Kyle Kaiser to run Indy 500 for Juncos Racing

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2017 Indy Lights Champion Kyle Kaiser will attempt to qualify for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 for Juncos Racing, the team announced in a press release issued on Sunday.

The 23-year-old Californian will drive the No. 32 Chevrolet for the team, which he took to an 18th-place finish at the inaugural IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas this past March.

Kaiser made his first Indy 500 appearance last year with Juncos, qualifying 17th but finishing 29th in the race due to a mechanical failure.

“The team and myself have been working very hard to make this happen, so I’m extremely grateful to everyone who has helped make this possible,” Kaiser said in the release. “It will be great to build off what we accomplished last year, having qualified 17th as a single car effort was incredible. With this knowledge and experience, I am confident we will have another strong showing. I can’t wait to get back on track and get back to work preparing the No. 32 Chevrolet for the biggest race of the year.”

Kaiser has been driving for Juncos Racing since his second Indy Pro 2000 (formerly Pro Mazda) season in 2014.

“We have a lot of history with Kyle,” team owner Ricardo Juncos said in the release. “He has been with this team for six years and has gone through our major transitions from Pro Mazda, to winning the Indy Lights Championship and moving up to IndyCar and even in our new IMSA program. We are excited to have the opportunity to continue our work with him for one of the biggest events of the year and look forward to a great month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

The 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 will be run Sunday, May 26, with live race coverage beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET on NBC.

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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.