Bob Bahre, the founder of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, died Friday at his home in Paris, Maine, at the age of 93.
“Bob Bahre was an integral part of bringing major league auto racing to new England,” Richard Petty Motorsports co-owner and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty said. “As the founder of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, he built a first-class facility for competitors and fans to enjoy. What a good and generous man he was to the Petty family. The Bahre damily is a Vicotry Junction Founder. This is a loss for the entire motorsports community. Our family is keeping the Bahre family in our thoughts and prayers.”
Bahre founded NHMS in 1990 and brought NASCAR’s Cup Series to the track in 1993. He, then, acquired a second-yearly date on the Cup Series schedule for New Hampshire with the purchase of a 50 percent share of North Wilkesboro Speedway in the mid-1990s, moving one of NWS’ dates to NHMS. North Wilkesboro soon closed after its other owner, Bruton Smith, moved the tracks other Cup Series date to Texas Motor Speedway.
Bahre sold New Hampshire Motor Speedway to Smith’s Speedway Motorsports in 2007. In recent years NHMS lost one of its two yearly dates on the Cup Series schedule, but it still hosts NASCAR’s top series yearly.
“Bob Bahre was a true pioneer for motorsports in New England,” Smith said. “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.”
Bahre also owned and operated Oxford Plains Speedway between 1964 and 1987. He was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.
In addition to track ownership and operation, Bahre was a businessman responsible for the construction of housing and shopping centers throughout Maine.