By James Butler
HAMPTON, Ga. — Family connections have seemingly forever been a part of NASCAR. From the Pettys to the Earnhardts to the Buschs, drivers that were kin have been linked and have seen their family names go on to represent a worthy status.
However, there have been few sister-brother combos to make noise on the higher levels of NASCAR, but that may change one day soon, and the family name likely to be responsible for that is Jorgensen.
Sister Taylor, 19, and 16-year-old brother Jensen are two of the most accomplished drivers currently racing in the Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Thursday Thunder series, both racing currently side-by-side in the Legends Cars semipro division. Taylor won the Thursday Thunder Bandoleros Outlaw Division Championship in 2012 and the two-time national champion Jensen won the Outlaw Division crown a year ago.
In prime position now to chase their NASCAR dreams, the Jorgensen siblings credit their father for introducing them to racing.
“We got into racing because of [our] dad,” Taylor said. “He raced go-karts as a kid and when I was a baby he was racing Legends Cars. I grew up coming to the race track at Thursday Thunder watching him race. I got the bug and I begged and begged to get a car and at 11 years old he bought me a Bandolero car. I started racing then. I ran for about a year and then Jensen got the bug and he wanted to run to.”
A young Jensen saw the good time his dad and big sister were having and didn’t want to be left out.
“I guess it was their bonding,” he said. “I was little. I didn’t really understand racing at the time she started, but I saw her and my dad bonding and having a good time and doing something different. I guess it was just me watching them.”
Taylor and Jensen’s father, Jason, says that while he didn’t know if Taylor had the staying-power for the sport, the challenge for Jensen was to get him to look at it like a sport.
“The first couple of years I thought she would get tired of it and kind of fizzle out,” Jason said. “When she started getting more competitive and we had to get the equipment better, I had to step my game up and we got into it seriously.”
That got him prepared for when Jensen decided to be a serious racer.
“He really wasn’t up for the performance part the first year or two,” Jason said. “He wanted to do more of the social part of it, so I laid back and just let him race his second year. About his third year he said alright dad I’m ready to start competing and we went to work and he’s a two-time national champion now. “
In addition to Taylor shooting for another Thursday Thunder title and Jensen gunning for another nation title — missed races has him out of the hunt at Thursday Thunder — the Jorgensens are also competing at the Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Taylor is running for the NASCAR Developmental Diversity program Revolution Racing, while Jensen is racing his Jorgensen Racing trademark No. 32 car. He is currently top 5 in the points standing.
They also represented CMS when they recently appeared on the TV news show This Morning in Charlotte.
“They came to the track and said they knew we [would] be good on TV, and that they wanted us to represent Charlotte Motor Speedway, so we did,” Taylor said. “It was a lot of fun.”
If they reach their racing goals of making it to the top levels of NASCAR, such media appearance will be an every week occurrence for the Jorgensens.
Here are the complete results from Week 4 of Thursday Thunder’s action:
1. Wilder Etheredge (Albany); 2. Dawson O’Connor (Stockbridge); 3. Noah Dominy (Statham); 4. Ryan Younginer (Jonesboro); 5. Keaton Hendrix (Homerville); 6. Cameron Potter (Covington); 7. Samuel Oliver (The Rock)
1. DJ Canipe (Fallston); 2. Clay Thompson (Powersville); 3. Isabella Robusto (Fort Mill, SC); 4. Will Robusto (Fort Mill, SC); 5. Blaise Maddox (Locust Grove); 6. Nathan Jackson (McDonough); 7. Ryan Howell (McDonough)
Xtreme Fun on Wheels Outlaws
1. Ashton Higgins (Weaverville, NC); 2. Joshua Hicks (Senoia); 3. Lawson Ingold (Social Circle); 4. Hayden Swank (Woodstock); 5. Ricky Springer (McDonough); 6. Trey Tadrzak (Stockbridge); 7. Gauntt Hudgins (Savannah); Connor Younginer (Stockbridge) (DQ)
Allred Family Dentistry Semi Pro/Young Lions
1. William Martin (Douglasville); 2. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge); 3. Christopher Clanton (Brooks); 4. Jensen Jorgensen (Stockbridge); 5. Jeff Holden (Gainesville); 6. Brandon Brock (Hampton); 7. Dylan Murry (Cumming); 8. Amber Fleeman (Dacula); 9. Hannah Bell (Raleigh, NC); 10. Sebastian Aras (Flowery Branch); 11. Nicholas Waters (Senoia); 12. Jordan Coker (Powder Springs); 13. Aaron Bailey (Burlington, NC)
1. Tina Johnson (Senoia); 2. Scott Moseley (McDonough); 3. Bill Plemons Jr. (Locust Grove); 4. Mark Swan (Dunwoody); 5. Phillip Young (Dallas); 6. Randy Shubert (Conyers); 7. Wes Potter (Covington); 8. Tony Arbruster (Covington); 9. Willie Gray (Cartersville); 10. Dennis Hecht (Hoschton)