Column By: TOM WENNER / RPW – SCHNECKSVILLE, PA – Briggs Danner is one of the sports rising open wheel stars.
On Monday, February 14th Briggs kicks off his 22’ season racing the Xtreme Outlaw Sprint Car Series at Volusia Speedway Park. Briggs and the Heffner team will race at Volusia on Monday and Tuesday, February 14 and 15th, before moving over to Bubba Raceway Park for the USAC National Series events in Florida.
Danner has a huge 22’ schedule mapped out with some high profile events planned all across the USA all while maintaining his full time job at Roy Danner Paving and racing almost 4 times a week or more.
Briggs started racing at the age of 5 years old at the Schnecksville, PA Quarter Midget racing track. He raced from the age of 5 to 14 under the Keystone State Quarter Midget Racing Club. Once Briggs hit 14 in 2016, It was time to move up into USAC Speedstr action. Briggs mentions that earning driver respect and trust are extremely important for young drivers. Briggs mentions that Kyle Larson is the toughest competitor that he has faced racing to date.
Billy Pauch Sr. and Jr. are two drivers who have always been great to him in offering advice and Briggs mentions that listening to everyone who is willing to share advice is so important in learning at every level. Heffner Crew Chief Curt Michael who is a champion in URC has plenty of racing knowledge and it helps Briggs in building their relationship in racing. After a few years in the USAC Speedstr class Briggs was able to get a 358 Spec Modified ride for Bob Rexrode at Grandview and he started his move into Spec 358 Modified racing. On September 26, 2020 Briggs scored his 1st career Rapid Tire USAC East Coast feature event win as a fill in driver for the Bill Gallagher 5g Sprint Car team. Briggs had never run a powerful 360 Wingless Sprint Car prior to that event. On Friday night in practice, Briggs and the 5g team were fastest in each practice session. Briggs easily qualified in the heat race on Saturday. In the A Main Briggs kept the 5g straight and clean throughout the entire race and pulled a last lap slider on Alex Bright to score the feature win. This victory started the path that set Brigg’s sprint car open wheel driving into motion. The family owned Spec 358 Modified was recently sold off and Briggs is 100% focused on open wheel sprint car, Speedstr, TQ and 600 Micro Sprint racing in 2022.
In the fall of 21’ Briggs scored a very popular American Three Quarter Midget Racing Association championship event at the prestigious Wall Stadium Turkey Derby. Briggs was piloting the Matt Janisch owned #48 TQ in the Turkey Derby championship. The success in the fall Turkey Derby has carried over to a ride with the Janisch family #48 in the popular Indoor Auto Racing Championship Series by VP Racing Fuels. The Danner Family maintains the Janisch owned #48 TQ in their Allentown Race Shop. The Janisch car is a 1-off build by Mark and Matt Janisch. Mark Janisch builds the powerplant for the #48. Matt helps the Danner team by providing tire prep and engine assistance. Briggs and his family handle all of the setup and maintenance for the #48. As the Indoor Series heads to the final race in Syracuse in March, Briggs sits 6th in points with a realistic shot at the title. Briggs opened the indoor series in Allentown with a 13th place finish and scored a podium finish of 3rd in Atlantic City.
Once the outdoor season opens up Briggs will be calling Action Track USA in Kutztown his weekly home. Briggs is the defending USAC Speedstr champion at Action Track USA. The family owned USAC Speedstr #78 is in the family shop and ready to defend his championship title at Kutztown. Briggs mentioned racing the USAC Speedstr at Middleford Speedway in DE as well. Briggs will also see competition in the potent Dave Bodine owned 600 Wingless Micro Sprint in Hyper Racing Evo Injection 600 Wingless Micro Sprint Racing. The Dave Bodine team will compete in the PA Micro Sprint Speed Week and are also looking forward to doing the Millbridge Speedway Micro Showdown together.
The Bill Gallagher 5g has now become Heffner Racing Enterprises South. The team is led by crew chief Curt Michael and based in Ocean View, Delaware. Briggs is super excited for the 22’ season that is upon us. The new Heffner Racing Enterprises South team has an aggressive schedule planned for 22’. The main focus will be chasing the 2022 Rapid Tire USAC East Coast Wingless Sprint Car Championship. If the series is racing at track that has the USAC Speedstrs scheduled as a support class, you can expect the Danner family to tow their #78 Speedstr to those events. The Heffner team fresh off competing at the prestigious Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Ok has a full race ready USAC Midget and will race it in events as the season and schedule allow. One of those Midget events on the calendar is the special USAC Showdown, Along with a trip to Millbridge Speedway. The Heffner Enterprises South Team is well prepared and stocked for 22’. Briggs & the Heffner Team are looking at hitting as many United Racing Club Winged Sprint Car events as much as possible during the season. The team will race a majority of the URC scheduled events in 22’. The team has circled some very prominent events on their racing calendar. USAC Eastern Storm, Eldora Speedway USAC May Show, The first 6 races of Indiana Speed Week, Kokomo Speedway Smack Down are some of the National Events that Heffner Racing Enterprises South plans to race at in 2022.
The Heffner Team has 410 Sprint Cars in their shop and those are marked for duty at events all over PA, NJ and more. The Winged 410 Sprint Car will see action in all of the Bridgeport Motorsports Park events. Bridgeport Speedway has several PA Posse Shows, The World Of Outlaws, and The All Stars are all slated to race the track in 22’. The Heffner Racing Team will be present for all of them. In fact, When asked Briggs responded by saying that his favorite track to race on is the Bridgeport Speedway. The new configuration is ultra racy and Briggs truly loves racing there. When the calendar is clear and there are open nights on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – You will find the Heffner Racing Enterprises Team loading up the 410 Sprint Car and heading North to Williams Grove, Port Royal and Selinsgrove as they are able. The Action Track USA ImPOSSEible 410 Sprint Car event is also marked on the team calendar for racing as well.
Briggs has set some strong goals for himself in 22’. It all starts with the Rapid Tire USAC East Coast Point Championship. Briggs has set goals of winning a URC main event, USAC East Coast main event, and a USAC National main event. As Briggs heads to central PA and looks to challenge the PA Posse, a run in the Top 5 and Top 10 with a winged 410 Sprint Car is within reach. But, Most importantly Briggs is looking to continue his bright future by having some impressive runs and making all of his car owners and marketing partners proud to be associated with him.
The people who help keep the Danner and Heffner race cars going fast for Briggs start with his Mom and Dad, The Heffner Team is led by Curt Michael and includes crew members Chad Long, Tim Wike, Frank, Josh, Dave, Amon, and Tommy.
Briggs has an army marketing partners that support his racing activities and he is very appreciative of each of them. Starting with the Dave Bodine 600 Wingless Micro Sprint. Bodine Heating Services, Rowland’s Performance and LHS Engines help to keep the Bodine #99 600 Micro on the track.
The Roy Danner Paving USAC Speedstr #78 has the following marketing partners – E. Schneider & Sons Recycling, Ironton Global, Roy Danner Paving LLC, Ringer’s Roast, GC Lumber, MR Doggy Style Hotdog Shoppe, Wizfab, and Body Teeze.
The Heffner Racing Enterprises South 5g Sprint Car has the following Marketing Partners – Lelands.Com, E. Schneider & Sons Recycling, Heffner Racing Enterprises, GEI Enterprises, Champion High Tech Lubricants, Valley Forge Inc., Transfleet Concrete, Frozen Farmer, Kruger Trailers, Stinger Racing Alcohol, and Simpson Racing Products,