Indy 500 trophy leaves US for 1st time for Japanese visit

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Takuma Sato_261977

Takuma Sato, of Japan, heads into the first turn during the running of the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, May 28, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Borg-Warner Trophy that honors the Indianapolis 500 winner left the United States for the first time in its 82 years on Tuesday to celebrate Takuma Sato’s victory in Japan.

The trophy’s permanent home is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. It headed to Tokyo for a 15-day tour of festivities to honor Sato, the first Japanese winner of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

The tour is also celebrating Honda’s 12th Indianapolis 500 victory.

Sato is from Tokyo and the Borg-Warner Trophy will stop at the Twin Ring Motegi race circuit and in the cities of Nabari and Fukuroi.

During the trip, the trophy will cover about 12,780 miles, more than 25 times the distance of the Indianapolis 500. It will return to the speedway Dec. 12.

Every Indianapolis 500 winner’s face is immortalized on the trophy, dating to Ray Harroun, victor of the inaugural race in 1911. There also are two sets of dual victors’ faces on the trophy from the era when primary drivers often shared cars with relief drivers, L.L. Corum and Joe Boyer in 1924 and Floyd Davis and Mauri Rose in 1941.

The trophy is 5 feet high and 110 pounds and is valued at $3.5 million.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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