Traveling north of the border for his first career start on the Streets of Toronto, Texan Jak Crawford overcame a first lap practice crash on Friday to claim a top-five finish Sunday. Driving like a seasoned veteran, Crawford advanced forward from his row seven starting spot to secure an impressive top-five on the barrier lined temporary circuit.
“Friday was a disaster, literally the worst possible scenario for a first-time driver on a street circuit,” explained Crawford. “A fellow competitor had spun and made contact directly in front of me in the last corner of the first lap, and I was forced to take evasive action and slid hard into the wall slamming from the front tire to the rear wing. I sprained my right ankle in the crash as well, which was quite painful and worrying for the weekend. The front wing was in tact, but the car was completely destroyed on one side and the entire rear wing, so much so that we were only able to make it on track for one lap in qualifying later that day, but only to make sure it held together.”
Starting Saturday’s race one from the last position, Crawford took the cautious approach and slowly moved his way forward to 12th. Regaining confidence with each passing lap, the multi-time karting champion and formula car race winner already in 2019 was ready to go come Sunday.
Crawford added, “It was a pretty big shunt on Friday and the car was not perfect in Saturday’s race. I needed to keep learning the track and just take it easy. As a racer you always want to drive as fast and as hard as you can, but in this case, I just needed to be smart. It was disappointing to finish 12th but it was necessary to prepare for Sunday.”
Sunday proved to be a lot better for the young, 14-year-old competitor. After qualifying his DEForce Racing entry in the 13th position, Crawford impressed on in his first weekend on a temporary street circuit. Pushing hard and taking advantage of on track opportunities with a couple of dazzling passes in the same corner of his accident on Friday, the Texan advanced forward eight positions to cross the stripe in fifth, his third top-five result in his short Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship career.
“My car was great on longer runs today. All the yellow flag laps hurt us because it took us two laps every time to get the car up to full race mode, but the yellows also helped me because of bunching up the field for passing. I would have been better for me to have the yellow flags in the Saturday race but this whole weekend has been crazy. I almost sent the car for a last lap pass into fourth position, but decided it had been a good day. If it had been for a win or a podium I would have done it. Nice to finish with some momentum,” Crawford concluded.
Next on the docket will see the young Crawford travel to Lexington, Ohio and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course over the July 26-28 weekend. A few weeks ago, in the official series test, Jak was the fastest USF2000 driver over a two-day period.
Jak Crawford would like to thank marketing partners: RE/MAX and AmCap Home Loans as well OMP, Bell Helmets, Palmetto MDR and Speedsportz Racing Park. Big shout out to DEForce Racing for all the hard work in car preparation and maintenance as well as their trackside support program.
For more information on Jak Crawford please visit his marketing website at jetpakjak.com. Please follow Jak Crawford via his social media pages: Facebook and Instagram at @JakCrawfordRacing, Twitter @JakCrawfordRac1 or search Jak Crawford Racing.
Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Photography LLC.