INFLUENCER OF THE YEAR ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
If it feels like you ’ re seeing dragand-drive star Alex Taylor show up on your news feed more often recently , it ’ s not a coincidence . It ’ s not the algorithm . It ’ s the result of Taylor ’ s efforts to build her reputation as a racer , fabricator , car builder , and on-screen personality .
She didn ’ t set out to become an influencer , and like many in her position , she doesn ’ t necessarily wear the “ influencer ” badge . But with an ever-growing audience following along with her adventures , it ’ s easy to see why she earned the Influencer of the Year title .
“ Being an influencer could be a positive thing , but you have to do it for the right reasons ,” Taylor says . “ You have power and you just need to treat it in the right way . I don ’ t want to post something for likes and comments and shares , I want to post it because it ’ s what I really enjoy .
“ There ’ s a lot of negativity around the ‘ influencer ’ term ,” Taylor continues , “ but I try to take that title and treat it like old-school influential , by that meaning , rather than caring about the likes and the comments and the numbers . Of course , yes , it matters or else you don ’ t hold that spot , but I try to make it an example of what you can be within doing something that you love . The only reason that I feel like I ’ ve even gained that position is because I ’ m getting to live my passion .”
Taylor ’ s willingness to put herself out there while racing and building cars with her dad , Dennis , has led to numerous opportunities . Most recently , she was named the new co-host of MotorTrend ’ s HOT ROD Garage with Lucky Costa last spring . She ’ s been able to apply her experience filming , editing , and starring in videos for her YouTube channel while working with the veteran HOT ROD Garage crew .
“ It ’ s still been an adjustment in the sense that I get to actually focus on creating and being myself rather than focusing on the camera and the behind-the-scenes and thinking about , ‘ I need this and this on this checklist so I can make this video ,’” says Taylor , who just started filming her second season and the show ’ s 11th . “ But it ’ s been really cool to come over here because the teams at HOT ROD Garage and Motor Trend are so awesome . They actually value input that I can give and we work really well as a team .”
The production schedule is hectic , but it does allow Taylor to get away and go racing with her family . She has eight or nine events on the schedule , including Sick Week , Drag Week , Sick Summer , and numerous drag-and-drive shootouts .
Taylor has also made major investments for her business , Alex Taylor Racing . She hired her sister , Megan , as her “ VP of Randomness ” to handle roles like graphic design and content creation . She also purchased and is completely remodeling a dollar-store-turned-tractor-repair-shop across the street from the family ’ s Hot Rods by Dennis Taylor shop to serve as the new multi-purpose headquarters of Alex Taylor Racing .
“ It ’ s a big commitment ,” Taylor admits . “ I feel like it ’ s something that solidifies that I ’ m here because this is where I want to be . The shop is an important piece of giving me a space to continue to expand rather than be capped for now .”
– NATE VAN WAGNEN DI
PHOTOS : COLE REYNOLDS AND CHRIS SEARS
NOMINEES : CLAY MILLICAN / GARRETT “ CLEETUS MCFARLAND ” MITCHELL / ALEX LAUGHLIN / CHRIS “ BOOSTED ” HAMILTON
January / February 2023 DragIllustrated . com | Drag Illustrated | 123