Feature Article, Open Wheels, Washington — July 30, 2004 at 4:47 pm

Glenn Borden Jr. (issue 60)

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By Craig Murphy

For Glenn Borden Jr., racing against the big guys isn’t done with big dollars.

Borden, 31, won his second Sprint title at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma last year to go with his 2001 title. After struggling early in 2003, Borden turned it around and took the points lead from Eddie Evans late in the year.

The defending champion had a rollover in the 2004 season opener May 1, but rebounded with a victory two weeks later.

Watching family members race inspired Borden to do likewise. “My dad and grandpa raced at Elma in the early 1980s,” he noted. “When I turned 16, I bought a bomber. My dad raced Sprints at the time. I moved up to Street Stocks, and won a bunch of races. I moved up to Sprints when I was 21. I raced a couple of years there, then had to sell all the equipment to start this (auto parts) business.”

Borden called moving to Sprints a huge adjustment. “Probably one of the biggest things I struggled with was I didn’t know anything about them,” he said. “I didn’t know anything about driving or setup. The first couple of years I just went in circles. I didn’t know what to do. I had to go through the school of hard knocks.

“I’ve gotten more comfortable in the last couple of years,” Borden added. “I drove for Rod Fauver when I was about 23. That helped me quite a bit. I took what he taught me and applied it to what I had learned. And Brent Kaeding helped when we went to Chico. Now we know the adjustments to make.”

Since getting back into racing a few years ago with a car owned by his dad, it’s been a rebuilding process for Borden.

“Putting it all together is tough,” he noted. “I’m trying to run a business, and balance it with family. Dad helps a lot, but he drives a truck. It has been a time strain and a crew strain. When you have to do your own motors, drive the truck and all that, it’s tough. If Dad wasn’t there helping me, I wouldn’t be able to do it.”

The rebuilding made the first title especially sweet. “That first one was a major accomplishment,” Borden said. “We were having engine problems. We were robbing parts from one motor to keep going.

“Last year wasn’t as big of a deal due to the way it came down,” he added. “Eddie blew his motor on the last night, so it wasn’t as sweet a deal.”

Competitors such as four-time track Sprint champion Jay Cole forced Borden to step the program up. “There for several years Jay Cole was pretty dominant in Elma,” Borden said. “We’ve picked up the program the last couple of years. I feel pretty confident we can win on any given night in Elma. If we could get one more good person involved with the program, it would help a ton.”

While Borden feels he can win any given night, he would love his first Northern Sprint Tour win to come when Kasey Kahne and NST drivers visit Elma July 16-17 for the Evergreen State Sprint Challenge.

“I’m really looking forward to that weekend, as long as we can get our other motor back,” Borden said. “There’s such a big emphasis on qualifying. Winners usually come from the front three rows. Every year I look forward to it. I’ve run third in it before. I’ve done well in that race traditionally.”

Borden has come close to winning in NST. “I have gotten second place NST finishes,” he said. “Two years ago I was really close at Lebanon. I just really want to win one of those races. I’ve won several dashes, and had second and third places finishes. I haven’t been able to seal the deal.”

In August Borden gets another chance at a NST race as the series races in Elma Aug. 26 as a prelude to the Aug. 27-28 World of Outlaws weekend.

“I think it’s the best thing to happen to the sport out here,” Borden said of the Outlaws. “More fans come out for that than anything else. I look forward to that weekend. It’s a real fun deal. It would be neat to run a 410 and try to run with those guys. We tried to rent one last year, but it didn’t work out.

“It’s real neat to be in the same pits as those guys,” he added. “Just watching those guys is awesome. You can ask a few questions, and most of them are pretty good about that.

“One of the biggest things with those Outlaw guys is they don’t let off the gas. They drive the track wide, which makes the track wide and smooth. A lot of times in weekly shows we struggle to get that surface. It makes it a lot more fun, since it blows the cushion out wider. Last year we were an alternate for the main, the year before we did make the A-Main.”

Borden expects the competition to be even tougher this year. “This year being televised, I don’t think a guy with a 360 could get into that event,” he said. “You’re going to have to have not only a 410, but a hell of a good 410.”

No matter who he races against, Borden wants to improve his own driving. “I think I’m a little too conservative with my driving,” he said. “I can’t afford to tear this stuff up. I’m a little too hot, too cold as a driver. Some nights I’m really fast, some nights I’m not. I need to get a little more consistency.”

Borden hopes to have more nights of going fast. “I want to do this as long as I can be successful at it,” he said. “As long as I can financially handle it and improve, I will do it.”

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