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Jack Hawksworth Reflects on IndyCar Past, IMSA Present & Truck Debut

Nascar Craftsman Truck Series Jack Hawksworth at COTA, NKP

Jack Hawksworth has competed in everything from sports cars to open wheel cars in Europe and North America, and on Saturday (March 23), he competed for TRICON Garage in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas in what proved to be his first NASCAR race in five years.

Frontstretch got to chat with Hawksworth at COTA the day before the race (March 22), and the 33-year-old Brit revealed that his love for racing came at a young age.

“I grew up in in Bradford, England, northern part of the UK,” Hawksworth said. “I loved growing up there, it was fun. … I was always big into bikes, motorcycles and stuff from the age of like four, I had a little bike and used to ride it all the time.

“I’d go go kart racing when I was like 11, 12, raced in Europe for a long time. And then on the way over here [to the US], obviously road racing is really big in Europe, so I came doing the road racing stuff and go kart stuff and raced in Europe, raced in the UK and then made the move to the States at the end of 2011.”

As for his decision to pursue racing in the United States? It was for an opportunity to compete in the Star Mazda Championship (now known as the USF Pro 2000 Championship), one of the steps on the Road to Indy development program.

“At the time it was called the Mazda Road to Indy, and you get a scholarship if you won the series,” Hawksworth said. “If you won Star Mazda, you’re spotted to Indy Lights, IndyCar.

“… I was able to sell investment in myself in the UK to come on and do that on the basis that if you won the championship, there was more funding there to go to the next level. So that’s why I came over to the States. Came over, did a test at Indianapolis in 2011 with a team called Team Pelfrey. And then, I got to race for them [in Mazda] in 2012, and that was that really.”

Hawksworth and Pelfrey won the 2012 championship by winning eight of the 17 races, and that landed Hawksworth an opportunity with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in Indy Lights (now known as Indy NXT) for 2013 — the final step of the ladder before reaching the NTT IndyCar Series.

Hawksworth won three races and finished fourth in points in the 2013 season, and that led to his promotion to IndyCar in 2014, where he raced full time for three seasons. He scored a best finish of third in Houston, Texas, during his rookie season, and he scored his best Indianapolis 500 finish of 16th in 2016.

While he left…

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