IndyCar took over duties as sanctioning body and promoter of the Indy Lights series last winter from Andersen Promotions. This saw IndyCar / Indy Lights integration in paddock spaces, marketing, digital assets and race officiating.
Dan Andersen’s company continues to run the lower steps on what was previous called the Road To Indy, namely the recently rebranded USF Pro 2000, USF2000 and USF Juniors. These continue to be supported by Cooper Tires, as was Indy Lights from 2014 to ’22.
However, in June of this year, it was announced that Indy Lights would fall into line with IndyCar for 2023, reverting to Firestones. Bridgestone Americas brands Firestone and Dayton supplied Indy Lights from its inception in 1991 to 2013.
Today it was revealed that the series would also receive a makeover, and become INDY NXT by Firestone, promising “a fresh, more youthful and energetic final level.” It will, said the press release, “feature a new generation of global racing talent, competing vigorously for podiums and the opportunity to join the elite ranks of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES” [their caps] and will “emphasize talent development, while extending racing’s reach and impact to a younger and emerging consumer audience.
“We look forward to being part of the journey as INDY NXT enters a new era and expands our partnership with IndyCar,” said Lisa Boggs, director of motorsports, Bridgestone Americas.
“Having been in the series previously, we know how important it is for the development of the next generation of drivers, and we are proud to support them again. INDY NXT provides opportunities for Firestone to engage with new audiences and develop and showcase our technology.”
IndyCar president Jay Frye said: “INDY NXT by Firestone will continue to develop and graduate new generations of racers ready to engage in breathtaking, high-stakes competition. Firestone is the perfect partner in this endeavor, with its innovative technology and authentic appreciation for INDY NXT and its vast potential.”
The release expresses the hope that INDY NXT will see the largest grid for IndyCar’s feeder series since 2009 and “will provide an additional opportunity for a reset and a new mission to emerge, guided by an ethos that aims to inspire and relate to Generation Z and the young talent piloting race cars.”
Coverage of all 14 races will be available in the United States via Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, and the IndyCar Radio Network.
2023 INDY NXT by Firestone schedule
|1||Sun., March 5||Streets of St. Petersburg|
|2||Sun., April 30||Barber Motorsports Park|
|3||Fri., May 12||Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course Race 1|
|4||Sat., May 13||Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course Race 2|
|5||Sat., June 3||Streets of Detroit Race 1|
|6||Sun., June 4||Streets of Detroit Race 2|
|7||Sun., June 18||Road America|
|8||Sun., July 2||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course|
|9||Sat., July 22||Iowa Speedway|
|10||Sun., Aug. 6||Streets of Nashville|
|11||Sun., Aug. 27||World Wide Technology Raceway|
|12||Sun., Sept. 3||Portland International Raceway|
|13||Sat., Sept. 9||WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Race 1|
|14||Sun., Sept. 10||WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Race 2|