Tailor-Made: Taylor Ferns Wins USAC Mopar D1 Midget Series Championship

Taylor Ferns. - Mudclodbob Photo

By Ferns Racing PR

Shelby Township, Mich.—Oct 19, 2011— Speed, consistency, hard work, determination and perseverance, all characterized the season that Taylor Ferns had with the USAC Mopar D1 Midget Series in 2011. When the final checkered flag flew at Toledo Speedway in Ohio on Oct. 15, the 15-year old was rewarded for her strong year, as she was crowned the USAC Mopar D1 Midget Series Champion.

In winning the championship, Ferns became the second female to earn a USAC title, joining Sondi Eden, who claimed the Indianapolis Speedrome Regional Midget title in 2004. Ferns made history on June 22 with a victory at the Speedrome, becoming the winningest female in USAC’s long, storied history.

“To win a championship with USAC is pretty special,” said Ferns. “It was a long year and we really worked for it. We were able to win a race and have solid finishes. As a driver, you always want to win more, but we’ve had a very good season. It means a lot to me to win the championship and it means just as much to my dad. He has put so much effort into this, and it’s great to see that pay off.”

Ferns started 16 feature events with the USAC Mopar D1 Midget Series this season and finished in the Top-10 in each and every one of those starts. In 12 races on pavement, she had an average finish of 6.1, while in four dirt events with the series, her average finish was sixth. Ferns took the point lead for the first time in 2011 after her win at the Speedrome. She was then second in the standings for three races, before moving back into the top spot on July 10, and would hold that lead for the remainder of the season en route to the championship.

“A championship is always on the back your mind, even at the beginning of the season,” shared Ferns. “I tried not to think about it too much, and focus on the racing aspect, but it is always there. We started the year off really strong and then had some bad luck and then were able to turn it around and things came back our way.”

Ferns, piloted the Motor City Transport Inc. Beast on the asphalt, and a Spike Chassis on the dirt with a Gary Stanton Mopar engine under the hood of each on the USAC Mopar D1 Midget Series circuit, with former driver Kevin Besecker turning the wrenches, along with help from her father Jim.

“My crew chief Kevin Besecker does so much work in the shop, day in and day out,” noted Ferns. “I couldn’t have done it without him and my dad. My dad puts in so much effort and they both have really helped to get me where I am and I am very thankful for that.”

The final weekend of the USAC Mopar D1 Midget Series season began for Ferns on the dirt at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway, where she finished fourth earlier this season, in a race that saw her lead 17 laps, in the midst of a wheel-to-wheel duel with multi-time champion Dave Darland. In her return to the quarter-mile bullring, the high-school sophomore turned in a solid eighth-place finish in the 25-lap main event, with all seven of the drivers ahead of her being veterans of all three USAC National Series, including Tracy Hines, Jerry Coons Jr., Brad Kuhn and Davey Ray. Ferns opened the night with a fourth-place showing in the second eight-lap heat race.

“I always love racing at Kokomo,” said Ferns. “It’s one of my favorite dirt tracks to race at. We started off strong in the heat race. In the feature, the track was dry-slick and the cushion was right at the top of the wall. I was in a good rhythm at the end, and I think I held my own with all the veteran drivers ahead of me.”

The weekend wrapped up at Toledo Speedway, where Ferns finished fifth in her first start at the paved half-mile. She was the fourth-fastest driver in time trials, before finishing third in the second heat race. The native of Shelby Township, Mich. finished fifth in the 25-lap main event, to earn her sixth Top-Five finish of the season with the series.

“For my first time at Toledo we had a pretty good finish,” said Ferns. “Over the last three years, I have gotten used to the transition between racing on dirt one night and pavement the next and that certainly helps. It was a good way to wrap up the championship.”

Ferns will return to action in her midget on Nov. 19 at Ventura Speedway in Calif., a track where she has competed and won at in a Junior Focus in the last. She will then set her sights on the famed Turkey Night Midget Grand Prix at Irwindale Speedway on Thanksgiving, competing in both the USAC Mopar National Midget Series event and the USAC Western Sprint Car Series race.

“I always have fun racing in California,” said Ferns. “The weather is nice out there and we seem to have some good luck as well in California. Hopefully we can go out there this time and come home with some strong finishes. I’m really looking forward to Turkey Night.”

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Keep up with all the action: For the latest news and results, visit Taylor Ferns and Ferns Racing online at http://www.taylorferns.com.