Jak Crawford and His Energy Were Hot in Phoenix
Crawford starts his first full season of SKUSA Pro Tour competition at the top of the points
Jak Crawford and his Energy chassis were the ones to beat in the hot Phoenix sun (Photo: On Track Promotions)
Under a hot desert sun with Superkarts! USA (SKUSA) visiting the Phoenix Kart Racing Association (PKRA) facility for the annual 2015 Fikse Wheels Pro Tour SKUSA SpringNationals, the temperatures exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit for two straight days and the action on the PKRA track was just as hot. After the transponders were strapped on the karts on Friday afternoon, the practice times became a forewarning of what would happen throughout the weekend as Crawford showed his pace early and often.
With SKUSA running two separate race days that include qualifying, two progressive heat races and then a main event, Saturday would provide Jetpak Jak with perfect day of competition. Utilizing his perfectly dialed in Energy cadet chassis, the Texan was unbeatable claiming the pole position, two heat race wins and main event victory, all in undramatic fashion. Not only did Jak stand atop the podium with a grin from ear to ear, he celebrated his tenth birthday with friends and family at the track.
As is often the case, a perfect day is hard to repeat with a crowded field of 44 TaG Cadet entries, of which half might have been contenders for the win. Yet, Jak rolled out on Sunday determined and focused and also just as quick as the previous day, only to be beat on the last qualifying lap by the slightest of margins. Heat one on Sunday was much more dramatic than those of Saturday with the top three TaG Cadet drivers, including Crawford jostling back and forth for the lead. On the last lap entering the turn eight hairpin corner and from third position, Jak braked late and rolled his kart down on the curbing carrying his momentum out of the corner into a first position advantage that he would probably have held to the checkered flags. Unfortunately, almost immediately his engine died as he pulled to the side of the track. A carburetor issue ended Jak’s chances to start the main event from the pole position as he would now be forced to drive through the stout field of competitors.
Starting at the tail of the field and with heats shortened from eight laps to six laps due to time constraints, Jetpak would have to make a lot of passes on the extremely hard-to-pass PKRA circuit. The second heat began great with Jak slicing and dicing his way forward but after the short six-lap sprint, Crawford had managed to pass just shy of thirty competitors and would have to begin the main event in the 16th position.
From a sketchy mid-pack starting position and amongst drivers in which he has not raced around, Jak was involved in an incident launching the front of his kart in the air, yet, he was able get control quickly and move forward. By the time the dust settled on the twelve lap final, Jetpak was able to finish one position outside of a top-five with his speedy Energy chassis turning the fastest lap of the race. It was not the result that Jak was looking for, but a great recovery nonetheless salvaging precious championship points and leaving the first event weekend of the Pro Tour as the man to beat in TaG Cadet.
Jetpak Jak would like to thank SKUSA for their great events and gracious customer service and he looks forward to competing in the next Pro Tour race in Indiana. Jak would also like to thank his Nash Motorsportz team including Chris Hatfield, Seth Nash, and Chris Freckleton, P1 Engines for providing a great powerplant as always, and the Energy racing equipment from Mick Panigada and Energy Corse Srl. which was the obvious class-of-the-field. Crawford would also like to thank OMP and Palmetto MDR continued support as well as Speedsportz Racing Park and the Alan Rudolph Racing Academy for their new support.
For more information on ‘Jetpak’ Jak, or to place sponsorship or calendar inquiries, please contact Nikki Crawford at email@example.com. Also, be sure to like ‘Jetpak’ Jak Crawford on his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jetpakjakcrawford.