Photography by Robert Nelson
Lawson Aschenbach: the Speed Demon
Growing up with two brothers in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Lawson Aschenbach was a self-proclaimed “motorhead” who spent his childhood on anything with wheels—dirt bikes, four-wheelers, go-karts. Not surprisingly, he went on to become a national champion go-kart racer, began open-wheel racing at age 16, placed in his first professional race in 2005, and won the 2006 SPEED GT championship during his rookie season. In total, he has 28 race wins under his belt and is now sponsored by the Stevenson Automotive Group, competing in at least 20 races a year around North America. Aschenbach moved to South Florida 10 years ago (after graduating from Vanderbilt University with a double major in mathematics and engineering) and lives in Palm Beach Gardens with his wife, party planner Beth Beattie, and their 5-month-old daughter, Grace. In his spare time, he works to raise awareness for Crohn’s disease, which he was diagnosed with three years ago.
Career aspirations: To win an International Motor Sports Association championship and run the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Fastest speed: In the high 180s. [But I] drive like an old man on the street. Cruise control is my best friend.
Road music: Lately, it’s been country. I really like the Zac Brown Band.
Why he likes racing in the rain: They call it the great equalizer. In our sport, there are so many different cars, and different cars mean different attributes. [But] when you get into the rain, a lot of that stuff gets thrown away.
Secret weapon: I’m a big believer in visualization. In my mind, there’s no better way to be in a focused, clear, driven mind-set than when you can visualize that lap and what you’re going to do with the car.
Off the track: I really enjoy playing golf. My wife and I just became members of the Loxahatchee Club in Jupiter.
Favorite movie: Man on Fire.
On crossing the finish line first: When all the hard work, dedication, and preparation accumulate to a win, it validates everything you’re doing, and it gives you such a great sense of relief and excitement. You crave it again.