Castroneves has sights set on first win of 2016 and first ever at Toronto


The first 10 races of this season has been somewhat of an elevator ride for Helio Castroneves.

Up, down, up, down – that’s how the Brazil native has been scored in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings.

He was sixth after Phoenix, third after the Indianapolis 500, second after Belle Isle Race 1, back to third after Belle Isle Race 2, second after Elkhart Lake and then fell back to fifth after this past Sunday’s race at Iowa.

“We keep shuffling around in the points standings, so it would be nice to start setting ourselves apart from that little group we’ve been in,” said Castroneves, who is still looking for his first win of 2016. His best finish thus far has been second in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

Castroneves now prepares for Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto, a place that has been very good to him of late. He finished third there in last season’s race, and was second in 2013’s Race 2 and 2014’s Race 1 in the doubleheader events there.

While he has one pole there (2014 Race 2), he’s never won on the temporary street course in 13 tries (including four in the former Champ Car World Series league).

Could it be that Castroneves may be able to not only check off his first career win at Toronto and his first win of 2016 with the same effort on Sunday?

He sure thinks so.

“Toronto has been pretty good to us overall,” Castroneves said. “On the track, we’ve done pretty well over the last few years.

“The Pennzoil Chevy team definitely is looking to break through with a victory. Last week at Iowa was frustrating, but we have to move on and keep it in the past.”

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Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023


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.