Jak Crawford

"Winning makes it so everything else falls into place"

Jak Crawford

Driver bio

"My dad started racing around the time I was born. He used to take me around to the NASCAR shops when we lived in Charlotte and bought me a ton of small-scale cars from the race shops."

"I dreamed about racing, so my dad bought me a kids kart when I was four and made me look at it for a whole year. When I was five, I started driving in parking lots. Then when I turned six, I raced my first race and won. Ever since then I have been moving up the karting ranks mostly in the states and now F4 in Europe."

Jak started racing kid karts in 2011 at the age six first in Katy, Texas, winning the first time on track and repeating it many times over the remainder of the year across the state of Texas.

"My dad was my mechanic, coach and everything for the first couple years. He learned everything about the kart from the guys at the local karting club. Once I hit the national level in karting, my dad decided he needed to get me a better program. When he was coaching me he used to tell me that 'Excellence is small things performed well over and over again' and that is what I try to remember in racing."

"When I was in kids karts I was called Jetpak Jak and the name kind of stuck for many years. We don't use that nickname anymore now that I am older but whenever I used to race karts in Europe kids I didn't even know would come up to me and call me Jetpak. The nickname made it all the way around the world."

In 2014 at eight years of age, Jak made his debut at important international karting events in the United States on both the East and West Coasts with immediate and impressive results. Jak saw action at the Challenge of the Americas and the Florida Winter Tour, both of which are internationally popular series.

"My mom is very supportive and happy to see me race. We have learned what works and what doesn't and at all my races in 2020 one of my parents will be there. They take turns usually so one can be back at home to handle everything in Texas. I can't thank them enough for all they have sacrificed and done to get me where I am today."

In 2015, Jak cemented more wins and championships around the USA and took second place in Italy at the biggest race in the world for mini drivers, ROK Cup International Final with more than 160 entries in 2015.

"My mom helped me start my own charity a few years ago. It started out that we would go out to the local karting track and host special needs kids, mostly down's syndrome and autistic kids and young adults. I would drive the kids around in a two-seater kart and we would become friends. We are transitioning the charity a little this year to be a big, two-day event and I will participate when I am home in Texas this summer. The charity is called Fast Friends Speed School."

Jak in 2017 with his "Fast Friend" Nathan at Speedsportz Racing Park in New Caney, Texas. Nathan was attending one of Jak's charity events for special needs kids at his own creation, Fast Friends Speed School

When he is not racing, Jak does a lot of sim training. "I also started coaching younger kids in karts with training, video and data so I want to do more of this when I have the time. Since I travel so much, when I am home I enjoy sleeping in my own bed in Texas and playing with my dog, Bear."

Jak also enjoys basketball, cycling, trail-riding 4-wheelers and gaming, eating steak and listening to pop and pop-rap. His favourite subject at school is Geography so that will come in useful. "I don't have a racing hero, but when I was younger I used to say that I wanted to meet Max Verstappen."

"My goal as a kid was always to win the next race. My dad taught me to say that when I was very young. Other kids would say they wanted to be F1 drivers or IndyCar drivers and he never let me say that. Instead he told me to say my goal was to win my next race. It is not always possible in racing but you still have to feel that way every time you strap down in a car. Winning makes it so everything else falls into place, so we will see for 2020."

Jak, as a twelve-year-old Rookie late in 2017 winning one of the world's premier races and the biggest race in the United States, the Superkarts! USA (SKUSA) SuperNationals in Las Vegas

"Winning is the most important of course and knowing you drove the best and got the most out of the car. Also seeing how happy the team is after each race and all the work they all put in is put to good use. Winning and knowing that my parents are proud of me also gives me satisfaction."

In 2019, Jak and newly appointed 2020 NTT IndyCar Series Driver Rinus VeeKay took time to visit OHSU Doernbecher, a Children's Miracle Network hospital, in Portland, Oregon, while attending the second to last round of the 2019 Road to Indy Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship

"My best race was in 2019 karting at my favorite venue, the SKUSA SuperNationals. I had raced cars all year, not karts, and no one expected me to do well in a one-off event as an X30 Senior rookie. I narrowly missed pole position. Then after some rough heats I qualified sixth for the final. I got up to first in enough time to lead the most laps in the final race. Then I was run over and pushed wide with two corners to go."

From his off-poll qualifying position, Jak was able to lead the pack at the 2019 SKUSA SuperNationals. The final event would have a sad ending for Jak but he feels he raced it to near perfection

"This race beats all the karting race wins I've had over the years just because of how it all went. I had performed every pass perfectly and I blocked at the right time against a former world champion. I made no mistakes the whole race and had perfect carburation and water temperature. The ending was sad, but instantly the race felt like my best race ever. It obviously wasn't my best win ever, but it was my best race ever."

2019 was another breakout year for Jak, this time in open wheel formula car racing. With great successes in both limited karting action and his first year in full-time formula car racing

Having completed the transition Jak knows that his best car races are still to come but he already has some favourite places. "Turns 4, 5, 8, and 9 at Laguna Seca are all high speed and they are what make Laguna Seca my favourite track in a car. You are always on the edge with no room for a mistake."

"The famous corkscrew is also what makes it my favourite track as you go into a blind corner and you can feel a light feeling in your stomach as you head down the hill. The facility is in a great setting in California."

2017 was also a big year for Jak showing his talent in multiple racing genres and impressing the right people along the way. Jak added many wins to his resume this year, including a victory at the Legends Car World Finals

"I have raced so many different type of vehicles even in the same year that I feel like I can drive anything. There is a big difference in a Legends Car with a lot of power but no grip and an entry level downforce formula car with not a lot of power."

Winning in Mexico in 2019 - Jak ran the NACAM F4 series in 2019, and in spite of more than his fair share of problems throughout the year, mostly mechanically related, he was still able to win six of 18 races as a 13/14 year old rookie

"My dad always wanted me to go down a NASCAR path, but where I am at now has always been what I wanted to do. I am living my own dream not anyone else's dream for me."