Gordie Lancaster's 39-year racing career inspires family
It's all in the family.
At age 66, Gordie Lancaster has been racing stock cars for a remarkable 39 years. A member of the Grand Forks Speedway Hall of Fame and NOPA Hall of Fame, Lancaster remembers watching Donnie Matthews and others race and thinking, "if I had a race car I could beat those guys."
So he got one, and he has been winning ever since. Lancaster won the Super Stocks feature at Bemidji Speedway two weeks ago. He races the No. 29 Wind Rider J-car super stock, has won numerous track championships and was invited to the Western World of Champions at Manzanita Speedway in 1983.
"I race for the enjoyment of family, friends and fans," Lancaster said. He is a self-employed truck driver for DMS Imaging. His goal in racing is "to grow up and get good some day."
Lancaster credits his sponsors, Jeff's Super Service, Corner Bar and Checkered Flag Service and his crew, wife Bernice and grandson Brandon. The Lancasters have five children, 12 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. One of his children, Rhonda, caught the eye of a young man 29 years ago in school. His name was Kevin Bahr.
Bahr wanted to impress his new girlfriend, and when asked if he wanted to help her dad Gordie with his race car, he immediately said yes.
"I wanted to get closer to her, and soon caught the fever for both her and racing," said Kevin, 46. "Now 28 years later I'm still racing and 'that girl' and I have been married for 26 years."
Kevin races in the Wissota Mod Four class, driving a 2000 DDS. "I'm really not interested in fishing, and the race car goes way faster than a lawn mower," joked an always jovial Bahr. He credits his son Brandon and Brandon Klug as his crew and Pepsi, KRKB Music Outlet, Pine Ridge Service and Sadek's Repair as his sponsors.
Kevin is a volunteer firefighter, owns KRKB Music Outlet and works part time at Far North Auto. Kevin and Rhonda have two children, Kayla and Brandon, and two grandchildren.
Brandon Bahr, 20, has been racing a 2001 DDS Wissota Mod Four for four years. "The thrill of speed and competition and to keep the family tradition going," are his reasons for racing.
"Growing up and watching Dad and Grandpa race and helping with their cars" inspired Brandon to get into the sport as well. And success seems to be passing down through the generation, with Brandon winning his first feature in 2009. Brandon is a student at Augsburg College in Minneapolis and works part time at Tires Plus in Bemidji. He thanks his dad Kevin and Brandon Klug for helping in his pits, and Wes' Plumbing, KRKB, Pine Ridge Service and Sadek's Repair for their sponsorship.
The Lancaster/Bahr family racing team can be seen racing at Hibbing, Glyndon, Grand Forks, Emo (Ontario) and Bemidji tracks. All three will be behind the wheel for Sunday night's card at Bemidji Speedway starting at 5 p.m.