WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 6 p.m. ET

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. appeared ready to contend once more at Talladega Superspeedway, but the Junior Nation went home unhappy as their hero wound up 26th in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 after leading 26 laps.

Late in the running, Earnhardt decided to drop back in order to avoid potential wrecks. But while a four-car pileup did occur with 12 laps remaining, he was unable to make a charge off the next restart after Josh Wise moved high and blocked his momentum.

Another crash set up one last run to the checkers with three laps to go, but Earnhardt couldn’t make headway.

Today on NASCAR AMERICA, which airs at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra for online/mobile devices, Earnhardt’s decision at ‘Dega will be a topic of discussion for host Marty Snider and analyst Jeff Burton.

Also on tap:

  • Another edition of “Scan All 43”, featuring the best sights and in-car radio bites from Sunday’s event…
  • NBCSN reporter Kelli Stavast talks with Richard Childress Racing’s Ryan Newman, who sits ninth in the Sprint Cup standings but has yet to win this season…
  • And Jeff Burton will also talk about an important piece of safety equipment for the drivers – their “wraparound” head protection devices…

Just be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified. Once you plug those pieces of information in, you’ll have access to the stream.

Again, CLICK HERE at 6 p.m. ET to watch NBCSN’s NASCAR AMERICA.

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.