Bob Polverari
Class of 2003

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.

Polverari 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 1981 Sizzler.

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.


Bob is inducted by NASCAR, on FOX Racing Announcer and Personality, Mike Joy.