The engraving reads “Stomp CTS With Me Boots. Effort Equals Results.”
The last line is one of Roger Penske’s favorite sayings. The first line isn’t. It’s a classic word construction, with a few letters deleted for the sake of civility, by NTT IndyCar Series championship leader Will Power.
It rarely sees the light of day, but when Power’s version of The Chalice of Excellence makes a public appearance, there’s no mistaking its intent.
The 2014 IndyCar champion is trying to add a second title to his name, and with his pit crew on the No. 12 Team Penske Chevy helping to author his best body of work in nearly a decade, the bronzed OMP racing shoe with a miniature driver being crushed beneath the sole has become a prized — albeit temporary — form of recognition for the entry’s standout performers.
“The trophy is something we started about three years ago,” Power told RACER. “[Josef] Newgarden’s No. 2 car had something similar with the chalice, and it is a great way to bring a boost to team morale. We pass it around each week. Whoever wins it the week before gives it to the next crew member the next week. It’s based on who they think has performed at a high level.”
With Newgarden having retired The Chalice of Excellence a few years back, Power’s ‘Stompin’ The Competition’ trophy continues the merit-based crew recognition tradition, and travels with the team in a burnished wood case that uses 1999 — the year Power debuted in the Queensland (Australia) Formula Ford Championship — as its point of origin.
“We all know this is a team sport,” Power said. “And even though it is internal, we wanted to do something to highlight the crew.”