The 23-year-old Dane picked up 5 wins – together with each oval races at Iowa and Illinois – and three additional podiums, plus 5 pole positions from his second season within the championship beforehand often known as Indy Lights. He solely completed exterior the highest 10 as soon as in 14 begins, after a crash at Highway America.
Possibly no efficiency was extra spectacular, although, than how the HMD Motorsports driver concluded his profession within the developmental class, profitable by nearly 18s over title rival Hunter McElrea final Sunday at Laguna Seca. In capturing the title, Rasmussen joined Andretti IndyCar race winner Kirkwood as the one drivers to win championships in USF2000, USF Professional 2000 and Indy NXT – previously often known as the Highway to Indy.
“I do not suppose it has sunken in but,” stated Rasmussen, who has additionally made three LMP2 appearances within the IMSA SportsCar Championship this season with Period Motorsports.
“However yeah, it is come right down to a complete season’s price of onerous work, from not solely me however from everybody concerned. My mechanics, my engineers, Mike [Maurini, general manager for HMD], everybody concerned on this journey.
“It has been wonderful, we have had an excellent good yr. We have been sturdy from the beginning, first win got here already in Barber [at round two].
“We have been sturdy all yr, clearly dominant on the ovals. Simply been capable of present how aggressive the staff is, how aggressive our bundle as a staff is each time that we’ve got been capable of this yr.”
There have been some unknowns coming into this yr. As a rookie final season with Andretti Autosport, Rasmussen claimed two wins, three additional podiums and one pole, however appeared erratic at occasions and failed to shut out races.
Rasmussen gained the second spherical at Barber and by no means appeared again afterwards
Picture by: IndyCar Sequence
Rasmussen make the change over the offseason to drive for the HMD staff that took new Chip Ganassi Racing IndyCar driver Lundqvist to the 2022 title. Mike Maurini knew there was loads of expertise in Rasmussen, however the reins wanted to be pulled again to maximise it.
“We seen it final yr really when he was racing with a special programme and he was having a little bit little bit of ending points with some crashes and stuff like that,” Maurini stated.
“It I believe we have accomplished a superb job of slowing folks right down to go faster and that is what we wanted to do with him. We did our preseason testing. We had just a few offs right here and there however nothing too main.
“He did have a problem at Barber on our third lap, mainly stated we can’t do this anymore. And we simply progressed from there to be sure that he was good, easy and never making many errors.
“At Highway America there was a problem, however it was it was a results of one thing that occurred earlier within the race when he ended up crashing; that was no fault of his.”
Wanting ahead, the long-awaited dream of being in IndyCar is the one factor forward in Rasmussen’s development.
“I believe it has been a very long time coming,” stated Rasmussen, who started his US racing journey in System 4 in 2018, earlier than graduating to USF2000 the next season and profitable it in 2021. “We have proved to everybody that I am able to make that step now.
A dominant drive within the Laguna Seca finale secured Rasmussen a title he’d led for all however three rounds in 2023
Picture by: IndyCar Sequence
“My final yr, it was a superb studying yr for me. However coming again into the collection and doing in addition to we’ve got this yr actually units a degree over that we’re able to make that step.
“I could not have accomplished it with out these guys which might be sitting beside me [Mauini, Daiva and Henry Malukas]. They stored believing in me all yr lengthy and stored me within the automobile. I am without end grateful to them for doing so.
“Now I simply hope that we make subsequent yr occur, get a full-time IndyCar trip. I’d say that is sort of the final step of the Highway to Indy; your first yr in IndyCar, as a result of we nonetheless should go in and show ourselves.
“I really imagine I am prepared for that now, and I believe we’ll have a superb shot at doing so.”