Tom Blomqvist

Many would consider Tom Blomqvist’s dad, 1984 World Rally champion Stig Blomqvist, as the primary confidant in his racing career. While his dad certainly played a role, Blomqvist said his mom, Kim, played an enormous role in his trajectory, too.

“I’m close to my mom because of everything she’s done for me,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for what she did.”

Born in the United Kingdom, Blomqvist lived there until his parents split up when he was quite young. Amid the breakup, his mom – who was raised in New Zealand – took Tom and his younger brother back to her native land to live.

“We went and lived in New Zealand, did most of my schooling there,” Blomqvist said. “My dad moved back to (his native) Sweden.”

Co-parenting on opposite sides of a hemisphere is a challenge. Blomqvist said the financial commitment and sacrifices his mom made to help his racing dream has him indebted to her. Without his mom’s support, he would not be racing as a rookie in the No. 66 AutoNation/Arctic Wolf Honda Meyer Shank Racing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

“My mom was very supportive of it because I grew up with her,” he said. “She could have easily said: ‘No, we’re not going to go racing. You just go racing when your dad comes over a few times a year’ sort of thing.”

Blomqvist initially followed in his dad’s successful racing path by finding success early in his racing career, winning several karting titles. Then, the struggles of racing without a large financial budget crept in. Losing out to drivers who had bigger budgets took a toll on Blomqvist. His mom kept his mindset focused throughout that challenging time.

As his career progressed, Blomqvist made the decision to move to Europe, first to Sweden with his father, later to the United Kingdom to live with family friends.

The results weren’t immediate. This time, his mom was on a completely different continent for guidance.

“I just remember when the race wasn’t going well in the first few years, I hated it,” he said. “Every year I was like: ‘I’m going to quit. I’m over this. I’m going home.’”

Luckily, he stayed the course. During a junior career with many ups and downs and turbulent moments, Blomqvist eventually worked his way into prominent racing opportunities.

He showed with the right situation, he can excel in this sport. Blomqvist, 30, won the 2022 and 2023 Rolex 24 At Daytona with Meyer Shank Racing. He also captured the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the premier DPi class.

That success – and a desire for a new challenge – allowed him to pivot to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. He made three starts in 2023 with Meyer Shank, at Toronto, Portland International Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca before landing a full-time ride with the team for 2024.

This month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Blomqvist will reach the top speed of his career in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Laps on the 2.5-mile oval eclipse 230 mph. His mom won’t be in attendance this May to witness in person. She tries to come once a year to see her son race and will get the opportunity for the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on June 23 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Even as a champion race car driver, Blomqvist said his mom gets as nervous about him competing now as she did when he started.

“She’s quite a highly strung individual,” Blomqvist said. “Even worse for my brother because he used to crash all the time when we would go karting, but he doesn’t race anymore. He gave her a heart attack. She still gets nervous with me, too. My dad’s a bit more, he’s like ‘Be careful,’ every time.”

While he’s eagerly anticipating the rigors of the Indianapolis 500 ahead, Blomqvist also anxious to see his mom for the first-time since last year’s Laguna Seca race in September.