Scott Bloomquist overcame a shoulder injury and charged from his 15th starting spot to earn an unprecedented eighth career Dirt Late Model Dream victory Saturday night at Eldora Speedway (OH).
Bloomquist's path to becoming the first driver to score back-to-back victories in the $100,000 race was not an easy one.
The driver from Mooresburg, Tennessee suffered a shoulder injury Friday night when he slipped on the tongue of his trailer. Instead of competing in Friday's preliminary events that were eventually held early Saturday morning, Bloomquist was in a hospital room.
“It started raining, we were walking around in the mud and I got on the tongue of my trailer, slipped off and I was going to land on my back," Bloomquist explained in victory lane. "I put my left arm behind me to try and brace my fall and it bent it behind my back real far.
“I’ve got a muscle torn in my right shoulder, which is not near as bad as the left rotor cuff. I've got a doctor at home that says I need surgery. But, he’s trying to nurse me through — He’ll probably get me through my career."
As a result of missing the preliminary events, Bloomquist was forced to start dead last in his qualifying heat race Saturday night. The driver of the legendary No. 0 put on a show from the fans in Rossburg, Ohio, driving from last to third to earn himself a starting spot in the 100-lap main event.
Starting from the 15th position, Bloomquist stayed patient during the early laps before deciding to make his move following a string of early cautions. He made his way up to the second spot near the lap 30 mark and immediately began pressuring Jonathan Davenport for the lead. The two Dirt Late Model stars battled tooth and nail before Bloomquist eventually stole the lead for the final time on lap 40.
From there, the now eight-time Dirt Late Model Dream winner put on a clinic, eventually crossing under the checkered flag with a half-track advantage over second-place finisher Dale McDowell.
"Once we made the show after the heat race, I was going to take it easy," Bloomquist explained. "And I did take it easy in the beginning. On that restart, it felt so good I decided to hustle it and get to the front.
“This track is so awesome. Everybody here that takes care of this place, you can’t say enough about this race track. I’ve always loved it since the first time I came here."
Despite suffering the shoulder injury less than 24 hours prior to the green flag, Bloomquist said that everything felt "pretty good" after the race.
“It’s really unfortunate what happened last night. But, I’ve got enough patches on my shoulder here and they subscribed some stuff for pain. Everything’s been pretty good tonight."
Moving forward, Bloomquist believes he'll eventually need surgery to repair his injured shoulder.
“I’m afraid I almost thought I was going to have to leave to go get surgery this week," he said. "We’ll just have to wait and see once the pain comes back. We’ll see what the pain’s going to do.”
“I’ll probably have to schedule it for this November when the season ends and just got ahead and bite the bullet. The problem is, I don’t have — I think it’s like 12 weeks to recover. You know, it’s hard to figure out what races to miss.”
-Story by Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor - Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Ken Kelly
Dirt Late Model Dream Results – (100) Laps – $100,000-to-win
1. O-Scott Bloomquist; 2. 17M-Dale McDowell; 3. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 4. 32P-Bobby Pierce; 5. 44-Chris Madden; 6. 39-Tim McCreadie; 7. 28M-Jimmy Mars; 8. 7R-Kent Robinson; 9. 5-Don O’Neal; 10. 32S-Chris Simpson; 11. 20-Jimmy Owens; 12. 7-Ricky Weiss; 13. 14-Darrell Lanigan; 14. 25Z-Mason Zeigler; 15. 71R-Rod Conley; 16. 1P-Earl Pearson Jr.; 17. 1R-Josh Richards; 18. 12-Jason Jameson; 19. 2H-Nick Hoffman; 20. 97-Michael Chilton; 21. 50-Shanon Buckingham; 22. 157-Mike Marlar; 23. B1-Brent Larson; 24. 71-Hudson O’Neal; 25. 25C-Shane Clanton; 26. 18B-Shannon Babb; 27. 18X-Michael Page; 28. 1L-Jared Landers