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Fourth consecutive Top-10 finish for Jamie Chadwick in IndyNXT

"I’m happy with where we ended up, but I also think there's a lot more potential there" – Jamie Chadwick raced to another top ten in IndyNXT – her fourth consecutive so far – at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, moving up two positions in the championship standings.

Jamie Chadwick, Indianapolis Road Course, IndyNXT
Photo credits: Penske Entertainment / James Black

Just a few days after her strongest result of the season so far, Jamie Chadwick was back behind the wheel of the #28 DHL-sponsored Andretti Autosport Dallara for the tenth round of the 2023 IndyNXT championship, ready to carry momentum from the previous rounds.

Teams had to deal with a very compressed weekend format at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course: supporting Indycar and NASCAR, IndyNXT practice, qualifying and race were all contested on Friday, at the series' second visit to the track this year.

This represented an opportunity for drivers to build upon the work done in May. Chadwick, in her first season Stateside, adapted rather quickly to the significantly higher-powered IndyNXT machinery compared to the Formula Regional car which she had driven in FRECA as well as W Series; once up to speed, she was able to close in on the top ten at several rounds, despite her limited knowledge of the tracks.

Jamie had a positive third round at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – especially in the second half of the race where she found pace in the closing stages having managed her tyres perfectly and made passes to move up the order.

Having broken into the top 10 for the first time at Mid Ohio, something definitely clicked and Chadwick continued to run in the top half of the grid throughout the following race meetings.

On a top-10 streak that includes a road course, an oval – at her very first experience in this form of racing – and a street circuit only last weekend, Jamie started off the one-day race meeting with a highly positive practice at IMS. She ran high as sixth, ultimately finishing P14 after she couldn't improve in the final minutes. But what the first session highlighted was clearly the potential to once again battle well within the top ten.

Chadwick proved that in qualifying, where the #28 Andretti Autosport DHL machine qualified for the second time of the season in the top 10, just 6 thousandths of a second behind championship leader Christian Rasmussen – the latter coming off two consecutive wins.

Hunter McElrea (Andretti Autosport) secured his first pole position, edging James Roe and Kyffin Simpson by a little over 3 tenths of a second, while Louise Foster and Reece Gold completed the top five.

The New Zealander pole sitter had the upper hand at the start, while Roe was surprised by Foster at the end of the first lap, as the Englishman advanced to second place. From P10 on the grid, Chadwick had a good getaway and fought in the midfield, then temporarily dropped to eleventh behind Victor Franzoni at the fast turn 5 and 6 chicane. Jamie would soon claim back her position once Franzoni fell behind Frost and Porto as well.

Chadwick followed Josh Pierson for most of the first part of the race, around one second behind the HDM Motorsports driver while at the same time keeping a safe gap to Danial Frost behind.

Ahead, once Foster had cleared Roe, he chased and caught up with Andretti Autosport teammate McElrea, but struggled to find a clear opportunity to pass.

On lap 10, Victor Franzoni was off at turn 1 after a front suspension failure, but the race remained green as the Juncos Racing driver safely parked in the run-off well outside of turn 1.

Jamie Chadwick, Indianapolis Road Course, IndyNXT
Photo credits: Penske Entertainment/ Dana Garrett

The midfield remained very compact throughout the race and drivers from P6 to P13 ran at a close distance: Chadwick managed her pace, her tyres and push to passes – anticipating a caution which would not come, even when Jagger Jones slowed down and then retired with mechanical issues.

With 13 laps to go, Foster was as close as ever to McElrea, but the latter held on. A few laps later, Foster saw a gap and dived in, but ended up making contact and picked up front left suspension damage. Foster initially continued, but then had to pit and retire.

In the final ten minutes, the race came alive for the remaining positions in the top 10: Chadwick's tyre saving skills meant that the British driver could put pressure on Pierson, in a six-car train that also included Simpson, Siegel and Rasmussen ahead.

As Jamie was trying to find a way past Pierson, Frost was making up positions and climbed up to seventh. Chadwick kept tenth after Foster's retirement – then attacked Pierson and Siegel, but had to defend from Porto.

With three laps to go, Jamie went for a move at turn 12 on Siegel but went deep and lost one more place to Porto. Nevertheless, she had a fast car in the closing stages and quickly closed up again on Siegel, eventually passing him on the final lap.

The tenth place finish means that Jamie Chadwick keeps the top-10 streak alive, now at her fourth consecutive race.

"I’m feeling a bit frustrated after today", Jamie commented after the race. "I think our car was definitely capable of being a lot further up. Then I just made a couple too many mistakes, but we still fought all the way and somehow snuck into the top 10."

"I’m happy with where we ended up, but I also think there's a lot more potential there", she summed up. "So, I’m a little bit disappointed, but still really happy for the team. I think we had a great car this weekend."

The uninterrupted 35 lap race saw no lead changes, but Hunter McElrea had to survive a late charge by James Roe to win his first race in the series.

With four consecutive highly positive weekends, Jamie Chadwick further climbed the championship order, gaining two spots in the standings. In just over a week, she moved from P17 to P12, now having collected 183 points – only 11 points behind Rasmus Lindh.

Jamie is now the fourth rookie in the standings, and her progression suggests that she might be on the doorsteps of a breakthrough performance. Next up is going to be the second and final oval race of the year, where Chadwick will have the chance to build upon her positive experience at Iowa, now tackling World Wide Technology Raceway on August 26th. Portland and Laguna Seca will host the final three races – with the final round being a double header.



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