Rasmussen, JHDD Continue Winning Ways at Lucas Oil Raceway
 May 31, 2021| 
  • Team News
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Indianapolis, Ind. – Christian Rasmussen and Jay Howard Driver Development (JHDD) once again proved to be an unbeatable combination in Indianapolis, winning the Cooper Tires Freedom 90 at Lucas Oil Raceway for what was Round Eight of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

With the event having been delayed by poor weather on Friday evening, green flag action eventually got underway on Saturday morning where Rasmussen won an enthralling encounter after a race long battle with Reece Gold. The key moment came on Lap 78 where Rasmussen caught Gold in traffic and made a brave move stick having run side-by-side for multiple laps. Teammate Wyatt Brichacek rebounded from technical issues in practice and qualifying to score another Top 10 finish to underline another strong performance for the JHDD Indy Pro 2000 squad.

The JHDD Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship team also had to brave the difficult conditions, but local boy Jackson Lee put in a spirited display throughout the event, showing continuous improvement and furthering his reputation as an up-and-coming rookie on the Road to Indy. Bijoy Garg had to battle a technical issue which compromised his practice on Thursday afternoon, while Peter Vodanovich made his first appearance on an oval and was able to bag valuable experience.

“It wasn’t the most straightforward event thanks to the conditions, but it was great to be back on oval in May,” commented team owner Jay Howard. “Rasmussen put on a stunning display again and has now moved into the championship lead. I’m so happy for him and the team who have been putting in a lot of work as we continue to adapt to life in Indy Pro 2000. Wyatt had some unfortunate issues earlier on in the week but bounced back strong today and bagged some great experience. On the USF2000 front, I thought Jackson Lee equipped himself well once again and showed great progression throughout the event. Peter also grabbed some vital experience, as did Bijoy on his first oval event despite having to battle some issues in practice. Have to say a big thank you to all of the boys for braving out the tough conditions on Friday night, and then turning up strong this morning very much ready to go. Looking forward to Road America.”

WHAT THE USF2000 DRIVERS SAID:

#6 Bijoy Garg

Round 8 – P20
“It was a challenging weekend here at Lucas Oil, especially with the technical issues we suffered in practice. I feel like I recovered well from that and did the best I could in difficult circumstances. Definitely looking forward to heading back to Road America in a couple of weeks.”

#8 Jackson Lee
Round 8 – P17
“I’m happy with my first oval event in the USF2000 car. I got faster every session and learned every time I was on track. I am super excited to try again next year to compete for a win. On to Road America. A track where, for the first time this year, I have some experience. I can’t wait to see what I can do! Super proud of all the hard work the boys put in to give me a car that I can learn with and get better.”

#9 Peter Vodanovich
Round 8 – P23
“Really happy to get my first oval race under my belt. Struggled for pace but I’ve learnt a lot and know where to work on to improve. Focus is now on bringing my A game for Road America! Big thanks to the JHDD team for their hard work and the continued support of my sponsors.”

WHAT THE INDY PRO 2000 DRIVERS SAID:

#1 Christian Rasmussen
Round 8 – P1

“What a race! This means a lot. I think the lessons learned about patience from driving USF2000 last year are really paying off now on the next level. Early on I just tried to maintain the gap to Reece since it’s so hard to pass here – knowing opportunities would come my way as we would come into lapped traffic. We got a chance with the back-markers, and I was able to make a pass stick. It was a great run and it’s a great feeling, even more so since I have the championship lead again. It was hard to figure out the setup with changing conditions over the weekend, but the JHDD crew managed to give me a competitive car, which I am grateful for. A bit tricky, but we pulled it off. Now we shift focus towards Road America which is coming up in a couple of weeks.”

#5 Wyatt Brichacek
Round 8 – P10

“Just finished up a bit of an odd weekend at Lucas Oil. We were way down on power in the practices and qualifying which put us on the back foot. Luckily we found the speed for the race , it was just a little to late. Felt like I improved my driving over the weekend and worked with what I was given. On to Road America”
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