Report: NASCAR’s Pemberton calls Gordon-Keselowski tangle ‘over the line,’ penalties to those involved likely

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NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton and other sanctioning body officials are likely going to be looking at more film over the next day or two than most NFL coaches.

And when Pemberton and Co. finish their review, it’s likely there are going to be penalties stemming from the post-race brawl between Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski and a multitude of others from both drivers’ respective teams.

“We knew the format was going to put a lot of pressure on people to perform and make aggressive moves and decisions out there on the racetrack,” Pemberton told reporters outside the NASCAR hauler after Sundays race. “You could see the result of that after the race.”

As for reviewing film from both during and after the race, Pemberton added, “We’re going to take our time. We have a lot of film to review and things like that. The important thing is to make the right decision at the end of the day. … You have to look at everything out there post-race.”

Click here for Pemberton’s post-race session with the media.

Interestingly, Pemberton acknowledged that “It was hard racing. This is a contact sport. If you look at what drivers are trying to do, we had a couple shots at a green-white-checker finish and everybody was going for it. Nobody was leaving anything behind.”

But then Pemberton told The Charlotte Observer that the tangle was “over the line” and that penalties will be coming either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Keselowski is still on probation from the confrontations he had with Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick at Charlotte three weeks ago.

One of the most interesting parts of the Observer’s story is that those involved in the brawl may not necessarily have been from Gordon’s or Keselowski’s teams.

Hence the film review by Pemberton and others. They want to see if they identify those that were involved in the fight, who threw punches (likely including those who struck both Gordon and Keselowski).

It should be interesting if NASCAR takes action against Gordon in particular. Two years ago in the Chase race at Phoenix, Gordon and his crew got into it with Clint Bowyer and his team on pit road after the race. Gordon was subsequently fined $100,000 and docked 25 championship points by NASCAR for both intentionally wrecking Bowyer on the track and then being part of the post-race fight.

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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.