Stockton, CA…...The North State Modified Series (NSMS) will begin its 3-race 2022 Tribute Series at Stockton 99 Speedway Saturday, September 3 with the third annual “Bob Lehman Classic”, a 60 lap feature event that will commemorate the life and legacy of long-time race enthusiast and NSMS supporter Bob Lehman of Rio Linda.
Robert “Bob” Lehman – The Man
Robert “Bob” Lehman was born in Fresno, California on November 19, 1941. He passed away on November 18, 2019, one day shy of his 78th birthday. Lehman was a life-long welder, fabricator, and race car builder.
Lehman had two loves of his life – his family and racing. He built his first race car at his childhood home with his buddies and his dad at the age of 15. He was always the car builder, never the driver. He made a promise to his mother when he was young, that he would not drive, and he kept it. Race car building was his passion. He loved that he shared that passion with his wife Brenda and his family, especially his sons, Mike, Donny, Scott and the girls, Renee and Laura. He especially loved to have his family with him at the track, in the pits, in the stands, and in the shop. It was a great day at the track when Lehman’s kids, grand kids, and great-grand kids could be there.
In Lehman’s mind, every car he built was the “Flintstone Special”, or could be. He had his favorite cars over the years, and that one was definitely one of them. Lehman built a catalog of race cars: a Super Modified, NASCAR Grand National, Late Model, Super Late Model, NASCAR Pro Truck, Modified and Lucas Modified. Lehman was an iconic figure at the race track. He was quick to help other race teams with advice, ideas, and emergency parts – just so they could all race.
Lehman had so many talented drivers over these last 60 years, including his sons, son-in-law and grandson. Those drivers still remain in his racing circle. So many great friends were made at the race track and in his shop.
In 2014 Lehman was faced with serious health challenges, but along with his long-time friend and partner Steve Thomas, he fought his way back to racing with the North State Modified Series. His drivers with NSMS included Nick Lyons of Loomis in 2014, 2015 and 2016, Cody Braund of Redding and Cody Thompson from Fremont in 2017, and Anderson’s Keith Bloom in 2018 and 2019. Both Bloom and Steven Gannon of Redding drove the Lehman modifieds in his final North State Modified Series race at Shasta Speedway on October 5, 2019. Bloom has continued to pilot the Lehman #96 car under the watchful eye of Steve Thomas the past three seasons. Bloom is currently running second in NSMS points behind Scott Winters of Tracy.
Gates open for the “Bob Lehman Classic” at 5:00 pm with racing at 6:00pm.
The North State Modified Series would not be possible without the support of Anderson Logging of Fort Bragg, Hoosier Tire West, Sunoco Race Fuels, Naake Suspension, Mark & Sharon Baldwin, Ray Elliott, Doyce Eaton, Scribner Plastics, McMurray & Sons Roofing, O’Reilly Auto Parts, and Frank’s Radios.