Bob Bahre, former owner of New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Oxford Plains Speedway, has died at age 93, according to tweets and news accounts on Friday.
Bahre was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 2017 for his contributions to the sport of racing. He was a powerful force on the auto racing circuit, both nationally and in the Northeast, for many years.
In 1990 he brought a Busch Series – now the Xfinity Series – race to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, which he built. The race attracted nearly 90,000 fans, and three years later, the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series – then the Winston Cup – descended upon Loudon.
NASCAR Statement: "Bob Bahre’s passion and belief in NASCAR helped bring our sport to millions of New England fans over the last three decades. As founder of what is now New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Bahre’s bold vision helped set a tone for the sport’s national growth. Throughout his career, he was a trusted and valued voice in the industry, and will be greatly missed. My family and all of NASCAR extends its deepest condolences to Sandy, Gary and the entire Bahre family.
— Jim France, Chairman and CEO, NASCAR
Speedway Motorsports Statements: Following are statements from Speedway Motorsports executives on the passing of New Hampshire Motor Speedway founder Bob Bahre:
Bruton Smith, Speedway Motorsports Executive Chairman:
"Bob Bahre was a true pioneer for motorsports in New England. He wanted to grow our sport and build things that people will remember. He was a smart businessman and I have a lot of respect for that, but I have even more respect for the positive impact he had on people. I’ll pray for Sandy and Gary during this tough time, and I know they are proud of the legacy Bob leaves behind."
Marcus Smith, Speedway Motorsports President and CEO:
"What I’ll remember most about Bob Bahre will be his character, understated yet charming. Every time I saw him he had on khakis and a white shirt. I always enjoyed our genuine conversations. He was very generous to people in the motorsports industry and to the New England communities where he did business. He went about things in a quiet, dignified manner and often times that simple approach is the most impactful. It’s truly an honor to have known Bob. He lived a meaningful life. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. "
David McGrath, NHMS Executive Vice President and General Manager:
"On behalf of our team at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, I’d like to extend our deepest condolences to Sandy, Gary and the entire Bahre family. Bob left an incredible mark on auto racing through the New England region, and his love of motorsports was legendary. He had a passionate commitment to both drivers and race fans, and that commitment was evident when he built our facility in 1990. I am proud to have known Bob. It was a true pleasure to have spent time getting to know him and learning from him over the years. He will be missed, but his legacy of supporting and building motorsports in New England will live on forever."
— New Hampshire Motor Speedway —
Deeply saddened by the loss of my friend & mentor… Bob Bahre
Bob had a tremendous positive influence on auto racing in New England & its trajectory into ??@NASCAR?
He built for the fans & worked for the sport!
He had a Profound Impact on my Life… I will miss him ? pic.twitter.com/Rgg2B8iuqx
— Ricky Craven (@RickyCraven32) July 24, 2020