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|07/22/18||From Zipline to Finish Line|
Linda Trefethen: Four Decades of Dedication
She was there when Keith Bryar sold Bryar Motorsports Park to Bob Bahre in 1988.
She was there when Bob Bahre sold his beloved New Hampshire International Speedway to Bruton Smith and Speedway Motorsports, Inc. in 2007.
She was there when New Hampshire Motor Speedway celebrated its 25th anniversary hosting NASCAR racing in 2015.
And as the speedway readies to turn the calendar toward another race season in 2017, Linda Trefethen is still here, celebrating her 41st year at the Loudon racetrack.
"This job means the world to me, and in spite of all the changes over the years, it still feels like home," said Trefethen, who manages the speedway's accounts payable department. "Plus, you can't beat the commute."
A resident of Loudon, N.H. for more than 44 years, Trefethen has made the daily commute to speedway for nearly all of them. Starting out as a cook at the Bryar Motorsports Park's infield restaurant, she also found herself cleaning and doing office work with the former owner's wife, Rose Bryar.
"It was so different back then. There was a dirt track around the infield pond that they used for night racing," said Trefethen. "There was a short track for motorcycles behind where the operations building stands now. It wasn't as fancy, but they certainly had a lot of fun."
When the track sold in 1988 so Bahre could bring NASCAR racing to the Northeast for the first time, Trefethen didn't think about leaving. Not only did she stay, she was out there on the track helping roll the new asphalt.
"I'll tell you, when you think about everything that Linda has seen and done here over the years, it really gives you some perspective on the history of this facility and the dedication she has to this place," said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway. "In my time here, I've had the opportunity to work with a lot of people. Some have stayed, some have left. But there's been one constant - and that's Linda Trefethen. She embodies the spirit everything great about the people that work for this wonderful company."
Trefethen, who has a genuine passion for all things racing, recalls meeting Paul Newman, who used to race at Bryar Motorsports Park back in the late 70's. For every history-making moment the speedway has had over the last quarter-century, Trefethen can say she's been a part of it in some capacity.
These days, Trefethen works in the accounts department, where she handles purchase orders, all work-related expenses, office supply orders, and a plethora of other account-related issues. A quick glance into her office and it may appear that paperwork has finally caught up with her. But Trefethen is the personification of the looks can be deceiving adage.
"She may have to reach behind her computer or under her desk or to the side of a cabinet for it, but she knows where everything is filed in that office," joked McGrath during a recent staff Christmas party, where he gave Trefethen a plaque and gift to commemorate her 40-year anniversary. "It doesn't have to make sense to anyone else, as long as it makes sense to her. She does an incredible job."
Trefethen can be seen zipping through the hallways trying to catch up with co-workers who didn't fill out their paperwork correctly or to simply share a story about her husband of 44 years, her two children or her four grandchildren.
And as for retirement? Don't count on it. "Oh, I'm not ready to retire anytime soon," she said.
After all, the next time the speedway makes a little history, she has to be there.