Traveling to the Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca to close out the 2019 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, Texan Jak Crawford added a fifth place finish to his results resume. With a pair of solid qualifying performances, the RE/MAX backed driver finished his season strong despite a crash in Sunday’s final wheel-to-wheel action on the weekend.
“First off, Laguna Seca is an incredible track and was one of my favorites after the one and only practice session on Friday,” explained Crawford. “Unfortunately, Sunday did not go our way but that gives me a ton of motivation heading into the off season to see what we can put together, and what we can do in 2020.”
“In the first qualifying, our car was great at first and I was in the top-three, but for the last portion of qualifying after the red flag incident cleared, I was just sliding around too much,” says Crawford. Jak would end up only qualifying in sixth position for race one and the next morning he eked out a fifth place qualifying effort for race two.
For race one on Saturday, from outside row three, Crawford took his #4 entry to an intense battle in the top-five as he looked to battle for a podium result. Working hard to keep pace with the leaders, the young Texan and future star in motorsports leveled up to P5, adding another top-five result to his 2019 results list.
Crawford added, “The car was great at the start and we were turning fast laps out of everyone, but both my teammate and I struggled at the end of the race. We were good enough for a top-five. Tomorrow we will be shooting for a podium finish with some setup changes to the car.”
Race two on Sunday morning took place just before the NTT IndyCar Series finale as the USF2000 drivers raced in front of a packed house of California race fans. With championships on the line, drivers were very aggressive on the start of the final race of the year.
Crawford slotted into P4 quickly and attempted to make a bid for the second position before being shoved off track on just the second corner. With a big run on the off-pole sitting #91 car that would have vaulted Jak to second coming off of turn two, the driver pushed Jak wide slightly slowing him. Then immediately in the same corner Crawford was lifted onto two wheels by a forceful #12 car, sliding Jak into the gravel and well down the running order.
“Definitely a disappointing way to finish the season, because I believe I could have run up front today,” explained the 14-year-old Jak Crawford. “My teammate who struggled with the same car issues as me on Saturday won so I know our cars were a lot better. I had the momentum for a podium for sure.”
This event ends Jak’s USF2000 campaign for 2019. After missing the first two races of the year due to not being old enough to complete, Jak still finished seventh in the season point standings. In his first two events he finished fourth and was knocking on the door of a podium finish all season.
A change in teams with three events to go meant learning a new car, new personnel, and adapting things to the new driver. Crawford added, “Changing teams mid-season was not ideal, but it was a good to get a fresh start and work with the Cape Brothers.”
Now with USF2000 closed out, the remainder of Jak’s 2019 calendar includes his defense of two world-championships at both the Legends Car Road Course World Finals and the SKUSA SuperNationals event in Las Vegas. A potential F4 race in Mexico City in October is undecided at this time.
Jak Crawford would like to thank marketing partners: RE/MAX, RTD Media and Management, OMP, Bell Helmets, Palmetto MDR and Speedsportz Racing Park.
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 Credit: Road to Indy