Friends and family are remembering late motorsports figure Bob Bahre.
Bahre formerly owned Oxford Plains Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In 2017, Bahre was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame. He died on Saturday. He was 93 years old.
In a statement to NHPR, New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) said Bahre’s death will have a lasting impact on New England’s racing community.
“Bob left an incredible mark on auto racing through the New England region, and his love of motorsports was legendary,” said David McGrath, NHMS Executive Vice President and General Manager. “He had a passionate commitment to both drivers and race fans, and that commitment was evident when he built our facility in 1990.”
Dick Berggren, president of the Northeast Motorsports Museum, says he met Bahre more than 50 years ago just as he saved the Oxford Plains Speedway from going out of business.
“He came up with so many great racing events,” said Berggren, who became a longtime friend. “It wasn’t long before he had to add more seats. And it wasn’t long before it became the race track with more seats than any other.”
Berggren says even as Bahre got older, his mind remained at the track.
“When we would get together either on the phone or in person, his first question always was, “What’s going on in racing? And we would talk about racing,” Berggren said. “I might change the subject and he would get right back to the racing.”
Berggren says one of the biggest lessons he learned from Bahre is to keep fighting.
“When you find adversity just get around it,” Berggren said. “He asked the right questions and just kept at it.”
A memorial service for Bahre will take place Wednesday afternoon, July 29, at Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine.