NASCAR & Auto Racing

Hal Hamrick, Dick Bahre pass away; Hamrick wake on Wednesday

Hal Hamrick, a pioneer in several forms of media coverage of stock-car racing, died Sunday night in Gastonia. He was 79.

Mr. Hamrick was publisher of “FasTrack,” a weekly racing publication based in Gastonia. He suffered a stroke on Friday.

Mr. Hamrick had written about and talked about racing for nearly as long as there has been a NASCAR. He sat on a soft drink crate to broadcast a race from Martinsville Speedway in Virginia in 1952 and was part of the team that broadcast the first Daytona 500 in 1959. He did radio work for the Universal Radio Network, which pioneered radio broadcasts of NASCAR races, until 1983.

Mr. Hamrick was born in Rutherford County and grew up in Asheville.

The Hamrick family will receive friends on Wednesday from 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. at Parkwood Baptist Church, 1729 East Garrison Blvd., Gastonia, with a service to follow at 3.

Memorials can be made to: Parkwood Baptist Church, 1827 Dixon Road, Gastonia, N.C. 28054; Victory Junction Gang Camp, 4500 Adam's Way, Randleman, N.C. 27317 (, or the American Heart Association, 222 S. Church Street, Ste. 303, Charlotte, N.C. 28202.

Dick Bahre, the brother of New Hampshire Motor Speedway founder Bob Bahre and a former NASCAR team owner, passed away Saturday in Statesville. He was 76.

Dick Bahre owned cars that made starts in 31 Cup races from 1981 to 1993 and then worked with Chuck Rider to form Bahari Racing in the mid 1990s.

The family will receive friends from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. today at Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home, 705 Davie Avenue, in Statesville, N.C. A second receiving for friends will be held at Oxford Hills Funeral Services, 1037 Main Street, Oxford, Maine on Wednesday. A funeral mass will be held on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Catherine of Sienna Church, 32 Paris Street, Norway, Maine.

The family has requested that memorial contributions be made to the Victory Junction Gang Camp, 4500 Adam's Way, Randleman, N.C. 27317; to Hospice and Palliative Care of Iredell County, 2347 Simonton Road, Statesville, N.C. 28625, or to the American Cancer Society, 6000 Fairview Road, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28210.