HELLERTOWN, Pa. – Mike Heffner, owner of Heffner Racing Enterprises based in central Pennsylvania, confirmed to Sprint Car & Midget Tuesday evening he is halting sprint car operations for the foreseeable future.
Heffner, who fields the Red Robin Racing No. 72 driven by Ryan Smith, has no immediate plans moving forward.
“I’m just taking a break,” Heffner said. “Nothing else to really say right now.”
In 410 action this season, Smith is winless with two podiums, 10 top sixes, and seven DNFs in 31 central Pennsylvania races. Since joining Heffner Racing at the beginning of 2019, Smith has one win in 88 central Pennsylvania races in a 410.
Smith’s plans are to “take a little time off,” he told Sprint Car & Midget. When asked about a timeframe, the 32-year-old driver from Lehighton, Pa. said, “not sure. Couple weeks for sure.”
And as for his racing future, Smith said he has “some ideas but nothing set in stone.”
Smith filled a weighty void at Heffner Racing left by the late Greg Hodnett, who died in a racing accident on Sept. 20, 2018 at BAPS Motor Speedway. Smith’s lone win to date with Heffner came Sept. 28 of last year in the Gentzler Memorial at Lincoln Speedway.
After starting the season with five DNFs in nine races, Smith finished third in the Pennsylvania Speedweek standings, bolstered by top eights in all nine races. Smith joined runaway champion Kyle Larson as the only two drivers to obtain the aforementioned feat.
It remains unknown if Smith is still in the long-term scope at Heffner Racing.
Heffner still plans to field his SpeedSTR driven by Billy Pauch Jr. regularly at Action Track USA in Kutztown, Pa., and a midget for Kevin Thomas Jr. for USAC Eastern Midget Week from Aug. 5-8.