2021 Lincoln Sprints 06 19 Devon Borden Brandon Rahmer Battle Dan Demarco Photo
Devon Borden (27) races Brandon Rahmer at Lincoln Speedway last weekend. (Dan Demarco photo)

Heffner Tabs Borden To Drive No. 27 Sprint Car

HELLERTOWN, Pa. — Washington’s Devon Borden didn’t go to Pennsylvania seeking a full-time sprint car ride. Instead, what he called “the shot of a lifetime” found him.

Announced Tuesday via social media and later confirmed by team owner Mike Heffner, Borden will take over driving duties of the Heffner Racing Enterprises sprint car, effective immediately.

Borden replaces veteran Tim Shaffer, who had driven the car since the start of the year and picked up two 360 sprint car wins in the Southeast before adding two 410 sprint car wins at Pennsylvania’s Lincoln Speedway.

It’s an opportunity the 18-year-old is eager for, as he will represent the Pacific Northwest in one of the hotbeds for sprint car racing in the United States.

“I can’t wait to keep moving forward with Heffner Racing Enterprises after we came out of the box as strong as we did,” said Borden. “When my dad and I first talked about this to begin with, coming to Pennsylvania was a big stretch for us expense-wise, being gone for so long, but it was my shot to really shine. The good news was that we went out there and I did what I needed to do … and that’s really what made all this possible. 

“Everything has happened really, really quickly, but I’m so grateful for Mike and Heath (Moyle, crew chief) for giving me this opportunity and I’m excited to represent this team the best I can going forward.”

Shaffer started the year strong for Heffner Racing Enterprises and it appeared that veteran experience would pay off for the team that was seeking a fresh start, after former driver Daryn Pittman stepped back from regular racing at the end of last season.

However, the team’s early-season hot streak stalled near the end of April, giving way to seven straight finishes of 17th or worse.

At that point, with Pennsylvania Speedweek looming and no momentum to speak of within the team, Heffner knew hehad a decision to make. Where the answer came from, however, surprised him.

Around the same time as Shaffer’s performance in the Heffner sprint car began suffering, Borden had arrived in the Keystone State, originally stopping in for the ASCS Battle of the Groves.

Longtime engine builder Don Ott convinced Borden to stay in the area for a few weeks, helping the young gun get a 410 cubic inch engine installed in his family-owned No. 8 after Borden made the decision to fall off the ASCS National Tour and focus on other opportunities.

A 21st-place finish at Selinsgrove Speedway on May 2 wasn’t indicative of Borden’s performance, as he started eighth and ran among the top 10 for a decent portion of the Kevin Gobrecht Classic.

But when Borden ran seventh at Lincoln Speedway the following weekend, Heffner’s interest was piqued.

“When he went down to Lincoln and did well there, I realized this kid was no fluke,” said Heffner of Borden. “Then, when I found out more about him and my friend Sean Michael went out to dinner one night with [Borden], Sean called me and said, ‘Hey, this is a really nice kid and I think he might be a good fit for you.’

“As much skill as some of these kids have, they have to have good attitudes, otherwise it doesn’t work,” Heffner added. “I thought, ‘Man, if this kid can drive like that, and he has a good attitude, I like the idea of him working with us.’”

Borden’s top-five finish at Williams Grove Speedway on May 21 sealed the deal in Heffner’s mind, and the veteran team owner called his newest prospect.

“When I first talked to him, I told him that we’d try him out, but I wasn’t sure how long we’d go with him at that point,” Heffner recalled. “You don’t want to put yourself in a box … just in case things don’t mesh well.”

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