IndyCar’s first 2020 races with fans will be July 11-12 at Road America

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IndyCar announced that its first event with fans will be the weekend doubleheader July 11-12 at Road America.

In a statement Thursday, the series said that social distancing and safety precautions will be applied for the races at the road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Last week, IndyCar announced that Iowa Speedway will have a crowd of up to 5,000 to 6,000 for its July 17-18 weekend doubleheader.

Because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the IndyCar Series opened its season June 6 without fans at Texas Motor Speedway, and it will race without fans at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a July 4 doubleheader with the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Several racetracks gradually have begun to open their grandstands in the past two weeks.

IMSA announced last week that its July 4 race at Daytona International Speedway will have a crowd of up to 5,000. Homestead-Miami Speedway played host to a crowd of 1,000 military personnel, first responders and their families for its June 14 races, and 5,000 fans were allowed last Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Bristol Motor Speedway will have up to 30,000 for the All-Star Race on July 15, and New Hampshire Motor Speedway said up to 19,000 will be allowed Aug. 2.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Roger Penske has said he wants to have a full crowd for the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23.

Road America also will have fans when the road course plays host to the MotoAmerica Series and Superbike class this weekend.

Here is Thursday’s release on Road America from IndyCar:

INDIANAPOLIS – The NTT IndyCar Series will welcome fans back to the track for the first time in 2020 on July 9-12 at Road America for the REV Group Grand Prix presented by American Medical Response doubleheader race weekend.

Under the guidance of public health officials, medical experts and local, state and federal authorities, IndyCar and Road America will observe safe social distancing practices and provide enhanced hygiene and safety precautions for all fans attending the event.

All guests will be screened in their vehicles with contactless temperature checks before entering the parking areas, and only essential racing personnel will have access to the IndyCar paddock. A PPE kit that includes a face mask as well as hand sanitizer will be provided to each guest upon arrival to the track.

Fans are encouraged to practice safe social distancing and wear a cloth face-covering where social distancing is difficult to maintain. Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures will also be implemented throughout the facility during the weekend. Guests are encouraged to print their tickets at home to have a contactless experience at the gates and easier entry. Additional protocols and guidelines for spectators can be found at www.roadamerica.com/safety.

The race weekend will feature two full points races for the NTT IndyCar Series on back-to-back days – July 11 and 12 – as part of the REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR. The weekend schedule will also be bolstered by two junior development series of the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, the Indy Pro 2000, and USF2000, of which many drivers of the NTT IndyCar Series are graduates.

Fans have three quick, convenient methods to buy tickets:

Online: Visit www.roadamerica.com Tickets are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Print your tickets to save time and enjoy a contactless experience at the gates.

Phone: Call 800-365-RACE or 920-892-4576 between 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. (CT) Monday through Friday.

In-Person: Visit the Road America Ticket Office at the Road America Administration Building off of State Highway 67 (Gate 6) between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (CT) Monday through Friday.

Gates open at 7 a.m. and races run rain or shine. For more information, call 800-365-RACE (7223) or visit www.roadamerica.com

Anyone 16 years old and under is always FREE with a paying adult at the gate.

All active-duty first responders will receive FREE entry to the REV Group Grand Prix presented by American Medical Response weekend. First responders, including law enforcement, fire, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians, will be admitted free of charge by showing valid identification indicating active service in the form of a department-issued ID, badge, copies of certifications or an active roster copy from their department on department letterhead. FREE admission must be redeemed at the gate and is only valid during the event weekend.

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.