50 Greatest Modified Drivers – Bob Polverari
“Doing It For Fun”
Bob Polverari was a 3-time feature winner at Stafford. His most coveted prize was the 1981 Spring Sizzler® where he beat Richie Evans to the checkered flag by inches. Always the professional and a crowd favorite, Polverari raced at Stafford during the 1980’s before he retired from driving at the end of the 1990 season at the age of 54.
Polverari, whose career spanned over 40 years, got started in racing at Riverside Park in the mid 1950’s. Polverari won 5 track championships at Riverside, including 3 in row from 1975-1977. Polverari’s best season came in 1976 when he recorded 8 wins.
In addition to his weekly stops at Stafford and Riverside in the early 1980’s, Polverari raced in 67 NASCAR Modified Tour events in 1982 and finished third in the national points standings.
A businessman with extensive real estate holdings, Polverari stunned the Northeast racing community at the close of the 1990 season when he announced he was going to quit racing to spend more time with his family and business. He stated that racing wasn’t fun anymore, sold all his equipment, and faded into the past… or so everyone thought.
During the winter of 1997, Polverari got the itch to race again and teamed up with TG Racing with hopes of returning to Riverside Park. In qualifying for the season opening Pepsi 200 in 1998, Polverari showed that even after being away for 8 years, the former champion hadn’t lost his touch as he out-qualified Modified Tour regulars Tom Cravenho, Mike Ewanitsko, Reggie Ruggiero, and Dave Berube.
Polverari ran a partial Modified Tour schedule from 1998-2005 before hanging up his driving helmet for good.
By: Phil Smith