New book celebrates 50-year history of NHRA’s World Finals

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When it comes to the NHRA, there’s only one Pomona.

The legendary Auto Club Raceway at the Los Angeles Fairplex has played host to the season-opening Winternationals and the season-ending World Finals for five decades.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of what is now known as the Auto Club NHRA Finals from Nov. 13-16, the NHRA has released a colorful and in-depth tome known as “The History of the NHRA World Finals.”

The new book complements a sister publication, “The History of the NHRA Winternationals,” which was released earlier this year to mark that race’s 50th anniversary, as well.

From a NHRA media release, the book is described as such:

The 76-page book is packed with great photos and year-by-year recaps that highlight some of the most spectacular finishes in NHRA history: Tony Schumacher’s “The Run” from 2006, Don Garlits’ stunning 5.63 pass from 1975, Shirley Muldowney’s come-from-behind title in 1980, and many more.

The book also includes interviews with famous NHRA drivers sharing their recollections of their most memorable Finals outing, a look at the different venues that have hosted the season finale throughout the years, a complete listing of every driver to have won the race, plus stats and more.”

If you’re going to attend this year’s season finale, you can purchase books at the track’s NHRA Membership Hospitality Center.

Otherwise, you can order both books from Amazon.com. Search for “NHRA books.”

If you’re a diehard NHRA fan, these would both be great additions to your collection of souvenirs and memorabilia.

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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.