NERF’ers Corner 1978 SEYMOUR AWARDS

–  OCTOBER 6TH, 1978 – PAGE 6 –

LOTS of Z’s & SEYMOURS TOO!

This iz gonna be the week that wuz or iz it wuz the week that iz or iz it iz the week that iz?…  Oh..  Hell..  How do I get myself into these situations?..  Right!..  Who cares!

The NERF's Seymour Awards named after the great entertainer of the speedways, Seymour the Clown. Howie Hodge photo.
The NERF’s Seymour Awards named after the reigning king entertainer of those times, Seymour the Clown. Howie Hodge photo.

Well anyway, we all know that entertainers in other walks of life vie for awards with such illustrious names as Oscar, Emmy, and Toni.  So, this ol’ NERF decided to institute a new award of supremacy for the auto racing elite who are deserving.  After searching desperately for a name with great character, I settled on Seymour, but I haven’t figured out why.  This award will be given in many categories including, “Driver of the Year”, “Rookie”, “Most Improved”, “Tire Changing”, “Bonehead” and numerous others before culminating with the “Outstanding Personality”.

So now, on to the NERF’ers Corner “Seymour Awards Ceremony” starring yours truly.  I knew someday I’d finally be a star..  Heh, Heh!

Driver of the Year Seymour, Geoff Bodine receives a congratulatory smooch from Seymour in 1979. Howie Hodge photo.
1978 Driver of the Year Seymour, Geoff Bodine receives a congratulatory smooch from Seymour in 1979 victory lane at Stafford. Howie Hodge photo.

The first “Seymour” goes to the man who’s won 51 races in 76 starts. Yes!  1978 has become the “Year of Bodine” in the Big Red Machine of Dick Armstrong’s Nu-Style Racing Team.  We give the first “Seymour” to Geoff Bodine as “Driver of the Year”.

The “Seymour” for the “Most Improved Driver” goes to a man who went from 9th in 1977 to Track Champion this year at Riverside Park and was also the the top 340 CI runner at Stafford for ’78.  It’s none other than Stan “the Man” Greger.

The “Rookie of the Year” goes to first year Modified competitor who has a feature win, many top five finishes and runner up in the points race at Westboro Speedway.  A “Seymour” to John Falconi.

A “Seymour” for the “Come Back of the Year” goes to a fellow who lost his ride in ’77, picked up a new one this season in the S & S Racing Team Modified, finished 7th in the points at Stafford running only 10 of 17 races and is the man they call “The Lion”.  Leo Cleary.

The next “Seymour” is for the man who finished 436th out of 435 competitors at the 1978 Bob Polverari Summer Outing.  Says he will definitely improve in ’79.  Yes!  The “Tire Changing Seymour” goes to Chuck Jeffries, unopposed.

The gorgeous Bobby Vee machine won the 1978 was quite the looker.  Howie Hodge collection Mike Adaskaveg photo.
The gorgeous Bobby Vee machine won the 1978 “Best Looking Car Seymour”. You can clearly see why as it was quite the looker. Howie Hodge collection Mike Adaskaveg photo.

The “Best Looking Car” goes to the beautiful white Chassis Dynamic’s Plymouth Arrow bodied Modified.  A “Seymour” to Bobby Vee, Bob Cuneo and Bill Flynn for their super lookin’ AND RUNNIN’ MACHINE.

A “Seymour” is presented to the man who has been the wrench  and crew chief for the Nu-Style No. 1 Racing Team in 1978.  He’s the guy behind all those Bodine wins.  Billy Taylor gets our “Mechanic of the Year Seymour”.

To the Monadnock Speedway employees, for the donation of their paychecks to the “Ollie Silva Fund” back in August, goes the “Good Guy Seymour”.  The High Banks Bunch’s contribution was just over $800.  ($800 in 1978 would be about $3,000+ in 2014)

The “Best Looking T-Shirt Seymour” is awarded to Booker T. Jones for his “What It Is!” Vega shirt established by Richie Evans, designed by Mark “Maypo” Lyon and printed by Fred Potito’s “Oval Track Design”.

The “Fan of the Year Seymour” goes to two people.  Co winners are a husband and wife who follow their favorite, Bob Polverari and the #711 where ever he goes and are faithful followers of racing.  The winners are Robin and Ray Zanoli.

Our “Bone Head Seymour” goes to the NASCAR officials at Riverside Park Speedway for their asinine barring of the Fred Felton owned, Marty Radewick driven #11 Mass. Monza, known as the “Radical Racer”.

The Little Guy Seymour went to the Fitchburg Flyer or Travelin Man, Pete Fiandaca. Doing more with less was Pete's trademark. That and the old Maxwell House coffee can. Howie Hodge photo.
The Little Guy Seymour went to the “Fitchburg Flyer” or “Travelin’ Man”, Pete Fiandaca. Doing more with less was Pete’s trademark. That and the old Maxwell House coffee can. Howie Hodge photo.

A “Seymour” for the “Little Guy” in racing goes to a fellow who runs everywhere he can.  Some call him the “Fitchburg Flyer” while others say he’s the “Travelin Man”, but no matter which, Pete Fiandaca exemplifies the little guy in racing and his bulk of fans everywhere.

The “Blown Motor Seymour” goes to another little guy, a driver-owner who had 4 motors go up in a cloud of smoke over the past season at Riverside Park Speedway.  To Don Desrocher we give this award if you want to call it that.

Stafford Speedway gets the “Sneaky Pete Seymour” for its advertising that Maynard Troyer would be there for the August 4th “Winston 100” after he had stated 2 weeks earlier that he wouldn’t attend.  The incident left a lot of fans very upset.

Bob Polverari's beautiful Vega bodied Modified experienced problem after problem at Stafford in 1978 forcing the team to back to their 1976-77 Vega. Andy Boright collection  John Driscoll photo.
Bob Polverari’s beautiful Vega bodied Modified experienced problem after problem at Stafford in 1978 forcing the team to back to their 1976-77 Vega. Andy Boright collection John Driscoll photo.

The next award goes to a man who had nothing but bad luck all year at Stafford.  He built a beautiful new Modified and had one problem after another with it before bringing out his car from the year before.  The “Hard Luck Seymour” goes to Bob Polverari and the crew of the #711 who have decided to pack it in for the 1979 season.

Our “Clown of the Year” is none other than the little man with the “Big Red Nose”.  He entertains the many thousands, young and old alike, at Stafford each week during the season and he gives away what seems like A MILLION LOLLIPOPS TO THE KIDS.  A “Seymour” goes to “Seymour the Clown”.  Now I know where I got the name “Seymour” from and I couldn’t have picked a better one… Right!

Speaking of Seymour the Clown, we have to give our “Ding Bat of the Year Seymour” to the Riverside Park official, whoever he may be, for removing the Big Red Nose from the Speedway during the second leg of the Triple Crown Series on August 26th after Seymour had brought the fans to their feet with his antics and black flagging of Starter John Tallini.

The following are “Seymours” that we thought should be handed out to other deserving individuals.

“Best Starter Seymour”Frank SgambatoStafford Speedway

“Fiasco of the Year Award Seymour”To whoever thought up the idea of changing to 10″ Tires next season without consulting the car owners.

“Owner of the Year Seymour”Dick Armstrong – Owner of the Big Red Machine that has won all those races with Geoff Bodine behind the wheel.

“Race of the Year Seymour”Spring SizzlerStafford Speedway.

“Best Up and Coming Driver Seymour”W.J. Grez – Driver of the Pelly Racing Team’s Pinto Modified that appears weekly at Riverside Park and Stafford.

“Best Fan Club Seymour”Bugs Stevens Fan Club – Outstanding ideas, super souvenirs and a well organized club.

Our last “Seymour” goes to a man who has been thrilling racing fans for close to thirty years.  This year he met with disaster on the high banks of Monadnock when his #0 black Gremilin bodied Modified tangled with the trees coming out of the second turn.  He suffered extensive injuries, but has been recovering steadily at a New Hampshire hospital all season and auto racing fans from all over the Northeast have showed their love for the man with cards, letters and contributions.  We’re positive that when the man fully recovers, he’ll be back behind the wheel entertaining fans once again.  He’s a total competitor, whether in the hospital or on the track, and to the “Big O” Ollie Silva, goes our “Outstanding Personality Seymour”.

Congratulations to all the recipients…  Some of the “Seymour Awards” were great…  Some were humorous…  And yet others went to clowns that were deserving.

“The Seymour” voting was done by the very prominent organization of Memiselfni.  Tabulating the votes was my 8 year old son, Jared Echo.

If ya mizzed this column last week, weez iz sorry, but weez wuz down wit da bug… no, not Stevens…. Sick.

Until next years “Seymour Awards Ceremony“, remember; NERF’ers stay alive by doin’ 55.

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