Back home again in Indiana: The most memorable experience of my life

I’m home from the UK and what has been the most incredible experience of my life! Over the past six weeks and three events in England, I learned more than I had the entire season up to that point. Part of the reason was because of the significant amount of track time we received in testing. But it was the races (eight total over the three weekends) and the competition that made the most difference. I am much more strategic with passes, can complete passes more consistently, and I am much more comfortable in the rain. That’s because nearly all of my track time was in wet or mixed conditions. Off the track, my media skills have also improved. I got a lot of practice with local print journalists, on the event webcasts and with some Zoom interviews from the U.S.

This adventure has been life changing and I will remember it forever.

The last event during my time in England was the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone Circuit, the current home of the Formula One British Grand Prix. I had solid pace during most of testing. In qualifying, I was very competitive and held provisional pole position until I caught slower traffic late in the session and couldn’t improve my time. I was still able to qualify P4 for my heat race.

My standing starts have improved but still need some work. On the start, I lost four spots but was able to make up the lost ground for a P4 finish. This put me P8 to start the semifinal. I was in a tough fight for most of the semi but lost some ground in the wet conditions and finished 10th. But that was good enough to qualify for the Grand Final. The top 36 out of 103 made the final. I started P20 and was working my way forward in pretty heavy rain when a car spun in front of me and I had no chance to avoid it, ending my experience with a crash.

The result doesn’t show how well the experience went. While I would have liked to finish a little better, I have improved immeasurably. I hope to be able to carry this momentum back in the U.S. to continue to grow and put up strong results. I also had a great experience with all of my Low Dempsey Racing teammates and especially fellow Team USA driver, Bryce Aron. They were all great teammates and helped pass the time away from home when we were away from the track.

We are currently in the process of preparing for next season. We are very close to finalizing a USF2000 test and should have news in the next week or so. We have also made some progress, but we are still working hard on finding the financial help and partners needed for me to compete next season in USF2000 on INDYCAR weekends in the Road to Indy.

I am very thankful for everyone who made this possible. As I have said before, this has been an extraordinary experience. I especially want to thank Low Dempsey Racing and Cliff and Michelle Dempsey. They were kind enough to look after me during my first time leaving the country. And, certainly Jeremy Shaw and all of the Team USA Scholarship sponsors. For 30 years now, Jeremy has done all of the work to organize and raise the budget to allow two or three young Americans each year to receive a huge career boost and life-changing experience.

Also, I want to thank Leigh Diffey from NBC Sports for helping set up a coaching session with Rob Wilson for Bryce and me. Rob is one of the most recognized driver coaches in the world and he doesn’t work with anyone without a recommendation. Rob has worked with about half of the F1 field and many IndyCar and sports car drivers. It was very beneficial, and I was able to really learn some new things on the finer techniques of driving.

As always, thanks for your support!
Jackson

P.S. While many have already been shared on social media, I thought I’d post some more pictures from my experience. Thanks to Jordon and Alyson Aron, Robin Esterson, Rachel Bourne, Jeff Bloxham and others for taking some amazing pictures. If I took my own pictures, all we’d have to look at would be photos of my thumb and people with their heads cut off 🤣! Thanks to them for helping me preserve some great memories. Below are a few of the shots they took.

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