Hi- The long offseason is almost over! And, as promised in my last newsletter, and as we get closer to the first race of the season, I thought I’d send out an update on all things “Jackson Lee Racing.”
Last season was by far my most successful and important in my young career with multiple wins in F1600 and competing for a championship until an even better opportunity came along with the Team USA Scholarship in the UK.
This season I will get the chance to take another major step forward by officially joining the Road to Indy and the Cooper Tires USF2000 championship with Jay Howard Driver Development! Last year’s experience with Team USA and the experience gained on and off the track really set the stage to allow me to move up this year. I will always be grateful to Jeremy Shaw and all of the Team USA supporters for giving me the jumpstart to my professional career. Now, it’s on me to prove I was a worthy choice.
JHDD is a strong team and has proven so by winning last season’s championship. The team works well together and provides a great environment to learn and develop as a driver. I also think it’s a big benefit working with Jay – a recent INDYCAR driver and a former champion in USF2000 and Indy Lights as a driver. I’ve really enjoyed his coaching.
Over the offseason I have had a few chances to drive the car to help bridge the gap from the low grip wingless race cars I’ve driven in the past to the more powerful winged USF2000 cars. I’ve tested at NOLA Motorsports Park, Sebring International Raceway, Barber Motorsports Park, and most recently, Putnam Park. I’ve used these test days to figure out how to drive the car to the new limits allowed by the extra grip, and to begin working with the new team.
This past weekend I had a great time during my first “official” sessions in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship during the spring training test at Barber Motorsports Park as a confirmed member of the Jay Howard Driver
It was an amazing experience being in the full Road to Indy paddock as a driver for the first time. We had a very productive 3 days, beginning with media day which was filled with photo shoots, driver meetings, and interviews. The following 2 days had plenty of on-track action. It was a great opportunity to get some practice running in traffic and it was our final chance to improve the car before our first race weekend- and we did just that! I got a great feel for what different changes will do to the #8 Tnemec/Browning
Chapman/Spruce Haven Farm/Mockett Tatuus USF-17 car. I also learned more about how best to communicate with my engineer to make the car better. By the end of the day, we were able to run some good laps on old tires and we ended up 11th quick out of 23 very competitive cars.
I am super grateful for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get racing. On April 15-17, we will be back at Barber for the season opener as part of the April 18th INDYCAR opening weekend. Timing and scoring will be available on the Road to Indy app and on the website at https://www.usf2000.com/. For races, there will be a live TV broadcast (streaming) on the Road to Indy TV App, at RoadToIndy.TV, usf2000.com and live and on demand coverage on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. There will also be a broadcast available through the series’ website and on YouTube.