Two of the racing circuit’s youngest drivers trained at Radford Racing School. Brent Crews, age 14, is the youngest winner ever of the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli and has shown his racing chops at the TA2 event at Road America. Brent is a graduate of Radford’s two-day F4 intro and advanced courses. His instructor was Danny Bullock.
Jace Denmark, 18, took first at Toronto USF200 and won at Road America in race 1 of USF2000. He trained at and is sponsored by Radford Racing School. Jace graduated from Radford’s Advanced Road Racing course, instructed by Rob Knipe.
Why did you choose to train at Radford Racing School?
Brent: Coming from karts we wanted to get some laps and instruction from people who teach every day and are not on a race team.
Jace: I choose Radford for their incredible staff and equipment. Every aspect of the school is to the highest standards and it makes for an incredible experience for drivers at any level.
What were your goals and objectives for instruction at RRS?
Brent: We were trying to figure out what to race this year and the F4 school seemed like the best place to try an open wheel car. We ended up learning a whole bunch more.
Jace: My goals were to learn as much as I could about car control and track learning. Their top-tier instructors have passed on their knowledge accurately and to the point.
What did you learn from your time at RRS?
Brent: Understating the platform of a car with suspension was big, and also how far to keep my eyes ahead were huge.
Jace: My biggest gains from Radford were being able to feel the car as an extension of myself and being able to position and control the vehicle exactly how I’d like.
How are you using what you learned at RRS when racing?
Brent: Keeping the suspension loaded and what to do in understeer and oversteer situations plus where to keep my eyes. This is stuff that race teams don’t really explain because I guess everyone just thinks, since you’ve been racing and winning, that what you do works.
Jace: Each time I get in any car, I utilize tools and skills learned at Radford. Being able to have the spatial awareness that Radford teaches in a racecar is vital to a solid race.
Tell us about the Radford instructors who trained you.
Brent: I liked being at the school because I could ask whatever questions I wanted. Danny (Bullock, Radford’s chief instructor) figured out pretty quick that I was not a typical student and adjusted what we did in the car to my level. I remember him telling me that he was working at the school when Tony Stewart came to learn how to road race cars and it made me realize that everyone can always use a good coach.
Jace: Every instructor I worked with at Radford was able to accurately describe what reactions the car was having to my inputs. Their amicable nature towards wanting to help people see through the problem is special and is a beautiful standard at Radford. Any racer trying to improve their skills should look into Radford as a way to grow. The value of having an instructor on a technical track with quality equipment at Radford is unmatched.
What’s your advice for racers wanting to hone their skills?
Brent: If you are coming from karts to cars and want to understand how cars and racing with suspension works, you can learn a lot at Radford. Plus, being able to drive without a team trying to tell you how great you are and all that stuff that always happens when someone is trying to get you to write a check, was really nice…to just relax and try to focus on driving and understanding what to do.
Would you recommend RRS to others?
Brent: Yes! I tell my friends still in karts that I would go again in a second!
Jace: I would recommend Radford to others wanting to hone their skills and grow their “toolbox” in any aspect. The experience you gain from driving top equipment on a newly paved, technical track is a rare opportunity for many and should be taken advantage of.