By Mandee Pauch
It was a storybook season for car owner, Mike Heffner. In total, Heffner Racing Enterprises collected 28 feature wins and three championships. Heffner Racing won at 10 different tracks – eight tracks in the sprints and two tracks in the SpeedSTR.
Sprint car driver, Greg Hodnett, collected 19 victories in the 410 sprints and four in the 360 sprints. Out of 89 races Hodnett finished in the top ten 77 times. He also picked up the Williams Grove Speedway Championship and the Overall Central Pennsylvania Championship.
Driver of the Heffner Racing No. 27 SpeedSTR, Billy Pauch, collected four wins for car owner Mike Heffner at Action Track USA as well as the Action Track USA SpeedSTR Championship. Billy Pauch Jr. closed off the 2016 season with a SpeedSTR victory at Trail-Way Speedway totaling five SpeedSTR victories for 2016.
“I couldn’t wish for much more,” Heffner said. “I’m incredibly proud of both teams. I feel very fortunate to have all of those guys around me. They’re all special people. If anything, we’re already looking at next year. We want to keep improving.”
Every season Heffner Racing Enterprises keeps improving and making a name for themselves in the Northeast. This season marked the most wins Heffner has ever had as a car owner in a single season.
“I’ve had people come up to me and say they never thought they’d see a team accomplish this many wins in Pennsylvania again by winning over 20 races,” Heffner added. “There’s so much parody in sprint car racing it makes it difficult. That’s how I know it’s special and sets itself apart from the others. It speaks volumes for the team.”
Heffner feels they had some great moments this past season as well as some down moments but that’s what it’s all about. They figured some things out, made notes and hope to carry it into 2017 and start the season off strong.
As of now the 2017 season for the sprint car team may be a little different than years past. After winning three straight Williams Grove Championships, Heffner and the team would like to look at something different for the upcoming season.
“We have our sites set on Knoxville,” Heffner stated. “The Knoxville Nationals this year was kind of a heartbreaker. Greg was coming through, had a possible podium finish from twentieth and a part broke.
We might go out to Iowa, spend some significant time out there and run some regular shows leading up to the 360 and 410 Nationals. We go into that week of the Nationals sort of at a disadvantage to the regulars and the World of Outlaws so we’d like to get a little more action on that track.”
Heffner and the 410 team are still going to try and run for points, hoping to rack up enough that it won’t hurt them if they decide to go out West. “We’ll make that determination once we get into the season a little bit. Points are almost like cigarettes. They’re kind of addictive once you start smoking them…” Heffner laughed. “We’ll try and follow the money around like we did last year. Do some more 360 shows as well. I like running the midweek shows. It’ll be similar to last year but not exactly.”
Heffner and the team will be making their first race of the season down south as they plan on doing a full assault on Florida in February including Ocala, Volusia and East Bay.