Since the USAC season commenced in late April, most drivers have kept their heads down, logging laps and fighting for wins across the midget, sprint car and Silver Crown ranks.
But in the meantime, a mini-battle has been raging among USAC’s female talent.
The Fab Four competition was introduced as a partnership between USAC and Car IQ Pay in March with the key purpose of providing a spotlight for female drivers in the series.
Qualifying for the $10,000-to-win contest, which is based on a driver’s average finishing position, has been under way since April. But on June 29, the qualifying phase of the competition came to a head as the inaugural Fab Four class was finalized.
Jade Avedisian, Taylor Reimer, Kaylee Bryson and Taylor Ferns have locked into the final stage.
The remaining months of competition will again be based on their average finishing positions, but fan vote will also be incorporated. The winner is to be announced during the USAC Turkey Night Grand Prix on Nov. 25.
For now, each racer can relish in recognition for what they’ve achieved over the last three months — on dirt and pavement — with their respective teams.
Avedisian has been hard at work in the midget racing realm.
Wheeling the No. 71 for Keith Kunz Motorsports, the California native has recorded eight top-10 finishes in nine races.
She led laps early in the season at the Belleville (Kan.) High Banks and most recently at Indiana’s Bloomington Speedway — combining for a total of 15 laps led.
The 16-year-old’s USAC season is highlighted by a runner-up finish in Belleville on May 20 and a third-place result at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway on June 10.
Her average feature finish has been 7.6.
Fellow KKM driver Reimer is close behind in regard to her USAC statistics, as she’s placed the No. 25k in the top 10 five times this season.
Though she has yet to lead laps or win a feature, Reimer broke into the top five at Sweet Springs (Mo.) Motorsports Complex on May 21, finishing fourth. While the 24-year-old has struggled to keep her confidence in the early months, four of her last five finishes were inside the top 10, pointing to a positive turnaround in her season.
“I’m looking forward to having a shot at that,” Reimer said in reference to the Fab Four’s $10,000 winning purse. “If it happens, it happens, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’m trying to beat everyone out here, so I’m just trying to do the best I can each week.”
Her average feature finish has been 11.8.
After making a name for herself behind the wheel of a midget, Bryson traveled a different path this year.
She signed on with Sam Pierce Racing last December to contest all 13 races on the Silver Crown calendar, as well as a limited schedule in the Trans Am TA2 series. She’s also continued her development racing winged sprint cars and dirt late models on open weekends.
While it hasn’t been as seamless a transition as the Oklahoma native originally hoped, the No. 26 driver has strung together several respectable finishes as she continues to cut her teeth in the series that runs both on dirt and pavement.
Bryson has a pair of eighth-place results, as well as a top-15 and an 18th-place finish.
Her average feature finish has been 12.2.
Last, but certainly not least, Ferns has returned to the Silver Crown series to contest her first full season in several years.
After focusing on pavement events the last two seasons, the Michigan native is back on dirt. In the opening four races, her No. 55 car has placed fifth, 10th, 13th and 23rd. Notably, Ferns was the first woman to make the podium of a USAC Silver Crown feature when she finished third at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park on May 27, 2022.
Her average feature finish this year has been 12.7.