INDIANAPOLIS — The organizers of the IndyCar racing series are rebranding the heretofore-named Indy Lights support racing series as INDY NXT by Firestone, stressing the presenting sponsor and tire-supply status of Bridgestone Americas Inc.'s Firestone brand.
The rebranded series will stage 14 races in 2023, starting March 5 on the Streets of St. Petersburg, and competing on ovals, road courses and street circuits. The INDY NXT cars are single-seat, open-wheel racers.
Bridgestone Americas and IndyCar disclosed in June that the IndyCar support series would compete on Firestone racing tires starting in 2023, replacing Cooper Tire & Rubber, which has been the supplier since 2014.
"We look forward to being part of the journey as INDY NXT enters a new era and expands our partnership with IndyCar," Lisa Boggs, director of motorsports, Bridgestone Americas, said.
"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."
Financial terms of the new sponsorship arrangement were not disclosed.
"INDY NXT by Firestone will continue to develop and graduate new generations of racers ready to engage in breathtaking, high-stakes competition," IndyCar President Jay Frye said.
"Firestone is the perfect partner in this endeavor, with its innovative technology and authentic appreciation for INDY NXT and its vast potential."
Starting with the 2022 season, IndyCar took over the management and operations of the developmental series. The launch of the new era included a vastly enhanced collaborative partnership with the NTT IndyCar Series, featuring integration in paddock spaces, marketing, digital assets and race officiating.
After an expansion of teams and car count in 2022, the 2023 season is expected to build on that momentum, with the highest entry list for the developmental series since 2009, Bridgestone said.