Photo by Derrick Mahone
Stockbridge native Taylor Jorgensen holds up two fingers to signify her second straight Thursday Thunder victory.
Taylor Jorgensen has a message for all drivers who dare suggest that girls can’t win in racing.
On the back of her white No. 3 car, Jorgensen has a sticker that reads: “You’ve just been passed by a girl.” It was something she had been wanting to place on her car since she started racing at age 11, but her mother Amy at first said “not yet.”
“We made her wait a couple of years,” Amy Jorgensen said. “We said she had to do better than just a win in order to put that there. We knew that when guys would see that they’d want to try to clip her. And they still try.”
Try as they might, Taylor’s second consecutive Thursday Thunder racing series win has shown that her prowess on the track more than backs up the words on her car.
The 16-year old from Stockbridge won a hard fought race where she worked her way into first place on the eighth lap after overcoming a middle-of-the pack start. She traded the lead for several laps with Tyler Lester but solidified herself in lap 14 to take home the checkered flag.
“It was hard, but I hung in there and tried to avoid the things that I needed to avoid,” Taylor Jorgenson said.
The victory Thursday in the Outlaws division was no doubt a great accomplishment for Taylor, who’s younger brother Jensen was among those she had to fight off for the win. But it’s also not a surprise, given her recent successes on the track.
Just this year, she has won the Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Winter Flurry race, as well as the Winter Nationals in Auburndale, FL. She said she likes to think of her early good fortune in the Thunder Thursday series as a continuation of the momentum she’s built this year.
“I’ve got two in a row here on Thursdays and it’s only week two,” she said. “So I’d say we’re looking pretty good here so far.”
Taylor says she has won 11 of her last 19 races, while placing high in others. She said that her Thursday Thunder week two win should be enough to place her at the top of the nation in points.
Taylor’s father Jason Jorgensen said that the national attention she’s garnering is exactly what they’ve hoped for.
“I’m really proud of her,” Jason Jorgensen said. “Really, I’m proud of both Taylor and Jensen. But Taylor’s really rising to the top and starting to put it all together. We’re getting to a national level now and that’s what we want.”
While Amy Jorgensen says that perhaps a hint of sibling rivalry may exist between Taylor — who recently turned 16 and got her driver’s license — and Jensen, the two maintain completely different driving styles.
“Jensen is our daredevil,” Amy Jorgensen said. “But Taylor is much more of a calm and patient driver.”
Jason Jorgensen elaborated while making the case for his daughter to be one of the nation’s best young drivers.
“The hard thing for Jensen is his patience. He may be different, maybe faster on a finesse track,” he said. “But as far as Taylor’s concerned, when everything is right and everything is clicking, there aren’t a lot of drivers anywhere out there who can stay with her in Bandoleros.”
Taylor is not only becoming a standout on the race track, but also in the classroom where her father says she is a straight A-student.
“These next two years will be big for her as she positions herself for college,” he said. “We’re hoping she’ll pursue sports broadcasting as something she can fall back on.”
Heading into Thursday Thunder’s third week with all of the accolades coming her way, there seems to be no room for any regrets. In fact, Jason Jorgensen said he only has one.
“I just wish we would have started her sooner,” he said.