After a tough USAC Midget season, racer Taylor Ferns has one main goal for the last handful of races on her 2013 schedule and that is to record solid finishes and build a foundation for next year. She was able to keep with this plan on Saturday, October 12 at Columbus Motor Speedway in Ohio, finishing fifth in the season finale for the Honda USAC National Midget Series Pavement Championship.
“It was definitely a good way to end our pavement season,” said Ferns. “We’ve had a lot of bad luck this year, so having a good finish like that shows that our luck is turning around. It also shows that I can run up front with the USAC National drivers and that is certainly a confidence booster. I feel like we could have maybe gained a couple more spots, but I can’t say that I’m disappointed with a fifth-place finish. It gives us something to build on for sure.”
For the seventeen year-old native of Shelby Township, Mich., the top-five performance was her third straight showing of seventh or better with the Honda USAC National Midget Series Pavement Championship. Ferns opened the night by recording the seventh-fastest time in qualifying with a lap of 13.635-seconds around the one-third-mile oval. She lined up third in the first qualifying scramble and finished fourth in that 12-lap contest, which put her on the inside of the third row to start the 40-lap A-Feature, though she ended up moving up a row when the fifth-place starting car was unable to make the call for the feature.
Ferns ran near the top-five for the duration of the main event and withstood a couple of late restarts after a pair of caution flags with five laps remaining. She would cross the finish line in fifth, which matched her best-career finish with the series and was her second top-five performance in the last three pavement races, piloting her family-owned Motor City Transport Inc. racer.
“It was a good race all around,” she noted. “I was able to battle with my teammates (Caleb Armstrong and Dalton Armstrong). We finished third, fourth and fifth, though we all wish it would have been first, second and third, but we had a solid day and all the cars came home in one piece. Anytime you can finish in the top-five with the USAC National drivers is a solid result.”
The event at Columbus served as the season finale for the Honda USAC National Midget Series Pavement Championship. Ferns made a total of six starts with the series this season, earning three top-10 finishes, with two of those being top-five performances. She earned her first top-five with the series at the one-mile Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado in June. The high school senior also turned in a solid seventh-place performance at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in July.
Ferns finished ninth in points with the Honda USAC National Midget Series Pavement Championship, despite not competing in all of the races. The winningest female driver in USAC history will return to action in a midget with the Honda USAC National Midget Series Dirt Championship next month at Canyon Speedway Park in Arizona as part of the famed Western World Championships.
“We have a long break coming up before we head out west and that is always a challenge,” said Ferns. “I’ll watch some You Tube videos online to keep me in the swing of things. It’s not quite the same as being in the seat of the racecar, but it allows me to watch some of the lines that people run at the tracks out west and should help when we get out there next month.”
Keep up to date
For the latest news, results and information on Taylor Ferns and Ferns Racing and to view a full 2013 schedule, visit TaylorFerns.com. Follow Taylor on Twitter at @TaylorFerns and like her on Facebook.