Twenty-year-old Taylor Jorgensen of Stockbridge, Georgia enjoyed the type of rookie season that every young racer dreams of having. Now, she’s hoping to build on that momentum and cross a major goal off of her bucket list by racing at Bristol Motor Speedway (TN).
In 2016, Jorgensen ran a Pro Truck at Five Flags Speedway (FL) and captured three wins in six races on her way to becoming the first woman to win a Pro Truck championship at the track.
Coming off a breakout first season, Jorgensen is ready for her next move up the ranks and will compete in Pro Late Models at Five Flags Speedway, Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (TN) and Watermelon Capital (GA).
“I need to do some testing because I know its going to be a learning curve. I don’t think the transition is going to be that bad, I am a pretty quick study when it comes to learning these new cars,” Jorgensen told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “With the trucks we surpassed our expectation with our wins and championship, so hopefully we can have just as a successful transition into the Pro Late Model as we did the trucks.”
On top of a Pro Late Model schedule, Jorgensen has her sight set on the Short Track U.S. Nationals May 19-21 at Bristol Motor Speedway. It’s an event she is refusing to miss out on.
“The plan this year was to run LMSC and I wanted to make this Bristol race,” Jorgensen explained. “This track is on my bucket list; it’s my goal to race Bristol. If I never make it in racing I just want to be able to say that I raced at Bristol. I watched NASCAR races there and I want to race Bristol.”
While Jorgensen is excited about the transition to Pro Late Models, there is now a slight road block that could get in the way of her trip to the “Last Great Colosseum.”
“At the beginning of the sign ups when we could start to sign up we went for Late Model Stocks because we thought that would be the most realistic, to get one of those cars whether it would be renting it or buying one, whatever to run that race. Fast forward to a couple weeks later and we get the opportunity to run Pro Late Models this year instead of Late Model Stocks.”
Now behind the wheel of a Pro Late Model full-time and determined to make her way to Bristol, Jorgensen is on a mission to find her way to Bristol, Tennessee in May.
“We are really not sure now how we are going to be able to run Bristol now because I need to get on finding a Late Model Stock to run. With the opportunities that were presented to me this year we just bypassed Late Model Stocks. But it is still my goal to go to this race, we are not pulling out of the registration but I don’t know who I am running for or what car I am running.”
With over 500+ total cars heading to Bristol for the Short Track U.S. Nationals in May, Jorgensen is set on being one of those drivers and pursuing the dream of racing on the high-banks.
“We are trying everything we can to make this race,” Jorgensen said. “Its going to be a dream come true. I never thought that I would have an opportunity to try and run Bristol this early on in my career because I know that the best of the best and NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway so to be able to do that in a Late Model car is going to be really, really cool. It’s a great opportunity to go and make a name for yourself.”
Taylor Jorgensen and many other drivers, both young and old, are looking to make their first trip to the fastest half mile May 19-21 for the prestigious first Short Track U.S. Nationals.
Race fans unable to attend the event in person can watch over 500 cars compete in the inaugural event live via a pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.com.
-By Hannah Newhouse, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/Bruce Nuttleman