Bob Blair
Class of 2004

Bob Blair competed with the Bay State Midget Association, winning the New England Championship in 1941, ’42, and ‘45. In eight consecutive years (racing was put on hold in 1943 and ’44 during World War II) Blair posted seven top three finishes for the yearly championship. As a Navy Seabee during WW II, Bob was seriously injured while stationed at Norfolk, Virginia, when he was pinned between two landing craft, resulting in severe head, shoulder, and back injuries. These injuries eventually led to a medical discharge from the service.

With over 200 career feature wins, Blair was a dominant force at New England tracks like New Bedford, Tiverton, and Dracut. He raced against legends like Ruff Anderson, the Simmonetti brothers, and NEAR Hall of Fame members Johnny Thomson and Joe Sostilio, and drove for top midget teams like Nemo Russo, the MacLeod Offy, the Kelley Bros., Frank Lemieux, and the Ashton Offy.

Once, Bob once was driving an Offy at Groveland when he was forced through the infield to avoid two cars crashing in front of him. It was only after the race that it was discovered that Blair had broken his steering box in the encounter, yet he was still able to run the final 7 laps of the event.

Bob’s son, Bob Blair, Jr. was an avid race fan, who traveled all over the country and never had a driver's license. Known as the race fan with the golden thumb people such as Mario Andretti Richard Petty, and AJ Foyt all gave him rides.

Bob Sr. passed away at a too-early age in a non-racing accident.

Today, we welcome Bob Blair, Sr. into the NEAR Hall of Fame.