Marcus Ericsson

Marcus Ericsson is trying to find all the ingredients for a late-season push for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES title.

That quest got off to a promising start as the driver of Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 8 Huski Ice Spritz Honda ended up third at the end of opening practice for the Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend at 175.877 mph, just .551 of a mph off the top speed of 176.428 set by Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden. Ericsson logged a session-high 126 laps.

“We had a really good practice,” Ericsson said. “The car felt comfortable. We did some changes that made it better. It feels like we're in a better spot than we've been here the last couple of times. So, that's promising for the rest of the weekend.”

The Swede sits fourth in the championship standings through 10 of 17 rounds, 142 points behind leader and teammate Alex Palou (417-275). The hot streak of Palou has been the envy of the paddock, with the Spaniard winning four of the last six races, along with a runner-up result at the recent Honda Indy Toronto despite a broken front wing.

For his part, Ericsson doesn’t see one specific element of Palou’s race craft that has separated him from the field. Instead, Ericsson thinks Palou’s dominance comes down to doing all the little things right, from qualifying, in and out laps during the race, strategy, etc.

“I think he's just hitting it on all things,” Ericsson said. “He's really good at everything at the moment, and when you're in that flow ... Last weekend was a good example, like it just falls your way. Not taking anything away from Alex and the No. 10 car, but when you're in that flow and everything works your way, you have a lot of confidence.”

What does that feel like for a driver?

“It feels really good because it feels like you're invincible,” Ericsson said.

Ericsson remains focused on taking each race as it comes, with no thoughts of the championship until the final couple of races. Still, Ericsson plans to put up a fight.

“We're going to try and make life difficult for him,” Ericsson said. “That's what we're here for. They've done a really good job, the whole No. 10 crew, and Alex has been driving tremendously. It's going to be tough for us to stop him, for sure.”

Andretti, DHL, Club Athena Partner To Inspire Young Women

Andretti Autosport and Club Athena will support “Girls at Track,” a unique event developed by longtime Andretti partner DHL for young girls to explore future career opportunities in STREAM (Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) and how those skills can be leveraged in both motorsports and transportation industries.

Girls ages 11 to 18 interested in discovering careers in STREAM, motorsports or transportation can apply until July 30 for the opportunity to go behind the scenes with Andretti Autosport at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the upcoming Brickyard Weekend, Aug. 11-12. Participants will meet three-time W Series Champion and DHL-sponsored INDY NXT by Firestone driver Jamie Chadwick. Additionally, Club Athena members will spend time with Andretti Autosport and DHL Express team members looking at various roles across their respective industries.

Seven “Athenians” will be chosen to take part in two trackside days with Andretti and DHL Express team members as they learn from industry experts and have fun with hands-on experiences.

“Sibling rivalry introduced me to this sport when my brother and I started go-karting,” Chadwick said. “Since then, I have created a path through motorsports that most girls don’t realize is possible. I’m looking forward to empowering these young girls and showing them everything that is possible. You don’t know what you don’t know, and we want to spotlight how many career paths are available to them.”

Girls interested in joining the program can apply for membership at, with the deadline July 30. Participants selected for the program will be notified July 31.

Chadwick Braces for First Career Oval

British driver Chadwick is getting her first taste of an oval race with the INDY NXT by Firestone at Iowa Speedway.

A rookie in the developmental category for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Chadwick has started all seven races this season, but the nerves coming into this weekend’s maiden outing on the .894-mile bullring feel “a little bit” different.

“I think there's a little bit maybe less expectation on myself that I put on myself because I don't know what to expect,” Chadwick said. “But then on the other side of it, I think ovals are nerve-wracking. I think two sides of it, but as I say, I've got a good car. So, it's a bit of pressure in that sense, but I think we're just going to have to keep going in the way we've gone so far in the season and just learning where we can.”

A three-time W Series champion, Chadwick has made steady progress in the transition to INDY NXT, highlighted by her 10th-place finish in the most recent round at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Although progress hasn’t come as quickly as desired, she is beginning to get comfortable as the second half of the season gets underway.

“I think we started off a bit further away than I thought we would, but actually the progress we made, I think's been OK,” Chadwick said. “Actually, now I feel quite happy and confident in the environment that I'm in, in the car. It's just all these new things that are coming at us, I think it going to continue that sort of rate of learning throughout the season.”

Chadwick qualified 13th for Saturday’s 75-lap race (11 a.m. ET on Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network) on “The World’s Fastest Short Track.”

Odds & Ends

  • The purpose-built three-story infield suites that are being used for the first time ever this weekend at Iowa Speedway also will be used in November in Las Vegas for the new Formula One race in Sin City.
  • Iowa Speedway will host a unique celebration during the Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend, with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs making the short bullring oval a stop on their “Chiefs Champions Tour” throughout the Midwest this summer. The event will take place Sunday at the concourse overlooking Turn 1. Fans can see and take pictures with the iconic Lombardi Trophy. The event also will feature the “Kingdom Cruiser” bus, appearances by the Chiefs’ cheerleaders and the Chiefs’ Rumble drumline, along with the team’s popular mascot – KC Wolf.
  • Team owner Ed Carpenter is set to make his 200th career INDYCAR SERIES start as a driver when the oval-only specialist takes the green flag for Sunday’s Hy-Vee One Step 250 presented by Gatorade.