The 2019 season has not exactly gone to plan for National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame member Scott Bloomquist. After getting off to a pretty good start in the campaign that saw the No. 0 machine score seven top-5 finishes in January and February, everything screeched to a sudden halt when the racing star was involved in a serious motorcycle crash in early March. The injuries received from that accident and the recovery time required sidelined the soon-to-be 56-year-old driver throughout the spring months until he came back at the Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora Speedway in June.
During the time of his absence from the driver’s seat, Scott Bloomquist Racing brought in noted racing promoter Cody Sommer to serve as a business manager for the team. From that point, Bloomquist opted primarily to run a pick-and-choose sort of schedule that placed him at many of the bigger and higher paying races throughout the summer and fall.
At the same time, SBR brought in veteran star Chris Madden, who had parted ways with Skyline Motorsports earlier in the season, to drive a second Team Zero entry in a number of events. The results were phenomenal as Madden scored crown jewel wins in the USA Nationals, the North-South 100 and the Topless 100 as well as other events.
Over the next few weeks, Bloomquist and Madden are expected to compete in even more races together. Both drivers are slated for National 100 at East Alabama Motor Speedway and the World of Outlaws sanctioned World Finals at The Dirt Track in Charlotte. According to the schedule posted on ScottBloomquistRacing.com, Bloomquist will also unload at the Gobbler 100 at Cochran(GA) Speedway and the Gateway Nationals in St. Louis.
But the real question could very well be what path the legendary driver and car builder will take for the 2020 season.
Bloomquist is, of course, a multiple-time national touring series champion. So obviously, after a season of only running a partial schedule on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, the Mooresburg, Tenn. resident could go back on the road to compete full-time on that tour or even the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series if he were to be so inclined. For anyone looking to make a living in the sport, touring series racing is a prime option due to the money available in those purses, the points fund money available, tour provisionals on nights when things might not go as planned, and the possibility of obtaining sponsorship from a company that may want to be associated with that series.
There are obvious reasons why a driver and team might want to follow a tour. At the same time, there are some drawbacks. The first and foremost issue is the amount of travel and time on the road which can serve as major deterrents. And more, the difficulty in finding crew members who can commit to such a lifestyle is becoming more and more of a problem for race teams.
On one hand, running a national series could prove to be the most feasible means of funding a race team. But on the other hand, there are the drawbacks of travel and personnel to consider. And more, Bloomquist has proven all there is to prove in series racing so there is really nothing left to accomplish.
If the option of racing on a touring series full-time is not chosen, the next possible alternative could be to race in selected events that may not necessarily fit into the schedule of one tour or the other. This could allow Bloomquist to focus more of his energy and efforts on the higher paying events without having to worry about the rigors of chasing points on a series. Further, by running the same sort of schedule as was done in the second half of the 2019 season, the No. 0 team could cut down on the expense of travel by racing in the better paying shows closer to east Tennessee rather than crossing over several state lines to get to a series race.
And no matter which type of schedule Bloomquist may decide to run as a driver, there is also the option of running a second car with another driver. As stated earlier, Madden went on an incredible tear by winning three consecutive crown jewel events in the month of August. Whether it be with the South Carolina driver or with someone else, there could be benefits gained from putting a second Scott Bloomquist Racing car on the track in 2020.
Compared with Rocket Chassis and Longhorn Chassis, there are relatively few Sweet-Bloomquist Race Cars on the track at a given time. Having more cars provides access to more information which would serve to aid everyone with that brand of chassis. What’s more, the success enjoyed by Madden this year no doubt added to the Team Zero bottom line. While it can’t be expected that another driver would capture three crown jewels during a season, any degree of success could add more to the treasury.
There are some questions to be answered out of Planet Zero over the course of this off-season. Full-time series driver? Limited schedule driver? Car owner?
Of course, as is always the case in racing, funding will no doubt help to provide those answers in the coming weeks and months.
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