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FERNS: Unfinished Business In 2024

INDIANAPOLIS – In preparation for the 2023 Performance Racing Industry Show, I was reviewing potential questions that would be asked of me.

An inquisition I highlighted that would be of importance, and one I wanted to be thoughtful in my response: “How would you describe your 2023 race season?”

To be candid, and as I have hinted toward throughout the season in my SPEED SPORT columns and on social media, our race season has been far from what I anticipated, and not in a good way.

It was full of trials and tribulations, endless problem-solving, lots of drives leaving the race track confounded and at a loss for words and continuous “band-aid” fixes just to get us through a race weekend. But what guts me the most — no wins.

Taylor Ferns in action during the 2023 season. (Taylor Ferns Racing photo)

In short, I was very disappointed.

The way our season went was a stark contrast to the goals I set out to achieve.

That’s racing.

In motorsports, a lot like life, nothing truly goes as planned. It’s how well you adapt and overcome the curveballs thrown your way that determines how far, and how fast, you will go. As you probably know, there are many components involved in a race car and a lot of elements to take into context during a race that must go in your favor to succeed. Those components and elements just weren’t working in our favor this year.

At the end of the day, that is OK. It’s not the end of the world. We survived and live to tell the tale. We will work to remedy the individualized issues encountered (the problems that aren’t acceptable), and come back stronger next year.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and everything happens for a reason. I know this season won’t define me, but it will help build me in to the person and the racer I am destined to be. It’s the law of attraction.

A philosophy I used to get in to law school and what acts as a guiding phrase of encouragement for me to this day: Life is like accounting. In accounting, for every debit, there’s a credit. In life, for every benefit, there’s a sacrifice, otherwise known as the opportunity cost of a decision.

I choose to view times like this past season as character-building opportunities. Subjectively, I have sacrificed and given up a lot to continue to chase this crazy dream of mine, but so have a lot of others.

When all is said and done, I don’t want to succeed just for my own self-gratification, but for my team members who willing put off family time and other career opportunities to help me; my sponsors who provide the necessary funds and support to keep me on the track; my family who have pretty much sacrificed every part of their lives to provide me with the necessary tools to succeed; and the fans who have been so encouraging with their unwavering support and messages of endearment and positivity.

So, how would I describe this past season?

For me, it was a year of growth and evolvement.

This season has taught me patience (and a lot of it), greater understanding of and appreciation for car mechanics and how a race unfolds, curating plans and modes of attack, the importance of team chemistry and, among many other things, how badly I want to win.

We’ll take the positives with the negatives, keep working, try to control what’s in our control and always strive for more. The most exciting aspect for me going forward is what we are evolving into as a team.

I have trust in my guys and our various vendors to get it right for next year, but most importantly, I have the utmost faith in myself.

A fire has been rekindled within me and 2023 was the gasoline.

Next year, we have unfinished business.


This story appeared in the Dec 27, 2023 edition of the SPEED SPORT Insider.

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