Rasmussen Nearly Lost Ride During Indy NXT Title Pursuit

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Rasmussen was hours away from losing ride during Indy NXT title run

Originally from Copenhagen, Denmark, Rasmussen is gearing up for a partial season in 2024 with Ed Carpenter Racing, concentrating primarily on road and street events alongside the iconic Indianapolis 500.

His lifelong aspiration of reaching the IndyCar ranks was realized with the help of an $850,000 prize for clinching the 2023 Indy NXT title with HMD Motorsports. This victory came after an impressive campaign featuring five wins, eight podiums, 10 top-five finishes, and 13 top-10s out of 14 races.

Despite this remarkable achievement in only his second season in the top developmental category, the journey was fraught with challenges.

Rasmussen Nearly Lost Ride During Indy NXT Title Pursuit
Rasmussen Nearly Lost Ride During Indy NXT Title Pursuit (Credits: Motorsport)

“I come from a modest family background, and I’ve been fortunate to receive significant support from investors and sponsors along the way,” explained the 23-year-old Rasmussen. “However, the bulk of my funding each year has come from scholarships. Last year was particularly tough because it was the first time in a while that we didn’t have a scholarship or a sponsor to cover the full budget. We faced numerous hurdles, and on three occasions during the year, we were on the brink of losing my ride with less than 24 hours to spare. It was a tough ordeal, but we persevered, overcame the obstacles, and ultimately clinched the championship, propelling me into IndyCar.”

These challenges surfaced even before the season opener in St. Petersburg and persisted throughout the year, including a critical moment at the midway point. The most nerve-wracking instance occurred heading into the 11th round in St. Louis, despite Rasmussen’s firm grip on the overall standings as the points leader.

“I managed to navigate through those challenges with assistance from various individuals, which was incredibly uplifting and helped me push forward,” Rasmussen reflected. “My team played a pivotal role, driven by our shared ambition to secure the championship. Being in the lead certainly provided some leeway. I doubt I would have completed the season if I hadn’t been leading the championship; the pressure would have been immense.”

The collective effort not only secured Rasmussen’s entry into North America’s premier open-wheel championship but also etched his name in history alongside Kyle Kirkwood as only the second driver to claim titles at each stage of the developmental ladder leading to IndyCar—USF2000 (2020), USF Pro 2000 (2021), and Indy NXT (2023).

Now, a year after narrowly dodging financial setbacks that could have derailed his title-winning season, Rasmussen is looking ahead with renewed focus.

“It’s a huge relief to have that financial burden lifted,” he admitted. “Although there’s always pressure to perform in racing, especially in a competitive series like IndyCar, not having to worry about finances allows me to concentrate on racing, hone my skills, and strive for improvement.”

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By Jayson O'Neil

Jayson is a car-o-holic, and you will often find him writing about cars & bikes here at DaxStreet. You can reach out to him at [email protected]

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