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Razz rising – IndyCar’s latest Danish sensation takes the spotlight

Danish drivers are having quite a moment in the NTT IndyCar Series. Last week’s big news involved the signing of Denmark’s Christian Lundgaard by Arrow McLaren, winners of Sunday’s race at Mid-Ohio with team leader Pato O’Ward. In his third full season, Lundgaard has become Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s top driver and turned in another best-in-team performance for RLL with a run to seventh at the Honda Indy 200.

And while most of the Danish spotlight is cast on Lundgaard, and deservedly so, the newest Dane in the series, Ed Carpenter Racing’s Christian Rasmussen, is also making his presence felt while taking a run at Rookie of the Year honors.

For Rasmussen, the 2023 Indy NXT champion, that’s back-to-back finishes of 13th in Monterey and ninth at Mid-Ohio, who’s starting to shine for ECR at the midway point of his debut IndyCar campaign. Moreover, the 24-year-old has been the team’s first driver to reach the finish line for three races in a row, and thanks to his midseason rise in competitiveness and consistency, Rasmussen provided some sunshine during a disappointing year for ECR.

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The start to the season had more bumps and bruised than quality finishes as the rookie made plenty of mistakes, but something finally clicked for him in recent weeks. His starring effort in Mid-Ohio qualifying where Rasmussen made it inside the Firestone Fast 12 for the first time and captured ninth on the grid spoke to the talent and speed he unleashed in NXT. In the race, he kept putting those skills to work once more and took ninth, two spots shy from Lundgaard in seventh.

Holding 19th in the championship leaving Mid-Ohio, Rasmussen has used his recent form to move forward and sits directly behind 18th-place teammate Rinus VeeKay. Despite his ascension, Rasmussen’s season is winding down starting this weekend in Iowa where he’ll step aside for team owner Ed Carpenter for the remainder of the oval-heavy calendar.

Returns at Toronto later in July and once in August at Portland will cap his season, and while Rasmussen’s strong run and closing of the gap to his teammate in the standings will cease, he has every reason to celebrate how far he’s come since the first race in March.  

“Just a strong, well-executed weekend!” Rasmussen said. “It looked a little tough in practices, but we made good changes and had our best qualifying attempt with my first time in the Fast 12. I qualified P9 and I finished the race P9. It was kind of a boring race for me, but that’s what we needed.

“Just super proud of where this is headed. We have shown good pace on multiple occasions but haven’t been able to translate that into a good race result. Being able to do that today for everyone and also myself was really awesome.”

Story originally appeared on Racer