Phoenix 2018 IndyCar date revealed as April 13-14

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The Verizon IndyCar Series’ trip to Phoenix International Raceway will have its third date in April in as many years in 2018, as revealed in paperwork filed with International Speedway Corp.’s 2016 Annual Report. The spring 2018 race dates were listed as part of Phoenix’ wider plans for track changes, including a move of the Start/Finish line past Turn 2 (more here from NASCAR Talk).

After running on April 2 for the series’ return for the first time in 11 years in 2016, the date shifts to April 29 this year, in part due to the NCAA Men’s Final Four which takes place in Phoenix on the first weekend of April this year. Easter this year is April 16.

In 2018, Phoenix will run April 13-14, on the third weekend of the month, with another Saturday race. April 1 is Easter Sunday in 2018.

With Long Beach moving up in April for 2017 to the April 7-9 weekend, one weekend ahead of Easter and three ahead of Phoenix, it may occur in 2018 that for the first time Phoenix and Long Beach would actually be on back-to-back weekends.

If Long Beach was to keep the same weekend in 2018, that’d be April 6-8, and thus one weekend ahead of Phoenix, which would make it easier for all series participants from a logistical standpoint.

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.