NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Music City Grand Prix draws an international fan-base and driver pool including 21-year-old, Danish driver Christian Lundgaard chasing the Rookie of the Year title.
Racing for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Lundgaard finished second at the IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis ahead of the Nashville race set for Sunday, August 7.
"If there is pressure that means someone knows you can do it, and you're proven you can, so I know I can. I just did it," he said. "So if it doesn't happen this weekend, it's either because I've made a mistake, or the performance hasn't been there."
In his rookie season, all the tracks are new to Lundgaard which is why he said young drivers like himself should have a leg up during the weekend.
"It's only been done once, which was last year, which is good for me as a rookie, you know, all the veterans have only been here once so it kind of equalizes a bit," he explained. "Whereas most of the tracks we've gotten to this year, they've been plenty of times and I've never been there...so I'm looking forward to it."
The 2022 Grand Prix is Lundgaard's first trip to Nashville as it is his first year racing for IndyCar after racing for Formula 2 (F2) in Europe.
"The most important thing is that you enjoy what you're doing. And at the moment I'm enjoying it a lot, a lot more than I did back in Europe," Lundgaard said. "And just seeing the difference from Europe to here. I like it a lot more here because it's more about the racing and it's about the politics...it's about who wins."
Like most drivers, he grew up racing go karts.
"My dad used to race. My brother and my bigger brother and I, we started go-karting back in Europe," Lundgaard explained. "I fell in love with the sport. Then you race in Europe and you need to be in the right car at the right time to have the right opportunities. Here, you jump in whatever card you have an opportunity and that's like karting. You race, everywhere, every day, you have fun and you enjoy. But also off track, America is just more relaxed and that's what I like [it] because in Europe there's so much pressure. Everyone wants you to do this and do that."
Lundgaard explained that they want you to do that in America, but in a different way.
"I think this race is the perfect race for the spectators just because it's so packed. It's good racing. It's chaotic and I think that's what fans want to see," he said. "Obviously we want to stay safe and have a good race and get the best result we can. But we also want to give a good experience for the fans and I think for sure this event will be one of the better events fans."
He said he hopes the fans enjoy the event and hopes to enjoy the city after Sunday's big race.
"This city is so energized and they stay energized, which I was very surprised about. I'm sure I'll see some cities quite the opposite. But obviously, I hope to have something to celebrate on Sunday night."