GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Mark Dobmeier has had the Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint Car season opener on May 7 circled on his schedule for months.
That was his anticipated return to racing after suffering a back injury last July at Cedar Lake Speedway.
While his recovery process is coming along great and is ahead of schedule, Dobmeier is not yet cleared to jump back into his Buffalo Wild Wings No. 13 sprint car.
“At the end of the day, the recovery is going absolutely spectacular from where I was at in July to where I’m at now,” said Dobmeier. “Everything is healing well. The doctors like what they are seeing, the bone is coming back in the places they want it, it’s doing everything it’s supposed to. The bad thing is the bone growth is not robust enough where they are comfortable clearing me to race competitively yet.”
There is no set timetable for a return.
“It’s kind of frustrating for me because I feel really good,” said Dobmeier. “I’m mentally ready and I feel like I’m physically ready, but there is that natural aspect of bone growth that you can’t get around and I don’t have enough yet where they can say I’m strong enough to absorb an impact if one comes my way.”
Team 13 has been busy over the offseason. Dobmeier and the crew have worked hard to get everything ready for a busy season. All that’s left is the green light from the doctors.
“We have busted our tails all winter to be ready to go racing this spring,” Dobmeier continued. “Everything from my physical therapy, we’ve got cars built, the truck and trailer are serviced and ready to go. We’ve gotten every aspect checked off the list, it’s just a matter of loading up the car and going racing. We knew it was going to come down to the wire whether I would be cleared in time or not, but in my mind, this result wasn’t a possibility.
“It might change throughout the year, but at least for the next little while, we are going to be parked,” he said. “I’ve had a great recovery so far and I’m very fortunate. I’ve had excellent doctors along the way and I have an amazing support group between friends and family and the racing family. I have the absolute best sponsors in the country. Everybody is more worried about me than the car circling around the track.
“Sprint car racing in the Midwest is looking really good again, especially with Huset’s Speedway up and running again, and I’m really excited for that. I put a schedule together over the offseason and we had over 50 dates we were going to hit this season. It’s going to be tough to sit back and watch, but it’s one of those life decisions I have to be smart about. I still plan on racing obviously and I’ll get back in as soon as I possibly can but I have to make sure I’m doing it in a safe manner and not in a reckless way,” Dobmeier concluded.