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Jamie Chadwick becomes first woman to win Indy NXT race since 2010

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (AP) — Jamie Chadwick became the third woman to win an Indy NXT race and the first to accomplish the feat on a road course when she led for all 20 laps Sunday at Road America.

Indy NXT is the final step on the ladder system of open-wheel racing for drivers working their way up to the IndyCar series.

“Honestly overwhelmed,” Chadwick said.

Chadwick, 26, defeated Andretti Global teammate Louis Foster by 0.823 seconds on the 14-turn, 4.014-mile course.

The British driver joined Ana Beatriz and Pippa Mann as the only women to win an Indy NXT race. Beatriz won in 2008 at Nashville and 2009 at Iowa. Mann won at Kentucky in 2010.

“We kind of talk about not having too much pressure early on,” Chadwick said. “At the same time I really want to show what women are capable of in this sport. I strongly believe women are capable of getting to the highest level. We have an amazing young generation coming through. There’s so many great women in the sport. We just need more. Hopefully it inspires more, and that’s all I care about.”

Mann congratulated Chadwick via Zoom during the post-race news conference.

“Female drivers can be just as talented as men, just as Jamie is proving,” Mann said. “With the opportunity and the equipment and the talent, we could win races and championships. This is why it means so much for me to see Jamie out there succeeding.”

Chadwick was a three-time champion in the all-female W Series before starting out with Indy NXT last year. She became the first woman in 13 years to join the Indy NXT series.

Her best Indy NXT result before Sunday was a third-place finish at Indianapolis last month.

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AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing