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  • Writer's pictureVIVIEN STREBELOW

Jamie Chadwick takes historic Victory in Indy NXT at Road America

It's been 14 years since the last female victory in the main IndyCar feeder series. Today, it is the story of British driver Jamie Chadwick, who survived three restarts and delivered a flawless drive to take her first career victory in Indy NXT at Road America.

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

It was a weekend for the history books in Indy NXT, as Andretti Autosport's driver Jamie Chadwick took her first pole position and converted it into a first victory in the series, 14 years after Pippa Mann's last Indy Lights win for a female driver in 2010 . Jamie is the first ever woman to win on a street or road course in the series, and is the third ever female after Pippa Mann and Bia Figueiredo (2008).

“I think that Road America is my favorite road course on the calendar", had commented Chadwick before the event, as she returned to the circuit for the second time in her career. "It’s very similar to some European tracks that I’ve raced on before, so I enjoy getting out there since it feels familiar. It was also only recently resurfaced, so it’s going to be really fast, which will make it fun to race on.”

Chadwick had already shown great pace throughout most of the season to date, but had been followed by bad luck in most rounds bar a podium finish at Indianapolis. She finally broke free from this spell this weekend at Road America, taking her maiden pole position in a busy and red-flagged qualifying session. Jamie was on a roll, clocking a 1:51.0333 lap time that was not only the fastest of her group but also the fastest overall, thus securing a historic pole position.

“I’m so happy. Honestly, we struggled a bit with chasing balance this weekend", she explained after Saturday's qualifying. "However, when Louis did the lap that he did, I knew that we were going to have a good car and that track conditions were improving. I felt that we could make the most of this opportunity. Tomorrow is not going to be easy, but I'm excited. The big picture is trying to get that win.”

It had been a long time since Pippa Mann was the last female driver to secure the best starting position, 14 years ago in 2010. Pippa put her Indy Lights car on pole three times in 2010, but always for oval races. The first female driver ever to do so was Sarah McCune in 2005 at Chicagoland Speedway. Jamie is now the third female driver to secure pole position and the first to do so on a street/road course.

On Sunday, Chadwick had one target: winning. And she indeed did an excellent job, leading from flag to flag in a challenging race with three restarts and one red flag. Chadwick survived 20 laps to take her maiden victory ahead of Louis Foster (Andretti Global) and Jacob Abel (Abel Motorsports).

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

Chadwick controlled the race from the get go, leading the field into the first corner and pulling away as Abel and Foster started to battle behind her. Abel managed to pass Foster for second before the first caution interrupted Jamie's attempt to extend her lead. Salvador de Alba (Andretti Cape) and James Roe Jr (Andretti Global) made contact at the back of the field, causing Roe to spin and collide with Kiko Porto (HMD Motorsports). De Alba continued, but Roe Jr and Porto needed assistance to return to the pits.

The restart forced Jamie into defense mode as Abel put pressure on her but couldn’t find a way around. Slightly pulling away again, she made it clear she was on a mission. However, the race wasn’t green for long as de Alba stopped on track, bringing out another caution.

On the second restart, Jamie chose the right moment to pull away while Foster and Abel were caught up in another battle, giving Jamie time to increase her lead. Foster eventually passed Abel and closed in on his teammate ahead. He attempted to take the lead but had to back off, getting involved in another battle with Abel.

Jamie led through the final stages of the race until Myles Rowe (HMD Motorsports) spun, bounced over the kerb, made contact with Jordan Missig (Abel Motorsports), and went into the gravel. The race was red-flagged to recover both cars, setting up a two-lap showdown.

The field returned to the track to complete the outlap behind the Safety Car, with Jamie leading for the third and final restart of the day. She did everything right, staying in front while Foster defended against Abel. The top three positions remained unchanged until the checkered flag, with Jamie Chadwick scoring her first victory in the Indy NXT series, once again making history in her career. Coming home in second was Foster, ahead of Abel.

“I have no words", said an emotional Chadwick in victory lane. "Honestly, I’m a bit emotional. We’ve had an unbelievable car this year and just haven’t been able to do anything about it. I’m just so happy we held on there.”

Jamie is the first-ever female driver to win an Indy NXT (formerly Indy Lights) street or road race and is the third female ever to win in the series (Mann and Figueiredo won oval races). The victory erased all the bad luck she had this season and finally put her on top of the competitive field in the main IndyCar feeder series.

The next opportunity to score big points will come at the doubleheader at Laguna Seca from June 22nd to 23rd.

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



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