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How the Alabama 200 Became the "Hunt for the Bear"

Find out about the story behind the hand-carved bear that adorns the Alabama 200 trophy at Montgomery Motor Speedway.


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“The Hunt for the Bird” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but that was almost the case for the Alabama 200.

Stan Narrison explained the story of how the marquee Pro Late Model event at Montgomery Motor Speedway became the “Hunt for the Bear” during an interview on Racing America’s “The Bullring.” He wanted the event to stand out with a unique trophy, while also paying homage to the state of Alabama.

“When I first came here, I was trying to look for something to create an event around something that had to do with Alabama,” said Narrison

“I could get a big picture of Nick Saban, maybe Bear Bryant,” he joked.

That’s where the first notion of having the Yellowhammer trophy began, recognizing Alabama’s state bird.

“What was funny, the first year, I was like, the official state bird is the Yellowhammer, so I called it the Yellowhammer 100. Then I really looked it up, and the Yellowhammer is a finch which is about two and a half inches tall. That’s not really that impressive, this big trophy with a tiny yellow bird on top.”

Instead, Narrison turned to the state mammal, the black bear. That became the inspiration for what is now the Alabama 200’s signature trophy, featuring a hand-carved bear.

"I kept looking and found out the black bear is the state mammal. That’s where it came from. I started looking for an artisan, someone to make the bears for me, and I found a gentleman in Bradford, Tennessee that hand-carves these, and we’ve been doing them ever since.

“Chase Elliott got the first one. Casey Roderick’s got a couple, I think Augie [Grill]’s got a couple of the Modified ones. That’s where the Hunt for the Bear came from."

Of course, the Alabama 200 itself has a much longer and storied history going into its 59th running. Past winners of the event include Richard Petty, Bobby and Donnie Allison, Red Farmer, Neil Bonnett and many more.

“It’s pretty cool when you look at the folks that have run this race and won it. You’re relaly stepping into a class of racers that’s pretty exclusive. To be able to compete and possibly get the win is pretty strong. To have your name mixed in with them is impressive, very impressive.”

Fans can watch the rest of Narrison's interview on The Bullring by clicking here.

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