I got the chance to talk to Jack Hawksworth, driver of the 77 Lucas Oil/Mazda/Curb-Agajan car for Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports in Indy Lights. He has 390 points going into the race at Auto Club Speedway, which puts him in third in the Lights championship with 35 points between him and points leader Sage Karam. Hawksworth earned wins at St. Petersburg, Toronto, and Baltimore and podiums at the Legacy Indy Lights 100 in Alabama, the Sukup 100 in Iowa, and Mid-Ohio.
Isabelle Beecy: It had to be a thrill to turn laps at IMS. Describe your emotions and thoughts when you punched it to full throttle on track.
Jack Hawksworth: Yeah driving at such a famous and well-known circuit was a lot of fun. There’s a lot of history there and it’s great to have had the chance to experience a bit of it. The track itself in an Indy Lights car though is not that challenging so I imagine it’s a little more spectacular in the big cars!
IB: How’s it like driving with Sam Schmidt Motorsports?
JH: It’s been an interesting and difficult season. We have had our ups and downs but overall I’ve enjoyed my time with the team and look forward to finishing off the season strong in Fontana.
IB: You’ve done 3rd or better in six races this season. What’s been the key to your solid success?
JH: I work hard away from the track on all aspects of my performance, alongside having a great relationship with my engineer Geoff. We prepare for the weekends meticulously and this usually allows us to be quick out of the box and set the pace for weekend. When you have prepared well and you have the abilities to go with it, that makes you a dangerous competitor.
IB: What’s been the greatest lesson that’s helped you as a driver in your career?
JH: Accepting your circumstances but always aiming to maximize the position you’re in. No matter the circumstances, the position or odds I always give 100% and fight with everything I’ve got. Win or lose this for me is the most important lesson I have ever learnt in sport and life.
IB: You’ve tested with Rahal Letterman Lanigan recently. What was that experience like?
JH: I had a fantastic day testing with RLL. It was a fantastic opportunity and I was very happy with what we accomplished and what we got done during the day. I felt comfortable with the car and team immediately and enjoyed the whole experience.
IB: Which drivers do you look up to?
JH: I always liked Michael Schumacher, he was a winner.
IB: Which songs get you pumped up before a race?
JH: I don’t usually listen to music prior to a race but my favorite pre-workout song is “You Make Me” by Avicii.