Blount Back At Home
May 4, 2006 | 4:27 P.M. EST
While his stat package hasn't been the best it can be in the NASCAR ranks, his numbers in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, which gets more competitive by each tick of the clock, are nothing to sneeze at.
At any rate, the native Indianan is headed home this weekend via a quick pit stop in Amherstburg, Ontario where the 26-year-old racer is getting fitted-up to drive the No. 30 Jones Group Dodge for this Sunday's Winchester 200 presented by Construct Corps at Winchester Speedway.
"The Cup team I'm running with had sponsorship for about five races, so we had to forego any attempt to run at Richmond this weekend," said Blount from Jones' Amherstburg-based race shop.
"Everything's going great; I'm really excited about racing at Winchester. The only hitch we had was at the (Canadian) border. Me and my Cup crew chief Teddy Brown had to answer some questions when we told them we were bringing my (race) seat over to get fitted in a racecar. But, it was really no big deal. We're here now and getting fitted-in."
Blount will be driving the same car that Terry Jones drove to a career-best 10th place finish last time out at Salem Speedway. The car is a 2004 Dodge Intrepid with an AP Racing Engine under the hood.
Blount first burst onto the RE/MAX Series scene in 2001 with some impressive showings in Todd Braun's Dodge. But it was in 2002 when the competition came to understand that Blount was truly a championship-caliber racer. Still under rookie status, Blount checked off four victories in 2002 at Kentucky Speedway, Michigan Int'l Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway. By year's end, he would finish second in points to Frank Kimmel and win Rookie of the Year honors.
Fom there, it looked like the sky was the limit when he charged off to the NASCAR Busch Series where he would find limited success. After mixing it up in the Busch and Cup Series over two seasons, Blount found himself back in an ARCA RE/MAX Series machine for what was supposed to be a fulltime effort in 2005 in the ML Motorsports ride, recently vacated by Jason Jarrett.
Blount came out strong right off the trailer adding four more wins to his RE/MAX Series resume with victories at Salem Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, Kansas Speedway and Kentucky. Then the team opted to change course in the middle of the season and headed for the NASCAR Busch Series where limited success awaited. The Blount/ML Motorsports union eventually dissolved and Blount got an opportunity to drive the No. 92 Front Row Dodge in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series for 2006.
"We had enough sponsorship to get us through the first few races, but without a sponsor, we had to step back," added Blount.
"Then this opportunity came up to drive for Terry Jones, so here we are."
Blount has been candid about his opportunities in motorsports and his thoughts on returning to ARCA RE/MAX Series competition.
"I love the series (ARCA RE/MAX Series). If I had championship-caliber equipment and a shot to run for the championship, I'd definitely welcome the chance to do it.
"Do I aspire to be a successful driver in NASCAR? Of course I do; I think we all do when we reach a certain level, but I would love to have a championship team in ARCA if we can.
"Racing's all about winning races; it doesn't matter what level it's at. Racers want to win; that's why we're here. Right now we're here in the ARCA series, and that's where we want to win. I could content myself in ARCA if I was driving the right car. I think I'm going to be in the right car this weekend at Winchester."
In 41 career ARCA RE/MAX Series starts since 2001, Blount has eight wins. That means that Blount has won about 20% of all the races he has started in RE/MAX Series competition.
Interestingly enough, the numbers are strikingly similar, start-win-ratio-wise, to seven-time series champion Frank Kimmel. Kimmel has 64 wins (second all-time) in 306 series starts, figuring up to victories in about 20% of the races he has started.
One comes from southern Indiana; one comes from northern Indiana. Both Blount and Kimmel will meet in the middle this weekend at Winchester Speedway in Winchester, Indiana for another ARCA RE/MAX Series short-track war.