Home Featured Rasmussen was driving “at 89%” in dominant title-clinching Indy Nxt win

Rasmussen was driving “at 89%” in dominant title-clinching Indy Nxt win

by Ida Wood

Photo: Chris Owens

Christian Rasmussen says he drove “at 89%” in his dominant Indy Nxt title-clinching victory at Laguna Seca last Sunday.

The HMD Motorsports driver won the 35-lap season finale by 17.8813 seconds over rival Hunter McElrea, who had a delaminating tyre.

“It was such a team effort this year. We’ve been amazing all year long, especially here in the last part it’s been super, super strong,” said Rasmussen. “Two oval wins, street circuit win, road course wins. I can’t thank these boys enough. I made a great move from last year to this year, and I felt comfortable within the team all year.”

When asked how he tackled the finale, he added: “We were just running around and around at 89%, I would say. Hehe. We were feeling good.”

For 2024 he aims “to compete in all” IndyCar races, with the Indy Nxt title scholarship making at least a part-time seat possible. “I have nothing lined up yet, but I really hope that we can make it in like all the time next year.”

He went into more detail about his title in the end-of-event press conference.

“It’s come down to a whole season’s worth of hard work from not only me, but from everyone involved in this journey. My mechanics, my engineers, Mike [Maurini, the team’s general manager] and everyone involved in this journey,” said Rasmussen.

“First win came already at Barber and we’ve been just strong all year. Dominant on the ovals, and just been able to show how competitive the team is, how competitive our package as a team is on every occasion that we have been able to this year.”

Rasmussen reckons “we’ve proved to everyone that I’m ready to make that step” to IndyCar.

“[2022] was a good learning year for me. But coming back into the series and doing as well as we have this year really sends a point over that we’re ready to make that step.

“I couldn’t have done it without these [HMD] guys that are sitting beside me. They kept believing in me all year long and kept me in the car [after starting 2023 with an incomplete budget]. And I’m forever grateful to them for doing so. I don’t think this championship has quite sunken in yet. It is wild to think that I’ve won a championship at this level now. And second guy in history to win all three ranks of the Road to Indy is truly amazing.

“Now I just hope that we make next year happen and get a full-time IndyCar ride. I would say that that’s kind of the last step of the Road to Indy: your first year in IndyCar. Because we still have to go in and prove ourselves. But I truly believe that I’m ready for that now, and I think that we’ll have a good shot at doing so.”

He concluded by saying: “Today was just pure enjoyment, show everyone what I can do. I wanted to show you how dominant of a fashion I can do this. And I think we showed that pretty well.”