Days before one of the biggest World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model events of the year, Nick Hoffman was given the biggest opportunity of his career.
The offer: drive 2004 Series champion Scott Bloomquist’s car at Fairbury Speedway’s Prairie Dirt Classic (July 30-31).
His answer: Yes!
The 29-year-old Belleville, IL driver has been on the most dominant run in DIRTcar Summit Modified Nationals history this year. He’s collected 17 wins in 18 starts, holds a more than 300-point lead with 11 races remaining and took the top spot on the Series’ all-time wins list with his latest win.
With the Modified Nationals tour running both nights of the Prairie Dirt Classic, alongside the World of Outlaws Late Models, Hoffman plans on making another run at history by pulling double duty, piloting his Elite Chassis #2 Modified and Bloomquist’s Late Model. However, even though he’s running for points with the Modified, it’ll be the least of his concerns.
“This is a way bigger opportunity for me,” Hoffman said about racing for Bloomquist. “I don’t care what happens with the Modified this weekend to be honest. I’ll mainly jump in the thing and run it. I feel like our car is good enough right now that we don’t have to do much to it. This is the biggest opportunity in my career. I’m going to make the most of it.”
He was already at Bloomquist’s shop, helping rebuild a backup car that got wrecked at I-80 Speedway during the week. While it’s still to be determined, Hoffman knows “making the most of it” could lead to more races with Bloomquist’s team.
“There’s a possibility that if everything goes well, I could be in it at Cedar Lake (Speedway for the USA Nationals),” Hoffman said. “Don’t really know about that yet. We could run some more races here down the road. It’s all dependent on Scott (Bloomquist) and what their plan is.”
In his corner already is Scott Bloomquist Racing president Cody Sommers. The two have been friends for a while, Hoffman said, with Sommers helping him out since he was 15 years old.
Late Models are nothing new to the Modified star either. He’s made more than 30 starts – including three with the World of Outlaws and 11 on the DIRTcar Summer Nationals tour in 2018. He’s even won a preliminary event for the World 100 at Eldora Speedway.
The majority of those starts were made behind the wheel of a Rocket Chassis. It wasn’t until last year when he first ran the Hacther’s #6H car that he got to sit behind one of Bloomquist’s Team Zero Chassis for the first time. This year, he earned a ninth-place finish with it at the Dream.
“The Bloomquist car just fits my style,” Hoffman said. “It’s way closer to what I’m used to with my Modified stuff.”
Before making his World of Outlaws debut in the black Drydene car this weekend, he got an early taste of Bloomquist’s car during a MARS Late Model this week at Davenport Speedway – a track he had never raced at. He finished seventh but was left knowing he probably could’ve had it to the top-five. The team discovered a brake issue after the Heat Race, which put them behind and had to start 15th in the Feature.
While he holds himself to a high standard and wants to win the Prairie Dirt Classic, Hoffman said he would be happy with a top-10 finish – a respectable goal with the event attracting the likes of three-time defending champion Brandon Sheppard, 2021 crown jewel collector Brandon Overton, two-time defending Xtreme DIRTcar champion Chris Madden, three-time Summer Nationals champion Bobby Pierce and more.
The biggest resource he’ll have to help make that happen is Bloomquist himself.
“Working one-on-one with him is very neat,” Hoffman said about his new car owner. “It’s pretty amazing. Obviously, this guy knows his race cars in and out, just like I do my Modified stuff. He will sit there and break down every little piece. If you have a question about anything, he will break down how that piece works and why it works the way it does. It is incredible the knowledge the guy has.”
There will be multiple chances for Hoffman to try and make the field for Saturday’s $50,000-to-win, 100-lap, Feature. On Friday, July 30, the field will be split into four 25-lap showdowns. If a driver does not lock themselves into the Feature there, they will have a chance to do so during Saturday’s Last Chance Showdowns. Then, if they still didn’t make it, they’ll have one more chance with the Prairie Dirt Shootout with the winner given the choice to take the $2,500 winnings or start in the Prairie Dirt Classic.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision with the annual PLATINUM FAST PASS or monthly FAST PASS.