Rocket vs Sweet-Bloomquist battle shaping up on WoO circuit


Brandon Sheppard scored 18 WoO wins for Rocket in 2019

To say that one chassis brand completely ruled the 2019 World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series would be a tremendous understatement.

Last year the Rocket Chassis house car driven by Brandon Sheppard was clearly the dominant force on the WoO Late Models circuit. That one team alone collected 18 victories on the tour which assured that the West Virginia-based chassis builder ran away with top honors in terms of feature wins on that national touring series.

But Rocket’s ownership of the national touring series went even further than just the accomplishments of the Mark Richards-owned team. Multiple wins by Jimmy Owens and Brandon Overton combined with single victories by Chase Junghans, Brian Shirley, Mason Zeigler, Mike Norris and Max Blair lifted the total number of Rocket triumphs to an astounding 30 out of the 41 contested races on the series.

Shepard’s return to WoO Late Models is a certainty and it would be hard to imagine that he won’t be as competitive as ever. At the same time, there will be other Rocket teams entering races whether it be in the form of series regulars and drop-in competitors.

Recent announcements, however, indicate that a new challenger may very well emerge to take on the champ when it comes to making trips to victory lane at the end of WoO Late Models features in 2020.

Within the past few weeks it has come to be known that Sweet-Bloomquist Race Cars will almost certainly be counted as a factor on that series.

Ricky Weiss was the WoO Late Models Rookie of the Year in 2019. Although the former winner of the North-South 100 did not collect a feature win on the tour in 2019, he did finish the campaign in the third position of the final standings. And now, he will have additional support from Drydene Performance Products as he enters his second full-time run with the series.

Ricky Weiss campaigns a Sweet-Bloomquist Race Car

But Weiss will not be the only driver employing the Sweet-Bloomquist brand of chassis on the WoO Late Models Series in 2020. Also with the backing of Drydene, Scott Bloomquist and Chris Madden will enter the fray out of the Scott Bloomquist Racing stables on a regular basis. So not only will the numbers of that chassis type be increased but the ability to exchange ideas among three top drivers and crews will also serve to lift all of those cars as they compete on the series.

Madden showed during the second half of the 2019 season that he would be a force to reckon with as he scored three series wins in a limited number of starts in a Sweet-Bloomquist chassis. One of those WoO victories was in the crown jewel USA Nationals while he also added two other crown jewels off the series in the North-South 100 and the Topless 100.

Madden has also shown that he has championship capability as he finished third and second in the WoO standings in 2017 and 2018.

Chris Madden proved to be a powerful force late in the 2020 season

Bloomquist is a former World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion. The National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame member spent much of 2019 recovering from injuries in a motorcycle accident but still managed multiple victories. The winner of more than 600 features and multiple-time national series champion will almost certainly be a title contender in 2020 if his health allows.

This is not to say that other chassis brands will not win races on the World of Outlaws Late Model series in in the coming year. However, from the drivers and teams we have heard declare their allegiance to the series so far, it certainly appears as if the battle between Rocket Chassis and Sweet-Bloomquist Race Cars could certainly be one of the stories to watch for the as the season plays out.

The WoO Late Models will get their season underway on January 3, 2020 at Vado Speedway Park in Vado, NM.

***Here’s what Twitter had to say regarding which chassis brand would score the most wins in 2020. A similar poll on Facebook added 42 votes for Sweet-Bloomquist and 39 for Rocket***

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