Jordan Taylor has interest from NASCAR Cup, ARCA to race Daytona

IMSA
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After putting out feelers to race during NASCAR’s inaugural weekend on the Daytona International Speedway road course, IMSA’s Jordan Taylor might have found some takers.

The Corvette Racing driver said Monday he has an offer from an ARCA team and has talked to a Cup team about driving in the Aug. 14-16 weekend that will feature ARCA, trucks Xfinity and Cup. Taylor was planning to circle back Monday on the Cup ride, which would be dependent on sponsorship.

“They’re like, ‘We need to figure out if we can raise the money for it,'” Taylor said during a Zoom media availability ahead of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race Saturday at Sebring International Raceway. “That’s kind of always the case with the teams that offer those sort of situations, so it’s tough. You don’t want to be labeled as a guy who’s going to bring money to a ride. If you get labeled as that, you’re going to get stuck in that position.

OPEN WEEKEND: IMSA drivers offer up their services for NASCAR debut at Daytona

“So I definitely don’t want to jump into a car and maybe battling for 35th to 40th, but if it gets my face in the NASCAR scene for a road-course event, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, either.”

Taylor, who won the GTLM class in the July 4 race at Daytona with teammate Antonio Garcia, has “always wanted to do a NASCAR road course race. I’m a big fan of that style of racing, that style of car.” Taylor, whose amusing alter ego is a Jeff Gordon fan named Rodney Sandstrom persona, nearly had a ride for the Xfinity races at Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen International last year.

Jordan Taylor (IMSA).

“It was pretty much a done deal, and then it fell through last minute,” he said. “I was getting ready to go up to see the team and meet everyone. I was really excited about that. I’d love another opportunity like that to come around. Daytona being right here is even better than Mid-Ohio or Road America for that matter.”

Daytona is a home track in many ways for Taylor, who lives near Orlando, Florida. Driving for his father’s Wayne Taylor Racing, Jordan Taylor was a part of DPi Cadillac teams that won the overall Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2017 (with Jeff Gordon) and in ’19 (with Fernando Alonso).

With NASCAR having curtailed practice time since its return during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Jordan Taylor believes that experience will matter on the 17-turn, 3.56-mile layout that annually plays host to the Rolex 24 in January.

“Obviously I’ve got a lot of laps around there,” he said. “Seeing what they’ve done these past few races where they have no practice and just going straight into the race, I think a guy with at least a little bit of track experience could have maybe a small advantage at the beginning, even though I know a lot of those have probably done a lot of simulator work as well.

“But it would obviously be a big learning curve to jump into one of those cars and figure it out at the same time. I definitely would love to try it if there was an opportunity but hopefully in a Chevrolet vehicle.”

Jordan Taylor (left) and Antonio Garcia celebrated July 4 after bringing the No. 3  Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R, GTLM to victory lane at Daytona International Speedway (IMSA).

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.