Catching Up With…Austin Bloom
By Ben Deatherage
(Photo Courtesy of Madman Photography)
Fans of the Cottage Grove Speedway might remember Austin Bloom the young man from Lowell, Oregon that was one of the first drivers to field a car in the All-American Street Stocks when the class was introduced back in 2006. After graduating high school he got an opportunity to move to the east coast and has since then got to see a lot of racing and even now works full-time for Kyle Strickler Motorsports in North Carolina.
In addition to competing in the Street Stocks Austin would field a Modified for several seasons. Bloom is a second-generation driver following in the footsteps of his father Bob and now calls Mooresville, North Carolina his home. We got a chance to chat with him while on vacation about his racing career here in Oregon, how he’s enjoyed living back east, and what some of his future plans are. Now let’s catch up with Austin Bloom.
BD: Austin you left the racing scene out here to go to school in Florida correct?
AB: I actually went to pursue a career at Walt Disney World. I left in August of 2011 and came back six or seven months later and took off again in May of 2013. I learned a lot working down there and got all sorts of different opportunities.
BD: How did you get your start in racing?
AB: My dad bought me a Go-Kart on Christmas day when I was two and I ran that for quite a while. When Mark Howard started the Street Stock class we built a Nova when I was fourteen and I ran that for a couple of years and it all took off from there.
BD: How did you hook up with Kyle Strickler?
AB: It was just a complete random coincidence. Billy Workman Jr. got brought in this year to be his driver of a second car and run in Florida at the start of the year. Billy and I had talked about me moving to Mooresville up in North Carolina. He also asked me if I could take some time off of work and wanted to have me help him on his car while in Florida being that he had no pit crew. We were racing for about a week and Kyle started talking to me and had heard I was interested in moving to Mooresville and I told him if I had the opportunity I would and so he offered me a job right there on the spot.
BD: Any chance we may be seeing you back at the Cottage Grove Speedway anytime soon?
AB: Right now I’m fully committed on the east coast but I’d like to. Also I’m working on coming up with a ride in North Carolina but maybe in the future I’ll end up moving back up to Oregon. I love everything about the Pacific Northwest from the racing to the scenery.
BD: Have you got to see much racing on the East Coast?
AB: Yes I have, this year we started racing during the Winternationals in Florida and our first race was January 29th. So far we have raced sixteen times and have been to six different tracks everywhere from Florida to Tennessee. It’s a whole different ball game over here.
BD: What was your favorite moment of your career at Cottage Grove?
AB: That’s a tough one. I would have to say pulling up next to my dad at the speedway while we were packing the track in 2012. That was the first time we had both been on the track at the same time. That was a very special night for me.
Don't miss out on the 2014 Season Opener this Saturday April 12th at the Cottage Grove Speedway. We hope everyone can make it out to enjoy some wonderful racing at “The Grove”. For the latest information regarding Cottage Grove Speedway log on to www.cottagegrovespeedway.com.