Dale Jr. brings Goody’s on board as sponsor for JR Motorsports

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He may no longer be involved in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains as big a draw as ever for the sport’s sponsors.

Today, pain/headache relief company Goody’s (title sponsor of today’s Eliminator Round opener) announced a three-year sponsorship deal (2015-2017) with Earnhardt that involves being a primary backer for one race annually in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

For 2015, Goody’s will be on Earnhardt’s JR Motorsports XFINITY Series car at Texas Motor Speedway.

Earnhardt’s been a Goody’s spokesman for several years, but this will be the first time he’s ever driven a Goody’s-sponsored car.

“It’s great when you can bring in a partner that starts off as a personal service agreement, they get an understanding of how our company works and get a good experience from that and want to grow that into sponsorship of a race car — it helps us a ton,” Earnhardt said this morning at Martinsville per NASCAR.com.

“Anytime we can get a sponsor grown from a personal service agreement to where they’re on the quarter panel of a car is a success for us. We’re in the business of racing cars and trying to fund a race team, so them becoming a part of that process is really important for us.”

Goody’s has had a longtime presence in NASCAR as seven-time Winston (now Sprint) Cup champion Richard Petty has been a spokesman for the brand since the late 1970s. Earnhardt took up a similar role for Goody’s alongside “The King” in 2013.

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.