ARCA Racing Series driver debuts at Menards with Venturini Motorsports


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Rookie Taylor Ferns anxious for ARCA debut with Venturini Motorsports support at Mobile


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Hometown: Shelby Township, Mich
Competition: ARCA, USAC Midget and Silver Crown cars



Rookie Taylor Ferns anxious for ARCA debut with Venturini Motorsports support at Mobile

Much of 17-year-old Taylor Ferns' racing background is in open-wheel cars, which should come as no surprise considering her position as the all-time leading feature winner among women in United States Auto Club (USAC) history.

That's not stopping the Shelby Township, Mich. driver and high school honor student from feeling confident about her ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards debut with Venturini Motorsports, though. Ferns will drive the team's No. 55 Motor City Auto Transport Toyota at Mobile International Speedway Saturday, and knows she has the resources to be a contender in the ARCA Mobile 200, her first ARCA race.

"I'm really excited and I'm really anxious to get into the car," Ferns said. "I can't wait for my first ARCA race. I know that I have a lot of good people looking out for me, people who have already been through this. I have a great support system behind me and I think we're going to have a good race if everything pans out right. I'm just really excited."

Ferns joined her Venturini teammates in testing at Mobile last weekend, her first appearance at the track. While racing an ARCA car is a strict departure from her time in USAC Midget and Silver Crown cars, among others, she feels comfortable making her first ARCA appearance at the high-banked, half-mile oval.

"I think the track is a lot of fun. It's definitely different from the tracks I'm used to racing on, and especially being in a stock car and my first race in an ARCA car, I think it's a perfect track to have my first race on. We got a lot of laps in (while testing). My first run going out, I was trying to get used to it. The last session we did was our mock qualifying run with sticker tires. I just need to get used to sitting on the left rather than in the middle."

Ferns, the USAC Mopar D1 midget champion in 2011, spent a week at Daytona International Speedway last month getting more familiar with the Venturini team, the same week that Venturini driver John Wes Townley won the Lucas Oil 200, the team's first win at the track in over three decades. Ferns found herself enjoying the Venturini camaraderie and looking forward to driving for the team. She also tested for the team at Daytona back in December, finishing in the top five overall for the weekend and leading a session on the second day.

"(General manager) Billy (Venturini) and the whole Venturini team have always been there. We always work together and reflect off of each other. It's teamwork, and it helps that you have a really big support system."

Specifically among drivers, Ferns said Brennan Poole - a four-time ARCA winner for Venturini - has been helpful in her transition.

"He's been through the motions before; he's been to a lot of the tracks," Ferns said of Poole. "He ran the full season last year, so he's helped me out a lot. (Current teammate) Justin Boston and I go back and forth about how our cars are working and how we can adapt better. Since this is his first season in an ARCA car, we can learn together and grow together as drivers."

Ferns is not ruling out a top-five finish.

"The most obvious goal is to finish, but I would not rule out a top-five or a top-10. I want that for team and for the sponsors. Everyone at Venturini Motorsports has worked so hard for this, and I don't want to let them down. I'm going to do what I can to get up front and stay there. Most of all, I'm hoping to gain stock car experience, be consistent, and get a good solid finish. Kevin Caldwell (crew chief/right) has just been awesome to work with."

In all, Ferns plans to make seven starts in the ARCA Racing Series this year, following her Mobile effort with entries at Toledo, Elko, and Iowa Speedways. She will also race at larger tracks such as Pocono Raceway and Kentucky Speedway, and compete in the Labor Day dirt race at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds. First things are first, though, and Ferns is completely focused on delivering more success for Venturini Motorsports in Mobile, Ala.

Two 45-minute practices are scheduled for Friday at Mobile International Speedway, beginning at 2:30 and 4:15 p.m. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell is scheduled for that evening, at 7 p.m. Ferns and the rest of the ARCA Racing Series field will participate in an on-track autograph session at noon Saturday, just before the 200-lap, 100-mile race at 2 p.m. All times listed are Central.
Source: www.arcaracing.com/news.php?contentid=15011


USAC Mopar D1 midget champion in 2011


ARCA Racing Series - 2013

Iowa Speedways
Pocono Raceway
Kentucky Speedway,
Quoin State Fairgrounds
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