Johnny Thomson Memorial
A dedicated group of NEMA members, led by Bill Estabrook, Sr., kept the memory of Johnny Thomson alive and well for almost 50 years with the annual presentation of the Johnny Thomson Memorial Award. It was the most prestigious award a driver could receive aside from the championship. In honor of one of the country's greatest drivers, these men established a tradition of serious consideration in presenting a beautiful trophy to a man or woman who, in their judgement exemplified the highest qualities of open cockpit auto racing. Other members of the group included Bob Marchildon, John Dudevoir, Dick Gallagher, Sam Weisberg, Freeman Downing, Ralph Miller, and Dick Monahan. The final award was presented in 2014 by NEMA Hall of Fame member Bruce Beane.
Johnny Thomson is widely acknowledged as New England’s greatest open-cockpit racer. Read more...
Wen Kelley Memorial
FOR OUTSTANDING DEDICATION AND SERVICE
This award was established by the club in memory and honor of the man who was truly "Mr. Nema" for the clubs first thirty-seven years. For all those years, he served the club as Secretary, treasurer, handicapper, statistician, and historian - all at once! He also was a car owner for many years throughout the 1950's, 60's and 70's. Wen was a major factor in keeping the club on a steady course through the ups and downs of midget auto racing during that period.
Ralph Miller Memorial
FOR OUTSTANDING AND CONTINUING PERSEVERANCE
Ralph Miller was a long-time contributor to NEMA in its early years and was a two-time car-owner champion in the non-Offy days. This award, donated in loving memory of Ralph by his daughter and son-in-law Cathy and John Calure, recognizes Outstanding and Continuing Perseverance of a veteran car owner.
By definition perseverance is “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.”
Joe Csiki Memorial
FOR MOST IMPROVED DRIVER
Joe Csiki was an innovator and a champion winning three driving and two championships
in the early 60s.
Ray Roberts Memorial
FOR CHARACTER, SPORTSMANSHIP, AND DEDICATION
The award is named for Ray Roberts, a long-time NEMA campaigner and Contest Board member. He was known for his reverence for the underdog.
Competitors deserve admiration for a host of attributes that extend beyond simply winning races. Strength of character, sportsmanship, and dedication, do not necessarily show in the finishing order.
Jim O'Brien Memorial
FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS TO FAMILY AND RACING
In 2011 NEMA lost one of its most dedicated competitors and contributors with the passing of Jimmy O’Brien. As a car owner and officer, O’Brien helped write over four decades of NEMA history. O’Brien, a NEMA member since 1970, embodied the spirit of NEMA "family".
The O'Brien Family honors his memory with the Jim O’Brien Memorial Award for “Outstanding Contributions to the Family and to Racing”.
Evans/Thrall Top Owner/Driver
Named for Ronnie Evans and Len Thrall, two prolific NEMA competitors who raced over three decades from the 50s through the 70s, this award honors the highest finishing owner/driver in the final point standings.
Mechanic of the Year
Marilyn and Gene Angelillo Memorial Award