Jul 10, 2024 | By: Charlie Yaeger

Lancaster, Bahr Family Continues Legacy at Bemidji Speedway with 4th Generation Of Racers

Bemidji Speedway has its fair share of racing families, and on Sunday night, one family saw its fourth generation of racer take the track to continue a legacy that started over 60 years ago.

The legendary racer Gordie Lancaster can be found wandering the pits of the speedway. He is a member of three different racing halls of fame, including the one at Bemidji Speedway, and he can found at the track every Sunday enjoying the races with his family while also imparting a bit of wisdom.

“I don’t work with them a lot on the cars and stuff, but I’m always there, and every once in a while they have a problem and I [tell] them what I think, and usually it works,” Gordie said with a grin.

Gordie first shared his knowledge and love of racing with his daughter Rhonda, who was then keen to share it with a love of her own, Kevin Bahr.

“I met her in high school and I wanted to follow her and found out her dad raced,” said Kevin. “So I hung out at the racetrack a little bit and she came up to me in school in my senior year and said, ‘Hey, you want to help my dad on the race car?'”

Kevin began helping by putting the paneling on the cars on race day. Gordie still likes to tease him about it.

“I tell people he didn’t know a straight screwdriver from a Phillips,” he said with a laugh. “But now [Kevin] builds his own cars.”

Kevin and Rhonda would get married and have their son, Brandon. He grew up watching his dad and grandpa racing during the summer and was anxious to get behind the wheel.

“I just kept waiting for my turn, and when I was finally old enough to get it, I jumped right in,” Brandon said. “I was out in the garage all the time, watching Dad work on cars and sleeping in them sometimes. And that was pretty tough to get out of it.”

After Gordie retired, Brandon began racing his grandfather’s black Super Stock with the signature “Windrider” on the side, absorbing the championship pedigree that came with it.

“He’s a better driver than than me,” admitted Kevin. “He’s as good as [my] father-in-law. [Gordie’s] won several championships and [Brandon] has won one. But to have him following our footsteps, that was huge.”

Now, Brandon’s son, Jayden, has developed his own passion for racing. This past Tuesday, he turned 14, the minimum age to race. And on Sunday, while sporting a piece of his great-grandfather’s car, became the fourth generation of racer to take the track.

“I enjoy coming out here every Sunday, coming to race,” said Jayden. “I’m just glad that I get to race with Grandpa. He’s been a big idol of mine for a long time and I’m just happy I get to race with him.”

“Typically I’d run an A-Mod and a Super Stock, but I built this Mod Four so I could run with him,” his grandfather Kevin added with a smile. “It’s going to be awesome. We might even trade some paint. Who knows?”

Jokes aside, there is one thing the family won’t trade, and that’s the time they spend together doing what they love.

“I like spending time with family out here every weekend,” said Jayden, “and all the new people you get to meet and make a lot of nice friends out here.”

His dad Brandon agrees. “During the week, we’re out in the garage working on cars, building them all winter long. And then come race day, we’re all out here cheering each other on, trying to make each other better and just having fun.”

Jayden and his grandfather Kevin got to race together in the Mod Four feature race on Sunday, and while they didn’t swap paint with each other, both did see their cars get a little banged up. Both racers were okay.

Kevin Bahr in the 29 car took 12th place in the Wissota Mod Four feature and was fourth in the standings at the time of this post. Jayden Baher in the 29J car did not finish the Wissota Mod Four feature but still earned the first points of his career.

Brandon Bahr in the 29X took 2nd place in the Wissota Super Stock feature and was fourth in the standings at the time of this post.

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