Will Power looking forward to having Josef Newgarden as teammate

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Will Power is looking forward to establishing a close working relationship with new Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden.

At a Team Penske event Friday in Charlotte, Power offered high praise for his new teammate.

“To me, it was an obvious signing,” Power said. “If I put myself in the position of a team owner and you were going to sign someone, that would be the guy. If I were a team owner, I would sign that guy.

“He’s experienced now, he’s fast and he’s young, so he’s going to be around for quite a while. And he’s good on all disciplines. I couldn’t pick anyone else out in the field that you would put, he would be at the very top of the list and that’s why he ended up there.”

Josef Newgarden

Newgarden joins Power, 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves as the 2017 Team Penske IndyCar lineup.

“I’ve been spending a bit of time with him and they were asking him how many suits (fire suits) he wants for the weekend,” Power said of Newgarden. “He was really blown away by the fact that he can have however many suits he wants to use over a race weekend and how many gloves and shoes.”

Power already has some advice for his new teammate.

“Obviously, I want to say to him, if there’s anything you want to develop or have an idea, push it with your engineer because these guys have the resources to do anything,” he said. “I think that’s what’s going to be eye-opening for him, the attention to detail and what they can do.”

Having signed with Team Penske earlier this week, Newgarden will be put to work right away. He tests Monday at Road America and then Thursday, Oct. 13, at Gateway Motorsports Park.

“I think (with Newgarden) joining the team, it’s always great to get straight in the car,” Power said. “He’s getting in the car at Elkhart (Lake), he’ll get accustomed to his guys, new crew chief and new engineer.

“It’s actually very restrictive testing, so it’ll be great for him to get to know these guys. It’s important. And from a team perspective, it’s really the only tests you get to go to until February or so, just before the first race. It’s very important.”

Power said one of the biggest plusses Newgarden brings to Team Penske is his technical knowledge and expertise.

“He’s a fast driver, it just gives you immediate data to look at,” Power said. “Like if he’s quicker than you in a sector, he always has good ideas and different ideas because he came from another team, a single car team. He knows in his head what worked and what didn’t work.

“And sometimes bringing fresh ideas into a team helps, too. I just think it’ll be another guy in there that’s very efficient with the way he does things, and he’s very quick which always pushes everybody else and lifts the level of the game.”

Power was also asked about Juan Pablo Montoya, whose role on Team Penske is being taken by Newgarden.

There have been several reports that Montoya may remain with Team Penske but shift to racing sports cars full-time on the IMSA circuit.

Other reports have Montoya wanting to stay in IndyCar, but likely moving to another team. One of the most mentioned rumors is a potential “trade”: Montoya could potentially replace Newgarden at the latter’s now former team, Ed Carpenter Racing.

“I don’t know what Juan is doing, honestly I’m not sure,” Power said. “Obviously, Juan had his strengths and what he brought to the team.

“I don’t know how much it’s going to change when your taking someone out and putting someone in.

“Juan was obviously a really good driver and I think if he ends up somewhere else, he’ll wind up being strong competition for the team.”

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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.