Photo by Derrick Mahone
After making a test run during practice rounds at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Taylor Jorgensen (right) talks with her father, Mark, about her Legends car.
HAMPTON — Taylor Jorgensen loves racing, and the Stockbridge native is good at it.
But this season in the Thursday Thunder racing series, she has learned about patience.
A year after dominating the Outlaws division in her Bandolero, Jorgensen has made the move into a Legends car. She has stepped up to the Semi-Pro division at the grassroots racing series.
Jorgensen is currently running second in points in the 11-driver division. She is second to Peachtree City’s Riley Thornton, who has won three of the four races going into Thursday’s race.
Jorgensen is pleased with her performance in the new division, but definitely not satisfied.
“I’m doing a lot better than I expected coming into the season,” she said during Wednesday’s practice session at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “I still have a shot. I’m running for the podium.”
In four starts, she has three top five finishes. Thornton came into Thursday’s races with 394 points with Jorgensen second at 363 points. Hub Talbot was third in points at 353.
“I’m very pleased because I thought I would be somewhere around fifth place,” Jorgensen said.
In the first race of the season earlier this month, Jorgensen had a brief lead. On the second restart of the race, Jorgensen took the lead, but was immediately passed by Thornton as he held on for the win.
She would finish runner-up in the first featured race. In the second feature of the night, she finished sixth overall in the division.
While she is happy about a successful transition into a Legends car, Jorgensen knows the one thing holding her back. Her 14-year-old car needs a new engine.
It is the same car that her father use to race at AMS.
“The engine is holding up good, but I know we need another one,” she said. “In the next couple weeks, we will make a decision on the motor.”
A new one would run about $6,000 while a used one goes for about $2,000 to replace. Jorgensen said she could get by with either a used one or the same one in the car now.
However, she is hopeful for a new motor in order to make a serious run for her second straight championship.
“I see that I can run with the pack in this division,” she said.
But being a rookie in the Legends car and new division, she sees where rookie mistakes have been a setback in some races.
Jorgensen says she studies the in-car video and analyzes her mistakes.
“A lot of times I beat myself up about the mistakes,” she said. “I see those rookies mistakes, then I have to realize that I am a rookie in this car and division. I know I’m going to get a win before too long.”
Jorgensen said she is bearing a lot of the responsibility about her finishes.
“No matter if I’m in an expensive car or this one, I have to do better,” she said. “I thought I would have won a few races by now. I’m learning and seeing where I’m getting better.”