Taylor Ferns

Abel Motorsports will grow its INDY NXT by Firestone program to a four-car effort at the four INDY NXT by Firestone oval races, with USAC star Taylor Ferns driving for the team.

Ferns, 28, from the Detroit area, will join the team to contest the Iowa Speedway, World Wide Technology Raceway, Milwaukee Mile and Nashville Superspeedway rounds of INDY NXT this season as the 2024 schedule features the most oval events since 2013. She joins the full-time Abel Motorsports driver roster of Josh Mason, Jacob Abel and Yuven Sundaramoorthy for the oval outings.

Earning numerous race wins and championship titles in a wide variety of race cars and racing surfaces, Ferns climbed through the USAC ranks, competing in Midgets, Sprint Cars and Silver Crown. She has earned a number of “firsts,” including the youngest woman to win a Sprint Car race, the first woman to win USAC Midget and Sprint Car races at multiple tracks, the most USAC Silver Crown starts by a woman and the first podium finish by a woman in USAC Silver Crown history. Ferns was also the second woman to win a USAC championship when she captured the 2011 Regional Midget Championship.

“I’m so grateful to Abel Motorsports and everyone who helped put this together,” Ferns said. “Excited is an understatement. INDY NXT has been on my radar for several years, and I’m so happy to have it come to fruition, especially with partners like Bradford Allen (a Chicago-based full-service real estate firm) believing in me and giving me the resources to fulfill a lifelong dream. I know the team has been strong on ovals, with Jacob (Abel) taking pole at Iowa last year, so I know we will have a strong effort.”

Abel Motorsports team principal Bill Abel looks forward to a testing program for Ferns before her series debut July 13 at Iowa Speedway.

“Taylor is a true racer,” Abel said. “She understands what’s involved in transitioning from Silver Crown and Sprint Cars to the INDY NXT car, and I’m confident that she’ll do well. It would be great if her experience reopens the pipeline from USAC to this form of racing – we’ve seen drivers be successful in the very recent past. I know we’ll be able to transfer a good deal of knowledge about the car to her, but I’m sure we’ll learn a lot from her, as well.”

Ferns’ accomplishments are not limited to the racetrack. She earned a bachelor of business administration in finance and economics from Grand Valley State University where she graduated with honors, a master of business administration (finance and management) from Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch School of Business and will graduate from Wayne State University in May with a law degree.

Ferns is also an ambassador and founding/working group member of Women in Motorsports North America – and she counts WIMNA co-founder and past Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Lyn St. James among her mentors.