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ASTOR CUP
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The IndyCar series recognizes the Series Champion each year by engraving the
name of the champion driver on a black granite block that is used as the base for
the antique Astor Cup.

The series previously used the Indy Racing League Trophy until 2012.

The Astor Cup was used in 1915 and 1916 to recognize the winner of the Astor Cup
Race which was held at Sheepshead Bay in NY.  

Carl Fisher, one of the founders of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was also an
investor in the Sheepshead Bay Race Track, which had previously been a horse
track.  The track was a 2-mile banked oval board track.

The Cup was donated by Vincent Astor, a rich socialite from NYC.

While there is a cool old IndyCar on the cup, I was rather surprised that the
Vanderbilt Cup was not used.  I always considered those races as the predecessor
to the 500.  They were ran from 1904-1916.  That trophy however is owned by the
Smithsonian and IndyCar already owned the Astor Cup.
The base is engraved with the names of all the National Champions.
(I imagine the "IZOD" has been removed and replaced with the new series sponsor -
Verizon.)
Gil Andersen won the first Astor Cup race driving a Stutz.
He competed in the Indy 500 from 1911-1916.
Johnny Aitken won the second Astor Cup driving a Peugeot.
He led the first lap of the first Indy 500 in 1911.  He also raced in the 1916  Indy 500.
Dario Franchitti was the first modern-era recipient of the cup in 2012.
Franchitti won four IndyCar Championships and two Indy 500s.
The old Indy Racing leauge cup.