BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — official release — NEMA photo —
This Saturday evening NEMA brings its extreme action to Monadnock Speedway for the Iron Mike Scrivani Memorial, remembering the long time NEMA stalwart and father of long time NEMA President and supporter, Mike Scrivani Jr. The night will feature a 30 lap feature for the NEMA feature and 30 laps for the Lites. Last year, a classic battle went down between Joey Payne Jr. and John Zych Jr., leading up to one of the best finishes of the year.
When Saturday rolls around, all eyes will be at the top of the points standings, with Avery Stoehr, Randy Cabral and John Zych Jr. all locked into a tight battle for the top spot in the NEMA series. Similarly, in the Lites, Danny Cugini, Jim Chambers and Randy Cabral are all locked in a tight battle for the top spot.
Known as a “driver’s track” – Drew Fornoro holds the all time win record at the NH quarter mile. During the late 80s when NEMA frequented the ¼-mile oval, Fornoro, in the Gene Angelillo machine, dominated with wins at the speedway during the 1982-1986 seasons. He also won during the final two seasons that the Club visited the Speedway with triumphs in 1996 and 1997. Other winners at Monadnock in the modern era include Mike Seymour, Russ Stoehr, Greg Stoehr, Cabral and Payne.
All of that said, the real reason for Saturday night’s race is to celebrate a legend – Iron Mike Scrivani.
Proprietor of the legendary “Mike’s Truck Stop” in Wrentham, MA, Scrivani’s car-owning career began in the 1930s with the Big Cars and it included a successful run with the Modifieds in the late 1960s and early 70s, but Midgets, were clearly his first love.
Jerry Russo drove the Scrivani car in NEMA’s first race at Seekonk Speedway on Memorial Day of 1953. The first of many wins for the Scrivani team came in 1956 at West Peabody with Russo aboard.
Butch Walsh and Nokie Fornoro won NEMA championships in Scrivani cars and are part of an extended list of drivers to have won in Scrivani equipment in both NEMA and ARDC. The group includes Dave Humphrey, Ray Burke, Dick Brown, Leigh Earnshaw, Hank Williams, Al Pillion, Billy Eldridge, Al Herman, Gene Bergin, Bert Brooks and Johnny Coy Sr.
In catching up with Iron Mike’s son, NEMA stalwart – Mike Scrivani Jr., ironically he said “Monadnock was like our nemesis, so its ironic that we have the Memorial race there now. I actually don’t think we ever won a race there to tell you the truth.” “I remember one night, Nokie (Fornoro) was in our car and Johnny Evans was in (Carl) Kibbe’s car. Nokie and Johnny got together, and then the (stuff) just hit the fan after that, I think the whole race fell apart at that point,” he went on to say.
No doubt, the stories will continue to be written when NEMA returns to Monadnock this coming Saturday night.
CREDIT: NorthEastern Midget Association (NEMA)