News & Multimedia

'Baby Borg' Trophy 'Means The Most,' Franchitti Says

There’s the big check, of course, and a replica of the Pace Car to complement accolades for the winner of the Indianapolis 500. This past May, Dario Franchitti also received “a belt buckle the size of a dinner plate, which I’ve actually worn” and a “golden rifle. Seriously.”

But to receive the BorgWarner Championship Driver’s Trophy “means the most to all the drivers,” Franchitti said after being presented his third “Baby Borg” by BorgWarner chairman and CEO Timothy Manganello during the annual dinner in conjunction with the Automotive News World Congress.

“You always look forward (to the next race in a few days) unfortunately and when the season’s over then you might think about (the Indy win) a little, but it’s things like tonight that allow you to really enjoy it,” Franchitti said. “This one might go in my office in Scotland; none are there yet. I have my first-ever go-kart trophy; that’s the only one there.”

Click it: Dario Franchitti's Indianapolis 500 stats

BorgWarner established the driver’s trophy in 1988 to provide the previous 500 Mile Race champion with a personal keepsake of the Speedway victory. Rick Mears, who won his third of four Indy 500 victories the previous May, was the first recipient. Previously, the winner received a wooden plaque with a silhouette of the Borg-Warner Trophy as a memento.

In 1998, the company established the BorgWarner Championship Team Owner’s Trophy. Like the driver’s trophy, the team owner’s trophy is a replica of the Borg-Warner Trophy but features a band of art deco racing cars accented in gold to symbolize the importance of teamwork in the automotive business.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing owner Chip Ganassi about collecting his fifth trophy.

“Coming on stage to pick this trophy up never gets old,” he said. “I want to thank the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for putting on one of the finest sporting events in the world, and we’re lucky to have that as a backdrop. I’m the luckiest man in the world to be involved in this sport and my calendar is open to be invited to this dinner next year.”

Franchitti also won the 500 Mile Race in 2007 (with then-Andretti Green Racing) and 2010 with Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Despite having what he termed a terrible qualifying effort (16th), Franchitti climbed into contention late in the No. 50 Honda-powered car and battled teammate Scott Dixon and Takuma Sato for the victory through the first turn of the final lap.

“I have to thank Chip Ganassi and the whole Target team. It’s an organization that from the bottom to the top has that will to win every day, which is really handy when you’re getting up in racing driving years like me,” he said.

Franchitti also called out BorgWarner, whose single (Honda) and twin (Chevrolet) engineered-for-racing turbochargers were part of the new 2.2-liter V-6 engine packages for 2012.

“All season the pace of development in power, in reliability and fuel consumption was something special,” Franchitti said of the first season of engine manufacturer competition since 2005. “I’m excited to see as the years go on those developments trickle down to the (passenger) cars. BorgWarner has a much bigger role now and it’s great to see their expanded role in IndyCar racing and showcase their technology.”

The Baby Borg is 14 inches tall and sits on a beveled black marble base that includes a hand-crafted three-dimensional sterling silver image of the winning driver’s face (a duplicate of the image affixed to the full-sized Borg-Warner Trophy).

The history of the Borg-Warner Trophy is as rich as the men whose bas-relief portraits are affixed to its sterling-silver body.

In 1935, the Borg-Warner Automotive Company (now called BorgWarner) commissioned designer Robert J. Hill and Spaulding-Gorham, Inc., of Chicago, to create the trophy at a cost of $10,000.

Unveiled at a 1936 dinner hosted by then-Speedway owner Eddie Rickenbacker, the Borg-Warner Trophy was officially declared the annual prize for Indianapolis 500 victors. It was first presented that same year to champion Louis Meyer, who remarked, “Winning the Borg-Warner Trophy is like winning an Olympic medal.”

Franchitti's portrait is the 99th added to the Borg-Warner Trophy, the annual prize for Indianapolis 500 winners. Each of the 98 winning drivers of the race is featured, including victorious co-drivers L.L. Corum and Joe Boyer in 1924 and Floyd Davis and Mauri Rose in 1941. A 24-karat gold likeness of late Speedway owner and President Anton "Tony" Hulman Jr. also is affixed on the trophy in tribute to his rejuvenation of the track and the Indianapolis 500 after World War II.

Including Franchitti, only 10 drivers appear three or more times on the trophy -- A.J. Foyt (1961, '64, '67 & '77), Al Unser (1970, '71, '78 and '87), Mears (1979, '84, '88 and '91), Louis Meyer (1928, '33 and '36), Wilbur Shaw (1937, '39 and '40), Mauri Rose (1941, '47 and '48), Bobby Unser (1968, '75 and '81), Johnny Rutherford (1974, '76 and '80) and Helio Castroneves (2001, '02 and '09).

The iconic 5-foot-5 trophy, which is on permanent display at the Indianapolis Hall of Fame Museum, also is engaged for special events such as the North American International Auto Show this week in Detroit. 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
'Baby Borg' Trophy 'Means The Most,' Franchitti Says
 
'Baby Borg' Trophy 'Means The Most,' Franchitti Says
There’s the big check, of course, and a replica of the Pace Car to complement accolades for the winner of the Indianapolis 500. This past May, Dario Franchitti also received “a belt buckle the size of a dinner plate, which I’ve actually worn” and a “golden rifle. Seriously.”
Read More
Related Media
Justin Wilson
 
Wilson Joins Andretti Autosport For Indianapolis 500 and Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis
Justin Wilson will make his 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series debut in an Andretti Autosport car in the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9 and also compete in the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24, the team announced.
Read More
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
Verizon IndyCar Series Kicks Off This Weekend in St. Petersburg
It’s a dawn of a new era for the Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend as aero kits enter the sport’s lexicon. Years of work by IndyCar engine suppliers Chevrolet and Honda have resulted in new bodywork that not only provides different looks for fans to identify each brand, but has also raised the performance index of the 24 cars on the St. Petersburg grid.
Read More
Tamika Catchings
 
Indiana Fever Star Catchings Joins Contest Winners in Traditional Flag Placing Cermony at IMS
Three-time Olympic gold medalist and Indiana Fever standout basketball player Tamika Catchings and two local radio contest winners participated in the traditional placement of racing flags atop the famous Wing and Wheel logo located above the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Gate 1.
Read More
Indianapolis Monopoly Piece
 
Indianapolis Lands Spot in New 'Monopoly Here & Now' Game
On Thursday, March 19 – World Monopoly Day – Hasbro, Inc., named the cities to be featured in its newest Monopoly Here & Now U.S. Edition game. Cities were selected via a nationwide online vote on BuzzFeed.
Read More
IMS Golf Course
 
Golfers Can 'Pay The Temp' as Brickyard Crossing Opens March 20
The highly acclaimed Brickyard Crossing Golf Course will open for the 2015 season at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 20, and players will receive a fantastic greens fee value through Tuesday, March 31, with the “Pay the Temperature” promotion.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 899
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
This week, IMS president @jdouglas4 nominated a hero for the @CrownRoyal #Brickyard400. More info: http://t.co/i4ZWu89Yoa
about 8 hours ago