Mooresville woman wins Miss North Carolina for America crown

Mooresville woman wins Miss North Carolina for America crown

Competition is nothing new for Jacklyn Drake.


Jacklyn Drake was crowned Miss North Carolina USA on May 5.

Photo used with permission.

He has been competing since he was 6 years old, although in a completely different arena than his last event.

As a child, she raced everything from go-karts to midget cars and took home many trophies.


Jacklyn Drake celebrates after her victory in the Miss North Carolina for America pageant.

photo used with permission

Her last competition, however, was in the Miss North Carolina for America pageant, but just like in her racing career, she emerged the winner and took the state crown.


Jacklyn Drake working as a reporter.

Drake, who lives in Mooresville, will now move on to the national pageant in August.

Winning a pageant title and wearing a crown wasn’t something that entertained him about a year ago.


Jacklyn Drake on pit road at a race.

“It never even crossed my mind to participate in a contest,” he said. Although he was no longer behind the wheel, racing was still his passion. Drake works as a NASCAR reporter.

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But when she was asked to compete in the Miss North Carolina for America pageant, she decided to take the step.

“I decided I was going to try it,” he said.


Jacklyn Drake interviews a driver.

Drake said she entered the contest hoping to win, but was grateful for the experience she gained. And just like her racing days, she said, she made a lot of friends along the way.

She approached preparing for the contest the same way she does her job as a reporter. Drake said she read and prepared for the interview portion of the contest. The interview portion consisted of answering a question from each of the five judges individually and then answering a question on stage.


Jacklyn Drake reports on a run.

Despite her career of speaking in front of a camera, she said answering a question on stage in front of the judges and audience was a different story. “I was very nervous,” she said.

When her name was announced as the winner, Drake said, she was shocked and her emotions became apparent. “She was crying,” she said. “I never expected it.”


Jacklyn Drake at the wheel.

Originally from Texas, Drake was the daughter of parents involved in the racing industry, so it seemed like a natural leap for her to compete in that arena. She raced on six different tracks and was successful at all of them, she said. “We won over 300 races,” she said. “It was fun.”

After graduating from college, Drake knew he wanted to continue being a part of the racing business in some capacity. That led to a move to Mooresville and eventually to her current position as a NASCAR reporter.


Jacklyn Drake competes in a race.

Juggling her work responsibilities and her new role as America’s Miss North Carolina is daunting, but Drake approaches both equally. “I’m an organized person,” she said. She has a color-coded calendar on her phone, with her work assignments in one color and her appearances as Miss North Carolina USA in another.

The support of your coworkers is also an important factor when juggling your dual role. “They have been very supportive,” she said. “It makes you feel very loved.”


Jacklyn Drake prepared for a race.

Drake said that in her role as Miss North Carolina for America, she is returning that love and support through her favorite project: encouraging reading. She is collecting books to put in the hands of children who may not have easy access to them. Her next book drive is scheduled for Saturday at Josh’s Farmer’s Market, 630 Brawley School Road, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The next few weeks will be spent preparing for the national pageant in Las Vegas, he said.


Jacklyn Drake during the Miss North Carolina for America competition.

Fortunately, when she found out the contest dates, she checked her color-coded calendar and discovered that the dates were the two weekends she wasn’t working as a reporter.

The most important lesson she learned from entering the pageant, she said, is to believe in yourself.

And no matter what happens in Las Vegas in August, she said, she is thrilled to represent Mooresville and North Carolina. “I just want to represent these people very well,” she said.