CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Within the glitz and glam of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship in Homestead, was a winning helmet that stood out from the rest.
"Honestly, 7 years ago I was just happy to paint some dirt track driver and make a little bit of side money. It was just a hobby back then," said owner and founder of Off Axis Paint, Greg Stumpff.
Stumpff's hobby has now turned into a full time job. He is busy year round, painting helmets for some of the top teams in NASCAR.
The long hours and hard work has brought plenty of rewarding moments.
"To see something on paper and as a final product in victory lane there is no cooler experience than that," said Stumpff.
Stumpff was the brains behind the now infamous championship helmet in Homestead which featured pictures of Martin Truex Jr. and his longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex celebrating every win of the 2017 season.
"I really wanted something that if he did win that championship, he could put it on his mantle or in his trophy case and look at the pictures on the back of that helmet and remember the great things that happened," said Stumpff.
The design was more than just a helmet for Truex and Pollex, but a sentimental piece about overcoming adversity.
Pollex was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014. Just like Martin Truex Jr. on the racetrack, she fought and won. But this year, she had a recurrence.
"I knew how powerful something like this could be," said Stumpff.
Which is why just days before the championship race, Stumpff pulled all nighters in order to hand deliver the helmet to the race track.
"It's not just a production piece that goes through our shop," explained Stumpff.
He spent 30 to 40 hours painting the helmet with no guarantee Martin Truex Jr. would come home a champion.
"We don't make the cars go any faster or have anything to do with performance, but to be there and be a part of that championship was really cool," said Stumpff.
The championship was a triumph that may have earned Truex another trophy, but the true prize lies in the battles overcome this season and the memories they'll hold on the helmet for the rest of their lives.