Reed Sorenson returns to Sprint Cup to drive for Tommy Baldwin Racing

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Reed Sorenson got a heck of a birthday present when it was announced Tuesday, one day before he turns 28, that the journeyman Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series driver will be back full-time in the Cup ranks this season.

Sorenson will drive the No. 36 Chevrolet of Tommy Baldwin Racing, the team announced, just days after revealing that veteran Todd Parrott — who was newly-inducted NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett’s crew chief during Jarrett’s 1999 Winston Cup championship season — would be the team’s crew chief in 2014, as well.

“I will give them everything I’ve got to perform well,” Sorenson said in a statement. “I’m confident with Todd’s winning resume along with Tommy’s accomplishments; it’s going to lead to great things for this team.

“I’m thankful for TBR and all of their partners for allowing me to be their driver. I’m looking forward to helping TBR build on what they have already achieved and to help make the team better than they ever have been.”

It will be Sorenson’s first full season in Sprint Cup since 2009, when he finished 29th while driving the fabled No. 43 for Richard Petty Motorsports. His last full season in the Nationwide Series was 2011, when he finished fifth and won a race for Turner Motorsports.

The Peachtree City, Ga., native’s best overall season in NASCAR was in 2005, when he finished fourth in the Nationwide Series, winning two races and compiling 19 top-10 finishes in 35 starts, all at the young age of 19.

“It’s cool to have Reed on board driving the 36,” Baldwin said in a statement. “I’ve looked at his statistics and was really surprised at how well he’s done.

“It’s taken six years to get where we are now and the 36 car is only two or three years into it so, we’re slowly building that and we’re excited to have Reed on board with his experience at such a young age and ability to provide sound feedback to help us do that.”

Sorenson finished 18th in the Nationwide Series last season for Key Motorsports, competing in only 28 of 33 races, with a best finish of 10th at Richmond.

He also drove six Sprint Cup races last season for Leavine Family Racing and failed to complete any of them. His best finish was 37th in the fall race at Phoenix.

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.