The racecar driver and former OU cheerleader burned up both the sidelines and track.
Two sounds have long competed for Taylor Reimer’s affections—the roar of an engine and the roar of a crowd. She was introduced to both at a young age through racing and cheerleading, which have inspired and defined her journey from elementary school to college graduation and beyond.
Shortly after receiving her University of Oklahoma degree in 2022, Reimer moved to North Carolina to be part of Toyota Racing Development and pursue a career as a professional racecar driver.
It’s been her dream for almost as long as she can remember.
“I’ve had a passion for racing from the time my dad put me into my first go-kart when I was 6 years old,” says Reimer. “It’s something I’ve always found incredibly exciting. I love the adrenaline rush from going fast and I love the competitive aspect.
“I definitely have a need for speed.”
That has been Reimer’s primary M.O. since she began racing 50 cc go-karts at the Tulsa Kart Club in 2005. After earning a track championship at age 8, she graduated to Junior Sprints at Port City Raceway in Tulsa, Okla., where she won more than 40 A-Feature races on her way to a 2011 track championship.
“Taylor is a natural when it comes to racing. She got my love for the sport, so I guess it’s kind of in her blood,” says Taylor’s father, Curt Reimer. “She’s experienced a lot of success at every level, and now, she’s a professional athlete and decided to chase the NASCAR dream. It’s pretty exciting.”
“Initially, I was not too thrilled about the idea of Taylor racing. Not my little girl,” says her mother, Juliana Reimer. “But once I saw the way she picked it up so quickly and how much she enjoyed it, it was an easy decision. Taylor has always been ultra-competitive, and that has served her well in everything she has chosen to do in life. We are extremely proud of her.”
While Reimer looks to be on the fast track to success as she races USAC midgets for Keith Kunz Motorsports, that has not always been the case. At age 14, she put racing on hold.
“I knew at some point I would start racing again, but I wanted to focus on academics and everything that goes with being in high school,” says Reimer. “A big part of that was cheerleading, which, like racing, is something I’ve always been passionate about.”
Reimer was an honors student and varsity cheerleader at Bixby High School. When it came time to figure out her next chapter, family history played a major role.
“My grandparents and my mother all went to OU. We’ve always been big Sooner fans,” she says. “I didn’t even look at any other colleges.”
Reimer arrived in Norman in 2018 and immersed herself in campus life, joining the Alpha Phi sorority and earning a spot on OU’s co-ed cheer squad. The following year, she transitioned to the all-girl cheer squad, which won the 2021 Universal Cheerleaders Association Division I-A College National Championship.
“Taylor was a big part of the squad and helped us win the national championship,” says OU cheer coach Miranda Noel Hubbard.
“It was amazing to be part of a team that accomplished something so special,” Reimer says.
When COVID-19 hit in spring 2020 and limited college athletic events, she used the extra time to return to racing with Dave Mac Motorsports, driving midgets at the USAC level.
“That was maybe the one positive—it gave me time to start racing again,” says Reimer.
“In her senior year, she was very torn between cheer and racing,” Hubbard says. “It didn’t prove easy to balance both, but she did it successfully, and her former teammates are still cheering her on.”
In early 2022, Reimer made the jump to Keith Kunz Motorsports. That May, she became the first woman to win a national midget feature race, earning the checkered flag at an Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series event.
That same month, she officially graduated from OU with a 3.92 GPA.
“My time at OU was a great experience, especially meeting so many amazing friends and being part of the cheer squad,” says Reimer. “I loved cheering for the various sports, and the whole atmosphere at football games was incredible. Being so close to home also allowed my parents to watch me cheer.”
These days, most of her time is spent racing or honing skills at the Toyota Performance Center. She’s surrounded by a support group that believes her best days are just around the corner.
“The biggest thing Taylor has going for her is her competitive nature,” says her racing crew chief, Beau Binder. “You have to love that she absolutely hates to lose, and she’s always looking to get better. She’s very driven, and that’s a big deal at this level.”
Reimer’s racing team has an unexpected OU connection. Sponsorship manager JP Moery, ’87 BA Journalism, has negotiated deals with Buzzballz Cocktails on her behalf.
“We partnered with Taylor because she’s super talented and a dream come true for marketers,” says the head of JP Moery Racing. “She’s a great story with a truly promising future in racing.”
Jay C. Upchurch is editor-in-chief of Sooner Spectator and lives in Norman, Okla.
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