There's a dictum that claims to be a champion you have to hate losing even more than you love winning. Accurate or not, it does appear to be a common denominator among winners. Although competitive toughness can be learned, true championship passion and fire seems to be passed along through DNA.
Ferns will race the reminder of the 2012 season in her Midget and Silver Crown cars, and then next season she will race some ARCA Stock Car events.
"My competitiveness comes from my family," said Michigan native Taylor Ferns. "We strive to be the best at whatever we do and we don't like losing. I was born into a racing family. My uncle raced stock cars at the local short tracks, and he did some ARCA racing, so it's in the blood."
Ferns is 16 years old and she has already logged a decade of racing experience. Her first ever race was in a Quarter Midget at a local track in Waterford; she was six at the time. Last season Ferns became the Most-Winning Female Driver in USAC history with her win at the Indianapolis Speedrome in the USAC D1/Regional Midget Series.
"After that we had a lot of bad luck," said Ferns, "But towards the end of the season we got some of it back and pulled off some solid finishes, and it was enough to win the USAC D1/Regional Midget Series championship, and I became the second female to ever win a USAC championship."
Taylor Ferns has amassed an impressive 10 year race resume and she's only 16 years old.
Earlier this year Ferns raced in her first ever JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour race, the "Eric Sunders I Can I Will 100" and she posted an impressive 10th place finish. "The car was good the entire race except for at the end," remarked Ferns after the race. "I got a little garbage on my tires, and it made my car a little squirrely coming off the corners and tight into the center. Overall it was a good day. I think we had a top-5 car easy, and coming from 22nd up to 10th isn't that bad of a day for my first stock car race."
"I would say the toughest adjustment was just getting use to driving a much heavier car. I'm use to coming from open wheel racing, with the midgets and sprint cars weighing in at 900 to 1200 pounds, and with anywhere from 400 to 800 horsepower, so definitely hopping into that stock was a big adjustment just to get use to the different horsepower-to-weight ratio."
Ferns explains that her favorite part about stock car racing is that the races are longer and she gets to do more racing. "I really enjoy racing the 100 laps because as a driver I feel it's more of a team effort and you really have to have a lot of trust in your crew, because you're relying on your spotter to make sure he calls you clear when you are, and your crew chief has to make the right decisions so the car will be fast and hold up all race long, and you really need a solid strategy going into the race."
Her goals for 2012 are to stay consistent and have solid race finishes. "I don't like finishing in the back and I want to win and take that car to the front every time I get out on the track," she adds.
Given to dreams, where would Ferns like to see racing take her? "Honestly, racing is what I love to do. It's my number one passion and as long as I'm racing for the rest of my life, I'll be one happy girl. I enjoy racing on both dirt and pavement so whether that leads me to NASCAR, or Indycar or even the World of Outlaws, I'll be fine with that."
(Update: After the interview Taylor's mom, Linda said, "Taylor raced four races and things didn't work out well after the 4th race. We evaluated where we were and sat down with our sponsors and we all thought it was in Taylor's best interest to step away from Lorz Motor sports in the stock car. We are going to run the remainder of the season in her Midget and Silver Crown cars and some ARCA Stock Car racing next year.")
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