2023 PRI Show

Shoulder Surgery Put On Hold As Scott Bloomquist Plots 2024 Plans

Shoulder Surgery Put On Hold As Scott Bloomquist Plots 2024 Plans

Count Scott Bloomquist among the drivers having solidified plans at this week’s Performance Racing Industry Trade Show ahead of the new racing season.

Dec 8, 2023 by Kyle McFadden
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Count Scott Bloomquist among one of the countless drivers and teams having solidified plans at this week’s Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis ahead of the new racing season. 

The newly turned 60-year-old who will eventually have to undergo shoulder surgery but just can’t quite fathom being out of the drivers’ seat for another extended period of time, so he’s elected to put off the surgery for the time being. Bloomquist, never short on optimism and confidence, feels he can get back to racing competitively, at the level he desires, despite his afflictions. 

“Well, once I realized how long it could be, and the insurance — jumping hoops and going through all this stuff before OK'ing the surgery — that was going to drag out,” Bloomquist told DirtonDirt.com on Thursday. "Then when you add the six-month recovery time, it would’ve been a whole year. After (the World Finals at) Charlotte, I knew I could do it. I was fine afterwards. I could run 100 laps. I figured out how to keep my leg from getting numb by how I do my feet and s---. 

“We’re going to go ahead and start back up in March. That’s what we’re planning. We’re going to hit the big events and run a lot more than I expected.”

Following Nov. 3’s seventh-place finish on the second night of the World Finals at the Dirt Track at Charlotte — the Mooresburg, Tenn.’s first completed feature in exactly a year, since last season’s World Finals — Bloomquist tasted what’s possible when he toughs out the days ahead of him. 

What was just as impressive during that top-10 run amid one of the stiffer touring fields of the year is that Bloomquist made it happen with a broken left foot and, of course, the bum shoulder that eventually needs rotator cuff repairs. Those injuries only add to his overwhelming medical difficulties in recent years, which include treatable prostate cancer, on-and-off numbness in his right foot and leg, and a decompressed L5 disk in his back. 

“I felt good getting back at it at Charlotte,” Bloomquist said. “It’s been long enough. I’ve always been mentally ready. It’s just been killing me not to be doing it. It’s bad. When you have these things happen, it’s like I feel it. Man, my foot, I’m just getting to the point now I can walk without much of a limp. I think the bones have healed up pretty good. That’s not going to be a problem. Yeah, I have to quit hurting myself.” 

Immediately after Bloomquist’s promising run at Charlotte's 4/10-mile oval, he told DirtonDirt.com his tentative, initial outlook was finding a window to complete and recover from the shoulder surgery in time for next June’s Dirt Late Model Dream. He also knew this route — putting off the surgery and easing the pain with periodic cortisone shots for the time being — was just as likely. 

With that comes Bloomquist finding his limits, what he can and cannot physically tolerate. For instance, he tried setting foot on another comeback trail at Eldora Speedway’s Dirt Track World Championship in October, but rough-and-tumble, weather-hampered conditions didn’t provide the most comfortable environment. Charlotte’s smoother surface proved more bearable for Bloomquist, who will have to pick and choose tracks that require more of a methodical pace. 

“My shoulder still isn’t the best,” Bloomquist said. “If it got really rough, I’d likely have to pull out of trying to race through it. I know it would just tear it up. Like, Eldora got way too rough. Charlotte, I had no problems. I’ll just keep doing rehabilitation and continue to keep getting shots in it this season. We’ll reassess it at the end of the year.” 

Bloomquist said that this week he’s been in the process of scheduling appointments with a back and shoulder specialist in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he’ll receive therapy and treatments to keep him as limber and healthy as possible. Shuttling back and forth from the Sunshine State gives Bloomquist the confidence to start filling out his 2024 schedule.

“They seem to be having some miraculous results and quick recoveries,” Bloomquist said. “I’m looking at doing that, made some phone calls today. They have some new technology that’s absolutely state of the art where they don’t go in there and damage stuff.” 

While Bloomquist has been on the mend, he’s been logging extra brainstorm session with Team Zero Race Cars counterpart Shane McDowell. In fact, Bloomquist’s to-do list at PRI is looking into different types of tubing and anything his innovative mind resonates with to perhaps take back home so he and McDowell can stay ahead of the curve. 

“Shane, anything we do, I always run by him. We work together on it,” Bloomquist said. “He’s the one that markets it. Anyone who buys the cars goes through him. I don’t mess with that. He’s the one that handles all the parts and business. He’ll be involved. We don’t keep anything from each other. It’s a good thing. You have to have at least one to bounce s--- off of. We’re rock solid. He’s been around just as long as I have.”

With Bloomquist assembling what’s shaping to be a steady schedule of races next season, the question now is, when could he make his season debut? Georgia-Florida Speedweeks are off the table. But Feb. 24’s XR Super Series event at Ultimate Motorsports Park in Elkin, N.C., is a possibility. 

Outside that, Bloomquist is adamant on filling up schedule with events “around home” and whatever else that catches his attention around the country. Eldora Speedway’s crown jewels and June 14-15’s Mountain Moonshine Classic at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn., are just a few events he’s most looking forward to. 

“We’re looking into that XR race,” Bloomquist said. “We’re working on some new car stuff. We have to obviously get some engines built, things like that. Right now, I don’t have enough equipment to even think of going to Florida. That’s what we have to work on; get us some engines. I’m here looking at some tubing and other stuff, getting ready to do a couple of chassis for myself. I might do a few others. Not really still interested in selling them. We have some ideas. We’re going to give it a good run this year.”