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Jamie Chadwick secures career first pole position in Indy NXT

With a stellar final run, Jamie Chadwick claimed her first ever pole position in Indy NXT at the mighty Road America circuit.

Jamie Chadwick, Andretti Autosport, Indy NXT, Road America 2024
Photo credits: Penske Entertainment / Joe Skibinski

Andretti Autosport's Jamie Chadwick has secured her career first pole position in Indy NXT with a stellar performance on Saturday at Road America.

The three-time W Series champion topped the faster qualifying Group B, beating her rivals on her final timed lap and will share the front row of the grid for tomorrow's Indy NXT by Firestone Grand Prix at Road America with teammate and compatriot Louis Foster.

Chadwick's sophomore campaign has been a massive step forward so far pace-wise, with very competitive performances in both qualifying and races - although the British driver hasn't been able to capitalize on her speed at most of the races due to unfortunate circumstances. With the third round at Indianapolis Motor Speedway being the proof of her potential, Jamie scored a maiden podium with a third place that so far represents her only top ten of the season.

Less than a week ago, she ran another strong race following her best qualifying to date and, from fourth on the grid, she was again battling in the top five before a contact caused a tyre puncture and forced her to recover from the back at the Detroit Street Circuit. Making the most of some friction in the final stages, Chadwick still bagged a P12 - but she had once again shown that she belongs among the front runners. And she was aiming to prove that again at Road America, one of the most iconic racing venues in North America.

Chadwick returns to the 6.515 km-long Wisconsin circuit after a promising run on her debut season in 2023: at Road America, Jamie had in fact recorded her highest starting position of the season, with a ninth place that highlights the massive leap forward.

The track - which Jamie considers one of her favourites - resembles some of Europe's road courses and could give Jamie an edge given her experience.

In free practice, Chadwick was soon close to the top five in FP1, as she recorded a 1:52.8924 lap that put her #28 Dallara in sixth place, just under a second to Foster. In the second practice, positions were similar, with Chadwick seventh fastest - this time with a personal best of 1:51.4234 following a significant improvement that showed promise ahead of qualifying in the afternoon.

At the scheduled time, however, a heavy rain shower forced the postponement of the session. Once the rain eased - and after the Indycar qualifying session - cars went out with Group 1 consisting of Louis Foster, Jacob Abel and Caio Collet among the others. Foster clocked the fastest lap in his group - a 1:51.0541 in the closing stages of the session once the track had already fully dried up. Abel was second fastest, 2 tenths adrift.

In Group 2, Jamie Chadwick was immediately up to fourth place after her first timed attempt; she run in the top five for most of the session - before a red flag was deployed with just over 10 minutes to go when Lindsay Brewer beached her #76 Juncos machine after a really strong run that had put her eighth fastest.

The session resumed and Reece Gold took the top spot; times dropped and Chadwick put in a 1:51.953 that was the new session benchmark - but not quite enough to beat Foster's lap from Group 1. The chequered flag fell and Gold was back on top - with Josh Pierson immediately improving to a new provisional pole. Chadwick, though, was on a roll and clocked a 01:51.0333 that not only was the fastest of her group, but also fastest overall, as she secured a historic pole position.

Jamie will in fact lead the pack on Sunday for the first time in her Indy NXT career - and she will be the first female driver to do so in the series since Pippa Mann converted pole position into race win at Kentucky Speedway in 2010. 14 years later, Jamie Chadwick - the third female pole sitter in the championship's history - will try to improve on her best finish of third.

"I'm so happy honestly", an ecstatic Chadwick said after the session. "We struggled a bit this weekend, placing balance, but when Louis [Foster] did the lap he did, I knew obviously we're gonna have a good car - and then track conditions improving", she explained.

"This was our shot, and I felt we can really make the most of this opportunity. That we did, and I'm just really happy. It's gonna be a tough day tomorrow, but I'm confident in what we can do, so I'm happy."

"I like to have the opportunity to now be racing at the front and we've been up there this year. To get a pole is beyond, but now I'm looking forward to it."

The sixth round of the season will get underway on Sunday at 1:05 PM ET.



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