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IndyCar Road America

Chadwick: No guarantee of IndyCar promotion after maiden NXT win

Jamie Chadwick has conceded there are no “back doors” to earning an IndyCar promotion after scoring her maiden Indy NXT victory.

Jamie Chadwick, Andretti Global, Sebring testing

Three-time W Series champion Chadwick became the first female winner of a road course Indy NXT or Indy Lights event in the history of the category, and the first woman victor on any course since Pippa Mann in 2010.

While conversations may quickly turn to what is to come next for the Briton, Chadwick is keeping her feet firmly on the ground.

“It’s early to say,” she told Autosport. “One race win isn’t going to guarantee anything, so I need to keep performing and keep focusing on that.

“I’d love to be able to go to IndyCar next year.

“It’s tough though. You look at the grid and there are not that many drivers leaving and there’s such a high level there now, and there are a lot of drivers knocking on the door, particularly in Indy NXT.

“While I’d love to pursue that opportunity, there’s still a lot more that needs to be achieved than one race win on my side.”

There is a clamour within motorsport to see a female compete at the top table and fielding Chadwick in IndyCar would likely bring a significant PR benefit.

Photo by: Penske Entertainment

Asked whether, rightly or wrongly, her gender could work in her favour for a promotion, Chadwick reflected, “Potentially but maybe more so three or four years ago. I don’t know.

“Now, I look at the grid in IndyCar and I can’t see an obvious opening. I want to do it properly, I want to be with a top team, and I want to do the championship and be competitive.

“I don’t want to go to a smaller team and be on the back foot on a one-year deal or anything like that. I want the best opportunity I can source.

“You look at the drivers who fill those seats and I don’t think anyone would want to replace them, regardless of who you are, so I’ve just got to keep focusing on performance.

“If I can get some more results, maybe that is going to be my best shot but I don’t think there are any back doors into anything these days.”

Watch: Round 8 - Road America Grand Prix - Race Highlights

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