MAVTV announces two-year IndyCar extension at Fontana; date TBD

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MAVTV issued a release during the Verizon IndyCar Series’ weekend at Auto Club Speedway confirming a two-year title sponsorship extension of the race through 2016.

Owned and operated by Forrest Lucas’ Lucas Oil Products, MAVTV has served as the Fontana, Calif. race’s title sponsor (MAVTV 500) since the track returned to the schedule in 2012.

“MAVTV anchors its entertainment in motorsports, and we do a lot throughout the year to bolster support for many forms of racing around this great country,” said MAVTV president Bob Patison in the release. “MAVTV is headquartered in Corona, Calif., only a few miles from the magnificent Auto Club Speedway. We feel it’s almost a responsibility for us to support a premier track and event in our own backyard that features one of the top professional racing series in America.”

While this release was issued, INDYCAR has not issued a release of its own confirming the return to ACS.

A date for the IndyCar race weekend in 2015 has not been determined; selected races have been announced for the 2015 schedule, but Auto Club Speedway is not yet one of them.

Although Auto Club has hosted the last race of the season each of the last three years, it’s had a different date each year. It ran September 15, 2012, October 19, 2013 and just now, August 30, 2014.

Here’s a picture of the release as distributed from the track.

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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.