NASCAR names Brent Dewar as new COO

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NASCAR has announced details of an executive restructuring, with former General Motors executive Brent Dewar being named as its new chief operating officer.

Additionally, NASCAR has promoted three members of its executive management. Steve Phelps (senior vice president and chief marketing officer) and Steve O’Donnell (senior vice president of racing operations) have both been elevated to executive vice president, while Gary Crotty (general counsel) has been made chief legal officer.

Dewar spent almost three decades within General Motors and took on many assignments in his tenure there, ranging from global marketing and motorsports/sales operations for multiple brands.

His final assignment at GM was as senior vice president for Global Chevrolet, and he has spent time recently as a consultant for NASCAR on its drive to transform the competition aspect in the areas of rules, penalties, officiating and inspecting.

“In Brent Dewar, we will add a seasoned leader with deep experience in the automotive sector, plus intimate knowledge of and passion for NASCAR as well as various other forms of motorsports,” NASCAR CEO Brian France said in a statement.

“Brent brings creativity, drive, intelligence, operational acumen and a clear understanding of our assets and challenges to NASCAR. He’s a leader who’s naturally collaborative, an essential trait as we work more closely with the OEMs, teams, tracks, broadcast partners and others to grow the sport over the next decade.”

Nate Ryan of USA Today also reports that Dewar was instrumental in GM’s adaptation to digital and social media, as well as the company’s emphasis on green technology.

In an interview with Ryan, Dewar stated that he looks forward to helping attract “more youth and multicultural audiences to the sport” through those avenues.

“We were early adapters at GM to new forms of media as it migrated into digital and social,” Dewar said. “Fans choose multiple forms of media, and we have to be contextually relevant in all of those. It’s a different world today.”

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.