Andretti Sports Marketing plans blitz for IndyCar NOLA promotion in Louisiana this weekend

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We wrote a couple weeks ago about Andretti Sports Marketing’s plans for promotion of the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana, to be held April 10-12, 2015 at NOLA Motorsports Park.

This weekend, there will be a full-out blitz by the company as it hits the LSU-Alabama football game, Champions Square and NOLA Motorsports Park over the three days from Saturday (Nov. 8) through Monday (Nov. 10).

Starting on Saturday, from 4 to 6 p.m. CST, here’s what’s on the docket at Tiger Stadium:

  • Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana show car will be displayed for fan photo ops.
  • Two-Seater Indy car will be on-site and open to the public for rides, 11AM-5PM (these will be held outside Tiger Stadium; more information via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).
  • All proceeds will be given to charity.
  • Michael Andretti and Justin Wilson will be at the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana show car display from 4PM – 6PM and open to media opportunities.

Note that last bullet point. Although the Andretti release sent out listed Wilson as driver of Dale Coyne Racing’s No. 19 entry, Wilson has no confirmed plans for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season – and his presence at an Andretti Sports Marketing event, considering Andretti’s No. 27 car is open for 2015, is one of those things that makes you go “hmmmm.”

On Sunday, at Opening Act Bar in Champions Square (1500 Sugar Bowl Dr., New Orleans, LA 70112), Andretti and Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power will be on the field for pre-game activities at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, when the New Orleans Saints host the San Francisco 49ers, and open to media opportunities. Two-seater rides will take place from 9 a.m.-noon and 3-6 p.m. Rides are open to the public and all proceeds will be given to charity.

Power and Andretti will then shift to NOLA Motorsports Park on Monday for the launch of tickets going on sale, at the NOLA Motorsports Park karting complex.  The ceremonial ribbon cutting will occur from 9:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. CT with two-seater rides taking place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

It all adds up to what could be a big showcase weekend for IndyCar and the GP of NOLA event itself, in front of a massive football audience.

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.