2009 was certainly a different year for Scott Bloomquist. While victory circle eluded him for much of the season, he nevertheless won the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship in dominating fashion. While many racing fans frown at the notion of a driver winning a series championship with few victories to show for it, Bloomquist has maintained his spot on top of the late model world.
My father, who has followed late model racing since at least the late 1970s, calls Bloomquist the best late model driver he has ever seen. While guys like Jackie Boggs, Jim Dunn, Charlie Schwartz, Jeff Purvis, and others can be argued for, Bloomquist certainly has the credentials to be called the greatest. It seems as though this past decade has been his decade. In the 2000 alone, he?s won four Dirt Late Model Dreams, four Show Me 100s, two Knoxville Late Model Nationals, as well as a World 100 and a Dirt Track World Championship. This doesn?t include several other ?big money? races during the past 10 years.
Yet this year was a different type of year for Mooresburg, TN native. For the first time since 2004, Bloomquist decided to run in a series full-time; competing in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. Driving his own Team Zero chassis, he competed against the likes of Earl Pearson Jr., Dale McDowell, Jimmy Owens, and other premier late model drivers. He pretty much had a solid grip on the points lead, and cruised to an easy championship.
While Bloomquist was at the top of the standings for a majority of the year, an A-feature win was out of reach. Pearson, Owens, Mc Dowell, and Brian Birkhofer among others had all collected multiple victories on the year. What Bloomquist had, however, was the most consistent season of any late model driver in 2009. He amassed multiple second and third place finishes, and rarely ventured outside the top ten. In August and September, for instance, he amassed three 2nd place finishes, three 3rds, and a 4th. Bloomquist himself was very happy about his season, as well he should be. He alluded to the fact that he was very close to winning most of the big races during the season (see his say it himself at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h-X8p4BIrw).
It wasn?t until October 3rd that Bloomquist captured a victory. It was a big one, as he collected $40,000 for winning his second Knoxville Late Model Nationals title. While that race wasn?t included in the Lucas Oil series, the race involved the best drivers from all series. He followed that up by winning his first Lucas Oil event of the season (which happened to be the final race of the season) at Rome Speedway in Georgia. More importantly for his wallet, he collected a cool $75,000 for winning the series championship.
So, while it may not show in the win column, Bloomquist is just as good as ever. In the big money races, Bloomquist is still the safest bet for the win. I look for the #0 to stay at the front for years to come.
I'm hoping to do a preview of the World of Outlaws Finale at Charlotte. If I don't get a chance to do that, it will simply be my review and thoughts about it.
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