Jay Howard Driver Development’s (JHDD) Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship team, along with Christian Rasmussen, proved once again that they are the in-form partnership on the Road to Indy with a win and second-place finish in the season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Rasmussen, along with rookie Christian Bogle and freshly promoted Wyatt Brichacek from the team’s F4 stable, all enjoyed positive outings at the historic circuit. It was not without incident, however, as Rasmussen endured a frustrating gearbox and engine failure during second qualifying that compromised his grid position for Race Two.
Race One on Saturday afternoon saw a fired-up Rasmussen storm past Hunter McElrea at the start, before passing Braden Eves for the lead on lap three and setting off into the distance to secure his third win of the season in commanding fashion. Brichacek enjoyed a stunning series debut with a fine drive to eight position, with Bogle rounding out the JHDD squad in 18th.
Sunday morning’s race, the final outing of the 2019 season, was another exciting affair with Rasmussen once again involved in the thick of the action. After his problems in qualifying, the young Dane charged through the field from his 10th place grid spot and was battling for the lead with Braden Eves by lap 12. The two enjoyed a titanic fight, with Eves robustly defending his championship challenge and Rasmussen pushing for yet another victory. It was not quite enough, however, and Rasmussen rounded off his season as the in-form driver of the series with yet another podium finish. Bogle continued to show his recent improvement of late by not only showing faster lap times but coming through the field to secure P14 with some solid passes. Brichacek was enjoying another positive outing on his debut Road to Indy weekend, but a racing incident at half distance compromised his chances of another Top-10 finish.
Team owner Jay Howard was naturally delighted not only with his team’s event performance but also with the season as a whole.
“What can I say about this group. Another sensational performance from (Christian) Rasmussen who really is on fire right now. Christian (Bogle) is starting to understand what it takes to be fast in a USF2000 car, and I’m excited to take this momentum into the off-season. Wyatt (Brichacek) also had a fantastic debut with us, so overall, another positive outing for us as a team. A huge thank you to the guys who worked miracles to get Rasmussen’s car back together after the dramas of qualifying. I don’t have enough words to describe the effort everyone has put in to make our debut season on the Road to Indy such a positive one. I can’t wait for next year, and we will be gunning for the championship”.Team owner Jay Howard
Rasmussen finished the season in 3rd place.
Finished up the last race here at Laguna Seca. I had to start the race from P10 due to engine failure in Qualifying #2. I managed to get up and finish with a second place and I am very, very happy with that. It was a good race and we had very good battles with both the Cape cars and the Pabst Racing ones as well. It was a very cool race, a very hard race as well; the hardest race that I’ve ever done. Looking back at the season, the second part has been very good for us. Hopefully we can be back next year and battle for the championship. Very happy finishing the season with a 3rd place in the championship, even though the start of the season wasn’t as strong as the end. I’m very happy to finish the season with a win and a second place.#6 Christian Rasmussen
Round 14 – P1; Round 15 – P2
Overall a first good race weekend on the Road to Indy in the USF2000 car with JHDD. Started off struggling in practice but quickly got adapted to the car and the track. I qualified P8 in my first USF2000 Qualifying. I was able to finish P8 in the race as well, so overall, an excellent start to my Road to Indy career.#5 Wyatt Brichacek
Round 14 – P8; Round 15 – P18
Just finished up the final race weekend for USF2000 here at Laguna Seca. I ended up finishing off the weekend pretty strongly by finishing the final race in P14. I did end up spinning on the first lap but was able to make the positions back up. I had a really strong season and I am really happy with the results. I’m ready to get out there for 2020 and see what I can do.#7 Christian Bogle
Round 14 – P18; Round 15 – P14
Next up for the JHDD Cooper Tires USF2000 team is the Chris Griffis Memorial test on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway October 19th and 20th. Drivers seeking opportunities with the race winning USF2000 outfit are welcome to contact the team.
— Jay Howard Driver Development Media – Photo: Road to Indy Media