Double Duty Again for Taylor Ferns in ARCA & Silver Crown Races at DuQuoin
SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich.—Aug. 30, 2013 — Taylor Ferns waited about seven months this season to get her first shot at pulling double duty on the same weekend with the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards and the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series, which came at the Illinois State Fairgrounds a couple of weeks ago and quickly got up to speeding, earning a pair of top-10 finishes. The 17-year-old won’t have to wait nearly as long to race both types of machines on the same weekend for the second time, as she’ll take part in a pair of events at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in Illinois to celebrate Labor Day.
Ferns will first take to the track on Sunday, Sept. 2, with the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series for the running of the Ted Horn 100. The evening will kick-off with practice at 5 p.m. Central, followed by time trials at 6 p.m. Centrals, which will set the starting lineup for the 100-lap event, which will take the green flag at 8 p.m. Central. On Monday, Sept. 3, the young driver will have one hour of practice at 9 a.m. Central for the Southern Illinois 100 by Federated Car Care for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, following by time trials at 11 a.m., and the 100-lap race will hit the track at 1:15 p.m. Central.
“I’m ready to get back on the track and race for the first time at DuQuoin,” said Ferns. “It’s definitely takes a toll on your body racing 100 miles each day, but I’m ready for it. We had a couple of good runs at Springfield (Illinois State Fairgrounds) and are looking to improve on that even more this weekend in each of the two cars.”
At the Illinois State Fairgrounds on Aug. 18, Ferns qualified fifth for her first-ever ARCA start on the dirt. After an accident following qualifying led her team to have to make repairs to her car, the native of Shelby Township, Mich., had to start at the rear of the 33-car field. She methodically worked her way forward, passing more cars than another other driver to finish ninth in the Motor City Transport Inc./National Auto Placement Toyota for Venturini Motorsports. That run marked her second top-10 finish of the season in ARCA competition.
“I was able to pass a lot of cars at Springfield and also run all the laps, which was our main goal,” she shared. “We know we have a good set-up for qualifying and if we can start in the top-10 at DuQuoin we should have a pretty good chance at a solid finish. It will certainly help again running the Silver Crown race the day before, in terms of getting seat track and laps on the track, even though that’s a night race and the ARCA race is a day show.”
With the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series, the winningest female driver in USAC history, finished 10th at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in the Tony Bettenhausen 100 on Aug. 17. She qualified 16th and battled throughout the race, including having an oil line let go, to finish 10th. Ferns has finished in the top-10 in each of her last two Silver Crown Starts, as she was also 10th on the pavement at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis on July 27.
“I feel pretty comfortable in the heavier car
s, especially the Silver Crown car,” she noted. “It’s a completely different driving style than a midget. I feel like I adapt to the heavier cars a lot quicker than I do the lighter weight cars. I have a lot of fun driving those cars and I think it’s been showing in our results lately.”
Ferns has made a total of five starts in ARCA this season, earning a pair of top-10 finishes and has finished 15th or better in four of those races. She made her ARCA debut at Mobile International Speedway in Alabama, in March, qualifying fifth and finishing ninth. Ferns has qualified 11th or better in each of her four ARCA starts that she has had a qualifying attempt at. In her first to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, qualifying was rained out and the event was lined up by owner points and she took the grid seventh for that race.
The high school senior has made a total of four starts with the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series this season aboard the No. 35 Toyota-powered Beast. She has finished 11th or better in three of those races. In the event at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado in late June, she was running as high as third in the late going, before running out of fuel. Ferns has qualified among the top-10 in two of her Silver Crown starts this season. She made her Silver Crown debut last season at Iowa Speedway, earning a top-10 in her maiden start in a “big car.”
“We’ve had a few top-10 finishes in a row and seem to keep getting better each race,” Ferns said. “Our main goal is to keep improving every time we are on the track. We are looking to turn those top-10s into top-five runs and I think we can do that. Having raced the Silver Crown car on two mile tracks this year, I have a good idea of what to expect at DuQuoin and we feel good about the car and the set-up we have.”
In just four starts with the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series this season, Ferns is 11th in the standings, only four markers out of the top-10. With the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the No. 55 Venturini Motorsports team is seventh in car owner points.