Green River Star -

GR racer competes in California


Staff Report

While most are either recovering from a food-induced coma or lining up for Thanksgiving and Black Friday specials, one Green River youth will spend his Thanksgiving on the race track.

Zac Taylor is excited to showcase what he has learned in his first year of driving a midget race car as the 17-year-old will compete in one of the sport’s crown jewel events.

Taylor will tackle the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ventura Raceway in Ventura, Calif.,  Nov. 24 as the 2016 season is winding down.

“My dad told me no matter what we were able to raise in sponsorship we were going to Turkey Night so I’m really pumped,” he said. “Unfortunately we’re still up in the air for the Junior Knepper 55 in DuQuoin, Ill (Dec. 17.) Given the right opportunity I’ll be there.  It all comes down to sponsorship help for the Cory Kruseman No. 12k.”

Taylor said he is ecstatic to return to Ventura Raceway for the marquee midget event.

“I practiced there about this time last year with the midget and I’ve practiced at Ventura in a 360 sprint car,” he said. “I like the track and can’t wait to get back.”

While Taylor said he has talked to a handful of potential sponsors for Turkey Night and the Chili Bowl, he acknowledged it’s tough for a teen to secure the necessary business support.

“Last year I wanted to approach sponsors on my own,” he said. “I remember the first company I walked in and asked if I could talk to the person in charge of marketing. They basically told me they weren’t interested and I could understand. Here’s this 16-year-old asking for help. It’s getting easier and once they see my accomplishments they show a real interest.”

“When the World of Outlaws were in Calhan (Colorado) I asked Donny Schatz how he got sponsorship,” he said.

“He told me most of it comes about because of Tony Stewart and businesses wanting to be associated with him. But he also gave me great advice. He told me I would have 1,000 no’s before I get 10 yes’s and I should keep working hard.”

Taylor has taken that advice to heart. He’s shown he can compete in a midget, earning a second-place finish in the Rocky Mountain Midget Racing Association (RMMRA) championship standings this year aboard the Todd Henry owned machine.

With a strong mindset and great success behind the wheel Taylor is seeking the right partners to propel him onto the national scene, which he said may include another race in 2016 – an indoor event at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, Ill., Dec. 17.

“I’m excited about the big races coming up and I hope we are able to show what we can do on each stage,” he said.


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