THINGS TO COME
(LEF T) The Aug. 15-16 U.S. Majors Tour atRoad America proved to be an incredible Runoffspreview, as Michael Borden ( 42) and 15-timeRunoffs Champion John Heinricy battled closely.
(BELOW) Lemons of Love, a company that provideschemo care packages, is something Michaeland Advanced Autosports fervently support,especially given that Advanced Autosports founderDave Wheeler passed away from cancer in 2018.
ON A ROLL
Michael is making a habit of goingfrom the grid (ABOVE, BOT TOM) tovictory circle, decorating his racecarwith Majors victory stickers alongthe way (ABOVE, MIDDLE).
say I had a part in it,” he says. “So, I figured if I’mgoing to do it, I might as well get it over with.”
Michael and his girlfriend Bethany Porter
flew to Alabama in March 2019 to pick up
an NC to convert into a racecar, with the pair
driving it back to Wisconsin. “I spent the next
three months in the garage doing the easy prep
work myself,” he says. “I then took the car to
Advanced and they put it in the cage and did the
electrical and some of the other stuff I didn’t want
to do, then they went over everything I did.”
With the car complete, Michael and Advanced
wrapped the 2019 season with four events in
preparation for an early start to his 2020 Runoffs
campaign. “We finally had it fully prepped going
into Sebring in January of this year,” he says.
That opening weekend of the 2020 Hoosier
Super Tour saw stiff competition, with the likes
of Izzy Sanchez, Chi Ho, John Heinricy, and
Nick Leverone in the field. But once the racing
concluded, it was Michael who had swept the
weekend. In fact, of the four Super Tour weekends
he’s competed, Borden has only scored wins,
placing him firmly in the T4 Super Tour points
lead entering the 2020 Runoffs. He also leads
the T4 Northern States Conference points after
scoring eight race wins, earning the pole in all
but the final race weekend at Road America.
That weekend it was 15-time SCCA National
Champion John Heinricy who landed on the
pole – but both times, Michael was victorious.
“Racing John Heinricy that weekend at
Road America was probably more intense
than anything I’d ever done in Spec Miata,
but Spec Miata definitely was a good way to
prepare for it,” Michael admits. “I don’t think
you could prepare any better than that.”
Is this how Michael sees the 2020 Runoffs
playing out, with him on the top step? Indeed, he
admits, winning would be amazing – especially
considering there’s the Mazda Road to 24
Shootout to think about that would give him
a shot at a pro ride for 2021 – but truthfully,
he confesses, he can only try his best.
“I’ll just go out there and do the best I can,
think about what I need to do, and try to let the
race come to me – that’s happened over the
course of this year pretty well, so I’m not going to
worry about it too much,” he concludes. “Maybe
I can get a good start and beat the other guys
into Turn 5 of the first lap and build a gap because
my car is definitely stronger from Turn 5 to 14,
but we’ll see. It’s going to be very interesting
come that Sunday morning at the Runoffs.”
The Touring 4 race at the Runoffs is slated
to take the green shortly after 8: 15 a.m. CDT
on Sunday morning, Oct. 11. You can watch
the race unfold in person at Road America or
via the Runoffs live video stream on scca.com.
And should Michael conclude the 2020 racing
season with a perfect record, well, that would
be crazy – but also well deserved. You see, while
Michael’s road racing experience may be shorter
than SCCA luminary racers like Heinicy or
Leverone, it’s impossible to say he hasn’t worked
hard for his success. Truly, the crazy thing would
be to underestimate what Michael can do.