- Jak Crawford
- Date of Birth:
- 1m 80cm
- Resides in:
- Houston, Texas, USA and Hardervijk, The Netherlands
- Born in:
- Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
- Driver since:
"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."
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."
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."
• 2nd in the INEX Legends Car Winter Nationals Professional Championship Series - Rookie
• 2nd in the FIA Formula 4 NACAM Championship Series (6 wins, 14 podiums) - Rookie
• Rookie of the Year – FIA Formula 4 NACAM Championship Series
• 7th in the Cooper Tyres USF2000 Championship Series - Rookie (missed first two races due to age)
• 3rd SKUSA SuperNationals XXIII - X30 Senior – Rookie
• 2nd in the INEX Legends Car Winter Heat Young Lions Championship Series
• 1st in the INEX Legends Car Winter Nationals Young Lions Championship Series
• 2nd DKM Championship – Wackersdorf Race
• 3rd FIA Formula 4 NACAM Championship – Mexico City Race on F1 Weekend
• 2nd SKUSA SuperNationals XXII - X30 Junior
• 1st in the Challenge of the Americas Championship Series - Junior Rotax - Rookie
• 3rd INEX Legends Car Young Lions Oval Nationals Championship - Rookie
• 1st INEX Legends Car Young Lions Road Course World Championship – Rookie
• 2nd in the SKUSA Pro Tour Championship Series – X30 Junior – Rookie
• 1st SKUSA SuperNationals XXI - X30 Junior class - Rookie
• 1st in the Florida Winter Tour Championship Series - Mini ROK
• 1st in the US Open Championship Series – Rotax Mini MAX
• 2nd Canadian National Karting Championship - Rotax Mini MAX
• 1st Trofeo D' Autunno – Vortex Mini-ROK
• 5th Rok-Cup International Championship – Vortex Mini-ROK
• 3rd in the Challenge of the Americas Championship Series – Rotax Mini MAX – Rookie
• 3rd US Grand National Championship – Rotax Mini MAX – Rookie
• 1st US Grand National Championship – Rotax Micro MAX
• 3rd in the SKUSA Pro Tour Championship Series- Vertex Mini ROK
• 1st US Open Championship Series – Rotax Mini MAX – Rookie
• 3rd SKUSA SuperNationals XIX - TaG Cadet
• 2nd Rok-Cup International Championship – Vortex Mini ROK
• 1st in the Challenge of the Americas Championship Series – Micro MAX (swept series)
• 1st Florida Winter Tour – Micro MAX
• 1st in the SKUSA Texas Pro-Kart Challenge Championship Series – Vortex Mini ROK
• 1st in the SKUSA Texas Pro-Kart Challenge Championship Series – Rotax Micro MAX
• 4th SKUSA SKUSA SuperNationals XVIII – Vortex Mini ROK
• 3rd in the SKUSA Texas Pro-Kart Challenge Championship Series – Vortex Mini ROK - Rookie
• Attended first national event in karting
• Quarter Midget Oval Racing in Austin
• 4-Stroke Cadet Kart Racing in Houston
• Kids Kart Racing across Texas - started racing in May aged 6