Kurt Busch to reach significant career milestone at Dover


Kurt Busch will set a significant personal milestone this Sunday at Dover International Speedway, as he makes his 500th career Sprint Cup start.

And in an ironic twist, Busch will reach that milestone at the very same track where he made his first career Sprint Cup start back in 2000. He qualified 10th for that race and ultimately finished 18th.

That’s a far cry from where Busch is heading into Dover this weekend. Currently ranked 15th in the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup standings, Busch is in a must-win situation if he hopes to be one of four drivers who avoids elimination from continuing in the Chase after Sunday’s race.

Hard as it may seem to believe – where has the time gone – but Busch is now in his 15th Sprint Cup season, starting with an abbreviated seven-race stint in 2000 for Roush Racing before moving to full-time status the following season.

Busch, who turned 36 last month (August 4), has 25 career Sprint Cup wins, including being the first championship winner of the Chase for the Nextel Cup (now Sprint Cup) in 2004.

Busch also has 106 top-five and 198 top-10 finishes in his 499 starts to date, as well as has earned 16 poles.

Busch was quite the prolific race winner earlier in his career, capturing 14 victories from 2002 through 2005.

But since then, Busch has managed just 11 wins since the start of the 2006 season, a span of nearly nine seasons. His win earlier this year at Martinsville was his first since two victories in 2011.

To mark Busch’s accomplishment, his Haas Automation Chevy will have a special brushed-metal paint scheme at Dover.

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


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.