NSMS Tribute Series Opens Saturday – Lake County Record-Bee

STOCKTON — The North State Modified Series (NSMS) kicks off its three-race 2022 Tribute Series on Saturday night at Stockton 99 Speedway, hosting the third annual Bob Lehman Classic, a 60-lap highlight event.

The race commemorates the life and legacy of Rio Linda racing enthusiast and NSMS supporter Bob Lehman.

Robert “Bob” Lehman was born in Fresno on November 19, 1941. He passed away on November 18, 2019, one day before his 78th birthday. Lehman was a welder, fabricator and race car builder throughout his life.

Lehman had two loves in his life: his family and racing. He built his first racing car in his childhood home with his friends and his father 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 she would not drive and he kept it. Building race cars was his passion. He loved sharing that passion with his wife, Brenda, and his family, especially his sons, Mike, Donny, and Scott, and his daughters, Renee and Laura. He especially loved having his family with him on the track, in the pits, in the stands and in the store. It was a great day at the track when Lehman’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were able to be there.

In Lehman’s mind, every car it built was the “Flintstones Special,” or could be. He had his favorite cars over the years. Lehman created a catalog of race cars, including Super Modified, NASCAR Grand National, Late Model, Super Late Model, NASCAR Pro Truck, Modified, and Lucas Modified. Lehman was an iconic figure on the race track. He was quick to help other race teams with tips, ideas and emergency parts, just so everyone could race.

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Lehman had so many talented drivers during his 60 years in the sport, including his sons, son-in-law and grandson. Those drivers still remain in his racing circle. He made great friends with that man on the race track and in his store.

In 2014, Lehman faced serious health problems, but along with his longtime 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 of Fremont in 2017, and Keith Bloom of Anderson in 2018 and 2019. Both Bloom and Steven Gannon of Redding drove the changes to Lehman in his final North State Modified Series race at Shasta Speedway on October 5, 2019.

Bloom has continued to drive the No. 96 Lehman car under the watchful eye of Thomas for the past three seasons. Bloom currently ranks second in NSMS points behind Tracy’s Scott Winters.

Gates open for the Bob Lehman Classic at 5 p.m. and racing begins at 6 p.m.

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.

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