WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 pm ET — Chase elimination, JGRs fate, Terry Labonte’s final Cup start?


On Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America (live from 5 to 5:30 pm ET), Carolyn Manno and Frank Stoddard hold down the fort from our Charlotte studios, while Jeff Burton hangs out at the appropriately named “Burton’s Garage.”

Here’s what’s on tap for today’s show:

  • The second elimination race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup is Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. After the race, eight drivers will advance to the penultimate segment, the Eliminator Round, and four drivers will be eliminated from title contention.
  • Everyone in the field has a shot at a winning Sunday at ‘Dega. That makes the task even more difficult for those Chase drivers on the brink of elimination (Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.) that NEED the victory to advance. We’ll discuss what the strategy will be for these drivers.
  • We analyze the clinching scenarios the Chase drivers that can book their spot into the next round with solid finishes in Talladega.
  • Kelli Stavast travelled to Joe Gibbs Racing’s shop to discuss what’s at stake for the JGR drivers and how big of a boost it would be if all three – Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch – advance to the Eliminator round.
  • We take a tour through the racing history of the state of Alabama with legendary NASCAR broadcast, Eli Gold, in our State by State segment.
  • This Sunday’s race at Talladega will be the 890th career, and possibly final, Sprint Cup start for two-time champion Terry Labonte. As Labonte will be driving the No. 32 for Frank Stoddard’s team, Frank and Jeff discuss their relationships with Terry over the years and what his lasting legacy on the sport will be.

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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.