Meet Our Champions: Mikey Jackson (Limited Sportsman Division)
Driver: Mikey Jackson
Nickname: Action Jackson
Hometown: Amsterdam, NY
Date of Birth: November 7th
Car Number: 11H
Division: Limited Sportsman
Married/Single: Married (Wife: Alexandra)
Favorite Food: Prime Rib
Hobbies/Interests Outside Racing: Business, Grilling, Hanging out with Family and Friends
Started Racing: Part Time in 2011
Career Accomplishments: 2017 Glen Ridge Motorsports Park Track Champion, All-Time Limited Sportsman Division Win Leader at GRMP..
Crew Members: Crew Chief: Aiden Shaffer, Harry Shaffer II, Shelly Shaffer, Ben Shaffer, Zach Dufel, Mike RImmer, Timmy Yaggle, and Micky.
Sponsor(s): Pro-Tech Scale Service, Sampson Motor Car, Kelly’s Imperial Bowling Center, Swagger Factory Apparel, Winner’s Circle, Regional Animal Shelter.
How did you get started in racing?
Began working on my brother’s (Harry) race cars in late 1995, learned every aspect of the sport, maintaining and building cars for our team and Howard Gage’s amongst others before jumping into it in 2011 myself.
Who was your favorite driver growing up?
Jimmy Horton/Jeff Trombley/Mike Romano
Who is your biggest influence in your racing career?
My Father and Brother Harry. What they did not teach me, they provided the opportunities to learn.
What is your least favorite moment in your racing career?
Wrecking. Any time… Wrecking sucks. In 2007, I tried driving my brother’s Big block at the Ridge, my now wife’s first time at a race track. After passing a car in my heat race, I thought I would pass them all… Instead, I flipped 12-13 times off of turn 1. Thank Heavens for Terri and the track crew- not only did we lose a car, I was blind for about 12 hours.
Who would you consider your biggest rival (past or present)?
Who challenges you to be a better driver on and off the track?
Spending two seasons, while they are four years apart, driving the same car and set up as my brother Harry, creates the most challenging atmosphere during the week and in the pits. If he turns a quick lap in practice, heat, or feature; My entire effort becomes trying to not only meet, but beat that speed. Making mistakes on the track instantly becomes fodder for roasting each other and our crew the next day in the shop.
If you could absorb knowledge from one legend in the sport, who would it be and what would you like to learn from them?
Locally, I have been blessed to learn from some of the true greats in the sport. Like many of us, I have had a chance to bounce things off the likes of Jack Johnson and Mike Romano to name a couple; I always listen close when I have the opportunity to hear how Ronnie Johnson mentally prepares himself for competition. In overall motorsports however, I’d say Alan Kulwicki- being a true independent in this sport is not only hard but discouraging at times… Overcoming that to become a champion on the biggest stage- he had the blueprint. I’d give almost anything to spend a day picking his brain!
Did you ever compete in any other sport and how did you do?
I was a nasty defensive end before giving football up for racing… Other than that, I dare you to challenge me to a game of beer pong at SDW.
Looking back on this past season how do you feel it went and did you meet your goals?
I had ZERO plans of racing in 2017, the priority was to get both our Fonda and Ridge programs to victory lane with my brother. Having a chance to share our Ridge program with him was an opportunity that was a lot of fun in 2012. Last spring, I wanted to put together a program for myself in 2018, so it was an opportunity to knock the rust off and continue learning after 4 seasons off. I wanted to win races, and being a champion at any level is an serious accomplishment. With that said, after struggling, I’d say we met and exceeded our goals.
They say good drivers set achievable goals each season. What are your racing goals for 2018?
We have already began preparations with a new crate engine and 2016 Teo Pro Car to compete at the local tracks and hopefully the KOD Series. Goals are simple, Out work, Out Prepare, Get into all the shows, and finish.
If you could say some words of encouragement to your fans, what would they be?
The same thing my dad taught me holds true for racing and life. Work. Never be afraid of work. You have to work to be better than the next dude, you have to work to stay ahead of him. When the bottom falls out, the only way to get back on top is to work- Just never give up on what is most important to you, that may be racing, family, business, school, your relationships with others, and your goals. No one can take away the work you put in. The best, most rewarding things in my life have been acquired with work ethic, effort, energy, attitude, passion, and being prepared for success- none of those things have required talent or money.