminations.

To add insult to injury, NHRA officials charged Force with oiling down the racetrack, his third of the season in just the first two races. That will cost him 15 points in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings and a fine of $4,000.

Here are several posts from social media, including video of the incident from NHRA:

This is the second time Force has had an engine explode and the body blew off in the last two weeks. He also wrecked during the qualifying Feb. 9 for the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. Here’s the video of that wreck:

MORE: John Force taken to hospital as a precaution after Funny Car motor explodes.

We’ll update Force’s condition when it becomes available.

Follow @JerryBonkowski