Jake Craig was on a mission this year. Now he is on the verge of achieving one of his objectives as he joins Colin Mullan in traveling this week to England as part of the Team USA Scholarship. Here is his story:
My main goal for the 2018 racing season was to be part of the Team USA Scholarship program and represent the United States in England. I am absolutely ecstatic that I will be able to do that this October!
My racing journey began at age 5, from the first time I drove a kart. I was absolutely addicted from that point forward! At first, karting started as something fun that my family could do together. Throughout the years it got much more serious (below, winning on the SKUSA Pro Tour) and I decided I wanted to make a career out of racing.
My first aha moment was in 2014 when I got the opportunity to do a three-day training camp with the Ferrari Driver Academy and Prema Racing Team at Maranello in Italy. It made me realize that there truly are people out there who will reward you for your hard work, determination and success, just like Jeremy Shaw does with the Team USA Scholarship.
Last year began my car racing career working with Newman Wachs Racing in a bit of testing, including the Chris Griffis Mazda Road to Indy Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (below). I then got chosen for the Mazda Road to Indy Shootout, where I made it to the final five.
2018 was my first full season of car racing. I raced the Toyo Tires F1600 Series and F1600 Super Series, both taking place in Canada. I ended runner-up in both series with multiple race wins and podiums. I had the honor of working with Brian Graham Racing where I was able to better my understanding of a formula car and improve my race craft throughout the year.
As soon as I received a phone call from Mr. Shaw that I will be heading to England alongside my fellow Team USA teammate Colin Mullan, it was time to get to work. I needed to get my international racing license sorted, book flights and take care of all the other bits and pieces before heading overseas.
Something new this year for Team USA is the addition of a UK Championship race at Donington Park before the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy take place. I think this will be a great opportunity to get to know the team and develop a new working relationship between all of us. I have no doubt the Cliff Dempsey Racing team will be great to work with; their track record speaks for itself!
I’m really looking forward to getting on some of the best tracks the UK has to offer. These tracks also hold so much racing history, and I’m looking forward to learning more about the history when I’m over there.
One of the biggest hurdles I think I’ll have to overcome is driving in the rain. I only have a handful of on-track sessions in the rain, so this will be a great learning experience as I’m sure it will rain quite a bit!
I would like to give a huge thank you to Jeremy Shaw and everyone involved in the Team USA Scholarship program for giving me this opportunity. I would also like to thank my friends and family for the endless support they give me throughout my racing journey, as well as my personal sponsors Armor Fence Concepts, Baldozier Racing, Cataba Farms and Molecule Sports. Lastly, I would like to thank all the partners of the Team USA Scholarship, including The Road Racing Drivers Club and its SAFEisFAST.com initiative, Doug Mockett & Company, Cooper Tires, Lucas Oil School Of Racing, Mazda Road to Indy, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Catalina Furniture, Dyson Racing, RaceCraft1, Sparco USA, Styled Aesthetic and PitFit Training.
– Jake Craig