Ryan Newman’s car found to be too low in rear, could lead to penalties

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Ryan Newman’s great Sunday has apparently hit a bit of a snag.

Newman picked up a fifth-place finish in today’s Contender Round elimination race at Talladega Superspeedway to make the Eliminator Round of the Chase with a 27-point cushion over the ninth-place cutoff.

But now comes late word from ‘Dega that Newman’s No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet has failed post-race inspection after being found to be too low on both sides according to NASCAR.

The sanctioning body will take the car back to its Research and Development Center in North Carolina, along with those of race winner Brad Keselowski, runner-up Matt Kenseth, and Kasey Kahne.

Obviously, the question is whether Newman will be penalized championship points for the infraction on his car – and if so, how many?

USA Today writer and NASCAR on NBC contributor Nate Ryan leafed through the NASCAR rulebook to perhaps find an answer.

A penalty such as that would not affect Newman’s Chase standing. It also bears noting that Newman was among those involved in today’s crash at Lap 102 of 188, so that could play into how NASCAR decides this matter, too.

Minimum ride height rules were abolished as part of this season’s rules package for the cars. However, that same package is not utilized at Daytona and Talladega, the two restrictor-plate tracks on the Sprint Cup schedule.

30 Seconds to Know: How does the Chase Eliminator round work?

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.