Ryan Newman takes Sprint Cup pole at New Hampshire

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The “Rocketman” returned today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, as Ryan Newman secured his second pole of the season for Sunday’s Sylvania 300 – the second race of the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Newman, who sits eighth in the championship after finishing 10th last weekend in the post-season opener at Chicagoland Speedway, whipped around NHMS in track-record lap of 136.497 miles per hour.

“I’ve sat in here several times and probably on at least six other occasions, and said this was the birth place of track position,” Newman said on Friday afternoon. “And I strongly feel that it is in qualifying well and having that number one pit stall at the start of the race up front in clean air and all the things that go along with it.

“More important is the confidence to know that you have the fastest race car or at least can make it the fastest race car.”

Newman’s lap was enough to top the best from fellow Chaser and Chevy pilot Kasey Kahne, who turned in a time of 136.082 mph that was good enough for the outside of the front row.

Chase contenders will take up eight of the Top 10 starting positions for Sunday’s event. In addition to Newman and Kahne on Row 1, Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch will line up on Row 2. Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick start on the outside of Row 3 and 4 respectively, and Row 5 features last week’s winner and Chase leader Matt Kenseth as well as Greg Biffle.

The two lone non-Chase drivers in the first five rows are Martin Truex Jr. in P5 and Paul Menard in P7.

As for the other Chasers, Jimmie Johnson qualified 11th; Kyle Busch in 12th; Clint Bowyer in 16th; Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 17th; and Carl Edwards in 26th.

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.