Taylor Ferns to fill in for injured Caleb Armstrong during Ohio Sprint Speedweek
Posted: June 16, 2016
NEW CASTLE, Ind. — June 16, 2016 — Taylor Ferns wasn't planning to race in 2016, but when friend and fellow driver, Caleb Armstrong was recently injured, Armstrong’s team tabbed the Michigan native to fill in during a pair of races as part of the 34th Annual Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek, with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions. Ferns will also compete in a pair of All Stars shows in her home state of Michigan in early July.
“It’s been a year since I’ve been in a race car, so I can’t wait to climb back in,” said Ferns. “Caleb (Armstrong) is a really good friend and it’s unfortunate what happened to him. I’m glad that I am able to fill in for him. It’s going to be great to go racing again and be back at the track and get to see everyone I haven’t seen for a while.”
Ferns is slated to compete in the opener of Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek at Attica Raceway Park on Friday, June 17 as well as the round at Atomic Speedway in Chillicothe on Wednesday, June 22. Following those races, she will race with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions at Hartford Speedway in her home state of Michigan on Saturday, July 2 and at I-96 Speedway on Sunday, July 3.
Ferns last competed on June 22 of 2015 at Wayne County Speedway during Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek. Racing in a couple of events during the eight-day mini-series this season, will mark the third straight year she has raced during Ohio Sprint Speedweek. The winningest female driver in USAC history will have just a handful of laps to shake off any rust.
“Having not raced in quite a while will be one of the obstacles I have to overcome,” said Ferns. Hot laps in general are always important, so you can get things figured out for the car for qualifying, but getting a few laps in this time will be even more important. I’ve been around racing so long and it’s been such a big part of my life that I think when I get back in the car, it will come back to me.”
Last year, Ferns competed at the third-mile Attica Raceway Park three times, two of which were with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions. She took to the track at high-banked three-eighths-mile Atomic Speedway twice with the Ohio Valley Sprint Car Association twice in 2015.
“Attica (Raceway Park) and Atomic (Speedway) are probably the two tracks I have raced at the most in a winged sprint car, so that was a really important factor in choosing those two races,” she shared. “Atomic is one of my favorite tracks, so I wanted to go back there. Attica I have struggled with a bit in the past, but I am pretty familiar with it. Knowing those tracks should help me be able to adapt to the car.”
Ferns raced in three rounds of Ohio Speedweek in 2014, including at Atomic Speedway, where she qualified sixth-fastest of the stout 62-car field that was in attendance. She raced her way into the dash that night and finished 16th in the main event. Ferns also raced at Waynesfield Raceway Park and Limaland Motorsports Park that year during Ohio Sprint Speedweek.
“I have been out of the car so long that we are really not expecting too much,” said Ferns. “I just want to have fun. I’ll be racing against drivers that have been racing all year and they race three or four times a week. I really miss racing and am just happy to be back. After this, I don’t know when I’ll be back in a car, so I just want to take it all in and enjoy it. I’m a competitor, though, so we always want to go out and win, but we’ll take it race by race.”
Ferns, stepped away from a rigorous racing schedule this past year, to enroll at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Competing at Hartford Speedway and I-96, will mark the first time she has raced in her home state since 2014, when she made a pair of starts at Butler Speedway in a winged sprint car. Ferns finished third in one of those races.
“Grand Valley State (University) is near Hartford (Speedway) and I-96 (Speedway), and I have a lot of friends that are living over there for the summer and are curious about my racing, because it’s a whole side of me they have never really experienced before. Even when I was racing a lot, I rarely ever raced in Michigan, so it’s great that I get to race close to home and close to school. That should be a very fun weekend.”