Jamie Chadwick Makes History With Victory At Road America In INDY NXT

Elkhart Lake, WI - during the XPEL Grand Prix at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo by Joe Skibinski | IMS Photo)
Elkhart Lake, WI - during the XPEL Grand Prix at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo by Joe Skibinski | IMS Photo)

Jamie Chadwick etched her name in the annals of racing history by becoming the first woman to win an INDY NXT by Firestone race since 2010. Driving the No. 28 VEXT car for Andretti Global, Chadwick led all 20 laps from the pole position to clinch victory in the Grand Prix of Road America, marking a significant milestone as only the third female driver to win in the INDYCAR development series.

“I have no words,” Chadwick said. “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.”

Chadwick’s triumph is the first for a female driver in INDY NXT on a road or street course, following in the footsteps of Ana Beatriz and Pippa Mann, who won on oval tracks in 2008, 2009, and 2010, respectively.

Elkhart Lake, WI – during the XPEL Grand Prix at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo by Joe Skibinski | IMS Photo)

Chadwick’s stellar performance saw her finishing .8203 seconds ahead of her Andretti Global teammate Louis Foster in the No. 26 Copart/Novara Technologies car. Foster managed to hold off series leader Jacob Abel by just .0236 seconds, a finish that significantly cut into Abel’s championship lead, which now stands at 19 points over Foster.

“Massive congratulations to Jamie,” Foster said. “She’s done an amazing job. She was the woman to beat this weekend. Really, really fast. More than happy for the team. One-two, you can’t ask for anything more.”

Reece Gold achieved a season-best fourth place in the No. 10 HMD Motorsports car, while HMD teammate Caio Collet finished fifth, securing the top spot among rookies.

The victory wasn’t an easy feat for Chadwick, who is in her second INDY NXT season after dominating the European-based, all-female W Series with three championships. Despite starting from pole, Chadwick faced immediate pressure from Abel, who jumped from fourth to second place at the start. Chadwick maintained a lead of about seven-tenths of a second through two caution periods in the first half of the race.

The race saw further drama when Foster overtook Abel on Lap 13, briefly giving Chadwick a 1.3-second breathing space. However, Foster quickly closed the gap, and the two teammates battled fiercely for the lead.

Foster and Abel’s continued duel for second place allowed Chadwick to maintain a seven-tenths of a second lead. A spin by series rookie Myles Rowe on Lap 16, which also involved Jordan Missig, led to a red flag to ensure a green-flag finish.

Chadwick handled the pressure admirably during the two-lap dash to the checkered flag, building a lead and securing her historic win.

“With the red flag at the end, I was like, ‘Come on,’” Chadwick said. “We started to lose the tires a little bit. So, I just knew I had to be aggressive. I knew they (Foster and Abel) have a championship to worry about, and I just had to get my head down. I really wanted to win today.”

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