Jack Hawksworth proved his worth in Houston this past weekend.
When Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) decided to hire British rookie Jack Hawksworth as their Verizon IndyCar Series driver for the 2014 season, there were a lot of people scratching their heads, wondering why.
Still Bryan Herta and Steve Newey thought they had a gem in the rough. Turns out they were right.
Hawksworth started showing his mettle in the first race of the year at St Petersburg, running with the big dogs before having his day ruined in a restart pileup. He also had issues that relegated him to a 15th place result in Long Beach (despite running extremely well), finished 12th and on the lead lap at Barber and led 31 laps at the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis before being relegated to 7th at the close, due to miscommunications.
It’s been some time coming for Hawksworth, but trust me - this won’t be the last we see of J-Hawks at the fast end of the IndyCar field. The fact that this kid ran from last place, 23rd, on Sunday at Houston to finish third, keeping Montoya behind him for a scintillating four laps toward the end was enough to make quite a few Indy car aficionados take notice.
Jack Hawkworth’s balance of the season might not be as great as this weekend’s results indicated - or it could be better. He’s still got some work to do on his oval prowess in the No. 98 Honda/Dallara/Firestone Indy car, but this, too, will come with time.
That this 23-year-old is nonplussed about battling with veterans that have a heck of a lot more track time than he is to his benefit. Fear has no place in major modern racing. And Jack Hawksworth belongs in this series because he fears no one.