Jamie Chadwick

Jamie Chadwick became the first woman to win an INDY NXT by Firestone race since 2010 – and only the third female driver to win in the INDYCAR development series – with her victory Sunday in the Grand Prix of Road America.

English driver Chadwick led all 20 laps from the pole in the No. 28 VEXT car of Andretti Global to become the first female winner in INDY NXT since Pippa Mann in September 2010 at Kentucky Speedway. Ana Beatriz is the other female winner in the series, with single victories in 2008 and 2009. Chadwick is the first female to win an INDY NXT race on a road or street course, as Beatriz and Mann won on ovals.

SEE: Race Results

“I have no words,” Chadwick said. “Honestly, I’m a bit emotional. We’ve had an unbelievable car this year and just haven’t been able to do anything about it. I’m just so happy we held on there.”

Chadwick drove to victory by .8203 of a second over Andretti Global teammate Louis Foster in the No. 26 Copart/Novara Technologies car. Foster edged series leader Jacob Abel in the No. 51 Abel Construction car fielded by Abel Motorsports by .0236 of a second at the finish to hang on to second and cut into Abel’s championship lead. Abel leads Foster by 19 points.

“Massive congratulations to Jamie,” Foster said. “She’s done an amazing job. She was the woman to beat this weekend. Really, really fast. More than happy for the team. One-two, you can’t ask for anything more.”

Reece Gold finished a season-best fourth in the No. 10 HMD Motorsports car, while HMD teammate Caio Collet placed fifth in the No. 18 car as the leading rookie in the race.

Chadwick became the first woman to win a pole on a road or street course in INDY NXT by Firestone history Saturday, and she never relinquished that spot in the race. But the drive was far from easy for Chadwick, in her second INDY NXT season after winning three championships in the European-based, all-female W Series.

Abel jumped from the fourth starting position to second and immediately applied pressure to Chadwick on the first lap of the race after Foster’s move for the lead went wide in Turn 1. But she managed, maintaining a gap of about seven-tenths of a second through two caution periods in the first half of the race.

Then Foster passed Abel with an inside move in Turn 1 on Lap 13, giving Chadwick 1.3 seconds of breathing room as the two title rivals dueled side by side. But Foster drove right up to Chadwick’s gearbox two laps later, but she parried his move for the lead in Turn 13.

Foster and Abel then continued to dice side by side for second on Lap 15, giving Chadwick a margin of seven-tenths of a second. Then series rookie Myles Rowe spun off track in Turn 1 in the No. 99 HMD with Force Indy car on Lap 16, collecting the No. 21 ABEL Motorsports machine of Jordan Missig. Neither driver was hurt.

That incident triggered a red flag from race officials to provide time for a green-flag finish. Chadwick led the field to green on Lap 19 in a two-lap dash for the checkered.

She built a lead of seven-tenths of a second over Foster as the white flag flew and never was challenged on the final lap under bright Wisconsin sunshine.

“With the red flag at the end, I was like, ‘Come on,” Chadwick said. “We started to lose the tires a little bit. So, I just knew I had to be aggressive. I knew they (Foster and Abel) have a championship to worry about, and I just had to get my head down. I really wanted to win today.”