Blake Bjorklund season preview

Blake Bjorklund is the next rising star in the NASCAR world. His determination and potential have led him to the cusp of big-time auto racing. As the first development driver for Haas CNC Racing, Bjorklund now has every resource imaginable to ...

Blake Bjorklund is the next rising star in the NASCAR world. His determination and potential have led him to the cusp of big-time auto racing. As the first development driver for Haas CNC Racing, Bjorklund now has every resource imaginable to succeed on his next racing frontier, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). He will compete in the first 12 races of the NCTS schedule in his attempt to build for the future.

A native Minnesotan, Bjorklund worked on his family's farm and raced snowmobiles at an early age. By the time he strapped himself inside of his first Three Quarter Scale (TQS) late model stock car it became evident that he preferred pavement over snow. After garnering championships and awards during the 2001 and 2002 seasons of the TQS Late Model Series, Bjorklund was ready to take the next step of his career.

In 2003 Bjorklund moved into the ultra-competitive world of late model stock car racing. He competed at I-94 Raceway in Sauk Centre, Minn. and Fergus Falls (Minn.) Raceway. By the end of the season Bjorklund had captured the "Rookie of the Year" title at both tracks while taking home three feature wins.

2004 saw Bjorklund take another big step as he took on the challenge of the Yellow Book Midwest All-Star Racing Series (MARS). Bjorklund captured eight feature wins as well as the prestigious "Rookie of the Year" honors. In addition, Bjorklund was the "Youngest Driver" in addition to the "First Minnesota Driver" to win a MARS race." After exceeding his goals and with the MARS season complete, Bjorklund turned his attention to the remaining American Speed Association (ASA) races, where he scored a top-12 finish.

The 2005 season saw Bjorklund back in the MARS Series and running up front. He also competed in several super late model races around the Midwest. While he admits that he didn't race as much as he would have liked, this short season ignited Bjorklund's passion for racing and led him to his "watershed" year.

2006 proved to be the year that would define Bjorklund as an exceptionally talented driver. While competing in the ARCA/REMAX Series he garnered his typical "Rookie of the Year" honors while finishing fifth in points. His stats for the year were one win, six top-fives, 10 top-tens and two Pork Pole Awards. His victory came at the Salem (Ind.) Speedway in September. The crown jewel of his breakout year would be the Bill France Triple Crown Award he picked up. The prestigious award is given to the driver who earns the most points during a grueling, nine-day stretch that includes three races from September 1-9. The Toledo Speedway (.5 mile oval), the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds (one-mile dirt oval) and the Chicagoland Speedway (1.5-mile D-shaped oval) are the tracks that comprise this mini schedule. This complete examination of several racing disciplines makes this an exemplary award.

As the 2007 race season beckons the 21-year-old Bjorklund will set out to conquer another racing endeavor. MRD Motorsports will field the No. 8 Chevrolet Silverado for the Haas Racing development driver during his partial schedule. Crew chief Steve Genenbacher brings a plethora of experience and should serve as a great mentor to the young Bjorklund. Having aligned himself with such an outstanding team, the sky is the limit for Bjorklund.

-credit: haas/cnc racing

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Blake Bjorklund