Dirt late model driver Scott Bloomquist and four other drivers filed a $16.5-million lawsuit against World Racing Group and subsidiary UMP DIRTcar Racing, Eldora Speedway and track owner Tony Stewart last week, according to a report by Courthouse News Service.
The five drivers – Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens, Gregg Satterlee, Brandon Sheppard and Ricky Thornton Jr. – were disqualified after failing a tire test following the Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora on June 11. Rubber samples taken during the three days of racing from June 9-11 did not meet established benchmarks supplied by the tire manufacturer in a chemical analysis, according to DIRTcar racing officials.
The drivers were declared in violation of the rule that states, in part: “Chemical alterations, vulcanizing, tire softening, defacing and/or/altering the face of the tire lettering and/or tire stamping will not be permitted. Chemicals or tire softening is not permitted at any time.”
The drivers forfeited their earnings for the three days, were fined and suspended for three months from all DIRTcar sanctioned events, including the World 100 – one of dirt racing’s crown jewel events – at Eldora from Sept. 8-10. The suspension ends Sept. 11.
The financial loss (forfeited winnings, fine and cost of tire analysis) was $19,630 Sheppard, $10,930 for Thornton, $7,630 for Owens, $6,105 for Bloomquist and $4,655 for Satterlee.
In addition to the failed tire test, Bloomquist is also suing to regain his $100,000 victory in the 2015 Dirt Late Model Dream.
Bloomquist was disqualified after coming up 21 pounds light of the mandatory 2,300-pound minimum weight at the post-race scales. According to the CNS report, Bloomquist claims a second attempt to make weight showed the car was again too light, but by a different amount.
The lawsuit, according to CNS, said Bloomquist had his reputation, including that as a sports celebrity, damaged and hurt his marketing ability for sponsors.
Said Eldora Speedway general manager Roger Slack in a statement: “Our team at Eldora Speedway is amidst the final days of preparation for the Baltes Classic and the 46th running of the World 100 – our sport’s showcase event. As always, we are committed to providing a one-of-a-kind experience for our loyal fans, drivers and race teams. We will not be distracted by news of meritless lawsuits. Our legal team will deal with that and we will comment further at the appropriate time.”
Team owners R & W Motorsports LLC, Best Performance Motorsports LLC, JR Motorsports LLC, Gary Satterlee and William G. Satterlee & Sons Inc. are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
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