Home Road to IndyIndy Nxt Chadwick “confident” about race potential after claiming Indy Nxt pole

Chadwick “confident” about race potential after claiming Indy Nxt pole

by Ida Wood

Photo: Joe Skibinski

Jamie Chadwick became the first woman to take a pole in Indy Nxt since 2010 when she topped qualifying at Road America on Saturday.

The Andretti Global driver, who is in her sophomore season, was fastest in the second qualifying group by 0.1288 seconds and beat the benchmark laptime from the first qualifying group set by team-mate Louis Foster by just 0.0208s.

The last woman to start on pole position in Indy Nxt was Pippa Mann, who did so three times in 2010. Her qualifying success came entirely on ovals, meaning Chadwick is the first female in championship history to take pole at a road or street course, and the first in the second tier of single-seater racing since Simona de Silvestro did so in Atlantics in 2009.

“I’m so happy. We struggled a little bit this weekend chasing balance, but yeah, when Louis did the lap he did I knew obviously we were going to have a good car,” said Chadwick after getting out of her car to celebrate.

“And then [with] track conditions improving, this was our shot. And our group as well, I felt we can really make the most of this opportunity. So yeah, that we did. I’m just really happy. It’s going to be a tough day tomorrow, but I’m confident in what we can do tomorrow, so I’m happy.”

There had been a lot of rain at Road America earlier in the day, and the second qualifying group faced a slightly drier track surface than the first group, which played to Chadwick’s advantage. She admitted she “didn’t even think about” if she had a pole-capable car while driving but “knew we were in a good place” with the other factors at play.

“I was in a good spot after the restart with the tow and stuff, and [with] track conditions improving. I think our group as well, I felt like we had an opportunity today and I think we took that. And focus is going to be on tomorrow. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m excited.”

She added: “I like being out front, I like to have the opportunity to now be racing at the front, and we’ve been up there this year. So to get a pole is beyond [expectations], but I’m looking forward to it.”

Chadwick claimed her first podium earlier in the season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course, but either side of that result has had three finishes outside of the top 10 and a retirement.

She sits 13th in the standings, one position lower than where she came in her rookie season where her finish was a sixth place and her best qualifying results were a ninth and a 10th.

Women on pole in single-seater racing’s second tier
Driver Series Circuit Year
Danica Patrick Atlantics Portland 2004
Sarah McCune Indy Nxt Chicagoland Speedway 2005
Simona de Silvestro Atlantics Miller Motorsports Park 2009
New Jersey Motosports Park
Lime Rock
Pippa Mann Indy Nxt Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2010
Kentucky Speedway
Homestead-Miami Speedway
Jamie Chadwick Indy Nxt Road America 2024