RAYMOND, Wash. — Devon Borden is heading out on the road for the upcoming season.
The 18-year-old, who has called Washington’s Skagit Speedway and Gray’s Harbor Raceway his home tracks as he’s cut his teeth in sprint car racing, plans to tackle the opening portion of the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series National Tour schedule.
While Borden told Sprint Car & Midget by phone that he “really wants to run the full season,” those plans have yet to be confirmed.
For now, he plans to contest the first eight races “and see where we are in points after that.” If Borden doesn’t run the full ASCS national schedule, he tipped that he’ll add more races in California to help fill out his calendar.
“As of now we’re not a hundred percent sure if we’re going to do the entire national thing at this point,” Borden relayed. “It’s just me and my dad, and we’re on a pretty tight budget doing this deal. So we’re kind of going to play it by ear. We would like to do the whole deal, though. Our plan is we’re going to race the first eight races from California and then go from there.
“No matter what we do, though, we’re definitely not going to be in town (close to home),” he added. “I feel like I’ve got to get where people are really watching what I’m doing.”
Borden was the only multiple feature winner in 360 sprint car competition at Skagit this past season, taking two victories and eight top-10 finishes in nine starts en route to a third-place finish in points.
But it was during the second half of the season, when he began to venture away from home, that Borden began to shine among some stout fields.
He won a B feature during the opening night of the Hockett/McMillin Memorial in September at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo., then made the field for the finale and ran from 22nd to 11th.
Borden also qualified for the feature during both nights of the Short Track Nationals at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark. — including a seventh-place finish in the $10,041-to-win headliner — and charged from 18th to a top 10 during the last race of the season in October at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Texas.
With that fresh in his mind, Borden knows the only way to cement his name among some of the top runners in the country is to race against them on a regular basis.
“I know that I have to get out of town to progress any further,” Borden said. “I’ve won everything that there is to win here. And that’s only going to take me so far. I want to go to the top of this deal and I’m not going to be able to do it solely by racing in Washington, you know? I have to get out on a national level to have any shot at it. So we are definitely not going to be at home next year, outside of Dirt Cup and the Fred Brownfield (Classic) and a couple of other ASCS races. But it’s time to learn new things.”
Borden previously rewrote the ASCS record book when he became the youngest winner in National Tour history at 16 years old in 2019, winning a preliminary feature for the Brownfield Classic at Gray’s Harbor.
That race, combined with his recent endeavors, gives Borden confidence he has what it takes to be an ASCS National Tour contender.
“I think we gained a lot of recognition for what we did with it just being my dad and I; we don’t have the crew or the support that most of these guys do,” Borden said. “But the good news for us is that we’ve been really fast. It’s just gaining on it and getting a little bit better that we still have to go, but I’m dicing it up with some of these really big guys who are winning these shows all the time, and the last 11 races that we ran … my dad and I were looking at it and said, ‘Wow, we can really do this because we’re not that far off at all.’
“We just have to get our pill draws a little better and get some luck on that front; if we can do that, I think we can race in the top 10 in the ASCS fields every week.”
One other new aspect for Borden’s No. 8 sprint car will be a Rayce Rudeen Foundation decal, as Borden steps up to support the non-profit charitable initiative founded by Rudeen Racing owner and fellow Washington native Kevin Rudeen.
“Kevin really helped keep sprint car racing going in a big way this year, not just on the west coast but across the country,” Borden noted. “I’m proud to represent the Rayce Rudeen Foundation next year and I think it’s a worthy cause that all racers should get behind because of what they do to help those battling addiction and other issues.”
The Rayce Rudeen Foundation joins Borden’s list of partners and supporters that includes Gates Belts & Hose Sales, Triple X Race Co., King Racing Products, Champion Brands, Highline Performance, Fix ‘Em Frank, Strange Racing, Skagit Speedway, Donovan Ross, Kylie Keeton, Heather Longstreth Adams, Todd Heikes, Benoit Farms & Livestock, Chris Smith and FVP.
Borden’s ASCS National Tour effort begins Feb. 26 at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Ariz.