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Lancaster establishes strong family legacy, rides off into retirement

Of all the racing families at Bemidji Speedway, the legendary Gordie Lancaster tree goes back the furthest. Now, the family has closed its earliest chapter.

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Pictured, from left, are Brandon Bahr, Gordie Lancaster, Rhonda Bahr and Kevin Bahr in front of Lancaster's No. 29 Wind Rider at Bemidji Speedway.
Dennis Peterson / Special to the Pioneer
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BEMIDJI -- Of all the racing families at Bemidji Speedway, the legendary Gordie Lancaster tree goes back the furthest. Now, the family has closed its earliest chapter.

Lancaster, 78, was honored on Sunday, June 26, for his 50 years of racing at Bemidji Speedway and 60 years total of racing. He started his racing career in Grand Forks, N.D., and has raced at tracks throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Arizona and Canada. He most recently raced in the Wissota Super Stock class but has raced Six Cylinders and Late Models over the years, as well.

On Sunday, Lancaster announced his retirement from racing. But the story doesn’t end with his own timeline.

Lancaster’s daughter, Rhonda, started working at the track when she was 14, taking on the concessions area along with her mother, Connie. Rhonda has since worked at the track in various areas from concessions to scorekeeping.

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Longtime racer Gordie Lancaster, right, was honored for his 50 years of racing at Bemidji Speedway on Sunday, June 26, 2022.
Lisa Rhen / Special to the Pioneer

Rhonda met and married Kevin Bahr, and the two are now celebrating 38 years together. Kevin Bahr is in his 40th season of racing and has raced both dirt and asphalt tracks throughout the tri-state area. He has raced Six Cylinders, Wissota Mod Fours, Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks, Limited Late Models and Late Models.

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The Lancaster-Bahr family also passed down a passion for racing onto the next generation in Brandon Bahr.

Starting out by helping grandpa Gordie and dad Kevin in the pits until he was old enough to drive himself, Brandon is now in his 16th year of racing. He has raced in tracks in Minnesota, North Dakota and Kansas. Brandon Bahr started out in the Wissota Mod Fours then moved to the Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks and Late Models.

Brandon’s son Jayden has racing in his bloodline through his great grandpa Gordie, grandpa Kevin and dad Brandon. He hopes to get into racing in the near future. Brandon’s daughter Kayla has also worked at the track in concessions and souvenir shack.

With many branches proving its dedication, the Lancaster legacy has evolved into a full family tree ingrained in stock car racing.

Related Topics: BEMIDJI SPEEDWAY
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