Bob Polverari began racing in
a soapbox derby car in 1948, and is now in his 7th decade
of racing. Bob began a storied career at Riverside Park when he
debuted his infamous #711 in 1954, competing in both the Tuesday
night jalopy races and Saturday night modified division. He retired
briefly in 1955, but returned to the novice division at Riverside in
1961. He stayed in that division on and off until 1969, taking time
off to race snowmobiles in ’63 and ’64. In 1969 he tried his hand
in the modified division, and continues to compete at that level.
In 1975, he won Harvey Tattersall’s final United Stock
Car Racing Association feature at Riverside. 1976 was also a
standout year at Riverside Park. Bob started the year off by
winning the first ever NASCAR feature at Riverside, then followed
that up by taking down 7 more wins, 4 second place finishes, and 2
thirds in 16 appearances. Highlights of Bob’s career include five
Riverside Park track championships and four Riverside 500 victories,
including a 1978 win with teammate Jerry Cook, in which Polverari
drove 487 of the 500 laps.
lists the late Richie Evans as his most admired racer. “He was a
really likeable guy, a great racer….He always had something going
on, he always managed to put a smile on my face”, Bob remembers.
Ironically Bob’s biggest victory came beating Evans by inches in the
It is only
fitting that, in 1999, Polverari took down the win in the final
feature run at Riverside Park. Today, Bob continues to race part
time on the modified tour, but manages to find time to pursue other
interests, including hunting, snowmobiling, golf, and skiing. We
welcome Bob Polverari into the NEAR Hall of Fame as a member of the
Class of ’03.