Doug Borger spent last Thursday putting together his 185th Xcel 600 Modified car.
“One more car to go, then it’s time to start running the Xcel 600 Modified Series,” Borger said.
Shifting gears without hesitation is what drives Borger and it is why he succeeds.
Now, he has a new iron in the fire.
“I’m looking to buy a piece of property or to buy a track,” Borger said. “It is tough to do, of course, building anything around here is not easily accomplished. But the time is now to move ahead.
“To do it right, I need twenty-five to thirty acres.”
Never one to mince words, Borger’s primary motivating force is his belief that he, quite simply, could do a better job than most of today’s promoters.
“Most tracks don’t promote,” Borger said. “It’s as if they are just standing at the front gate, waiting for the people to come by. Then, they wonder why they aren’t getting crowds.
“There are tracks that are doing well, and its because they understand the business. They understand how part of promoting is treating the spectators and the racers like human beings.”
Borger is also unimpressed with many speedway facilities. “We need kids here, we need women to come to the races and they deserve decent restrooms,” Borger declared.
The idea of having his own track is one that has been well thought out.
“I’d build a dirt track, a big eighth mile on the inside, a big quarter mile on the outside and wide, 110 feet. The only guardrail would be on the homestretch to cut down on wrecks.
“The infield would be a flat concrete pad and we’d run TQ Midgets like they do indoors in the winter on that.
“The degree of banking is something to be considered. The driver in me wants to have the highest banks possible to run wide open. But the promoter in me wants to see a modest banking which I feel allows for more side by side racing and makes for a better show for the fans.
“But that’s in the future,” Borger admits.
The impetus for the creation of the Xcel 600 Modified came from Borger’s prior racing experiences.
He has raced 600 Micros, URC Sprint cars, ARDC and USAC Midgets. While successful in each, he enjoyed the challenges of Midget racing the most. Unfortnately, he walked away from all three disciplines for the same reason: the high costs.
As for the development of the Xcel 600 cars, Borger has expanded his company’s reach by sellling franchises. All told, there will be nearly 140 races scheduled this year. Four tracks will be racing the Xcel 600s weekly: Linda’s and I-88 on Friday nights and Shellhammers and Thunder Mountain on Saturdays. That’s excluding Xcel 600 Modified Touring Series events.
The Xcel cars have also made inroads into New Jersey with Bridgeport Speedway’s quarter mile Spirit Speedway booking six.
Part of the secret to Borger’s success is that the same basic car he started building in 2003 is the same car he sells today.
“No design changes at all to the cars,” Borger said. “But we are always looking at things to build into the cars that make them safer.”
Series race procedures have one major change. Head and neck restraint systems will be mandatory this year for the first time.
Borger promotes safety by offering to buy back from his customers cars that are wrecked beyond repair.
“It takes a lot to wreck one of them realy bad, but I have had three. I take the car from the customer and make them a hot, steaming deal on a new one. Basically, if I can’t fix it, I destroy the car, cut it up,” Borger revealed.
Borger has recently made racing more affordable to those who otherwise would not be able to compete by financing race car purchases.
“The First Niagara Bank just approved our financing plan,” Borger said. “For no money down and $238 per month, you go racing in an Xcel Modified,” Borger announced.