Indy Lights

Indy Lights renamed Indy NXT amid Road to Indy identity change

2 Mins read
Credit: Travis Hinkle/Penske Entertainment

As the name suggested, Road to Indy served as the development ladder to reach the NTT IndyCar Series, with Indy Lights as the final step before reaching the top. With a string of name changes, however, one might be thinking more of ladder matches instead.

After fifteen years as Indy Lights, the second-tier series has been rebranded to Indy NXT by Firestone beginning in 2023. While the name quickly evokes comparisons to WWE’s own developmental banner by the same name, it will retain the same schedule as usual beginning with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on 5 March.

“INDY NXT by Firestone will continue to develop and graduate new generations of racers ready to engage in breathtaking, high-stakes competition,” said IndyCar head Jay Frye. “Firestone is the perfect partner in this endeavor, with its innovative technology and authentic appreciation for INDY NXT and its vast potential.”

IndyCar took over sanctioning of Indy Lights in 2022 from Andersen Promotions. Andersen has also subjected Road to Indy to its own identity shift as it becomes the USF Pro Championships Presented by Cooper Tires. While the USF2000 and USF Juniors series retain their names, Indy Pro 2000 has been changed to USF Pro 2000.

USF Juniors, introduced in 2022, is the introductory step in the ladder. The champion receives a $248,815 (€255,190.88) scholarship to race in USF200, and the winner of that series gets one worth $440,125 (€451,403.20) to go to USF Pro 2000. Finally, the USF Pro 2000 champion earns $664,425 (€681,450.89) to get a ride in Indy NXT.

“We look forward to being part of the journey as INDY NXT enters a new era and expands our partnership with INDYCAR,” commented Bridgestone Americas racing director Lisa Boggs. “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.”

2023 USF Pro Championships schedules

Indy NXT

#RaceDate
1Grand Prix of St. Petersburg5 March
2Barber Motorsports Park30 April
3–4Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course12–13 May
5–6Detroit Grand Prix3–4 June
7Road America18 June
8Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course2 July
9Iowa Speedway22 July
10Music City Grand Prix6 August
11World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway27 August
12Portland International Raceway3 September
13–14WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca9–10 September

USF Pro 2000

#RaceDate
1–2Grand Prix of St. Petersburg4–5 March
3–4Sebring International Raceway25–26 March
5–6Indianapolis Motor Speedway12–13 May
7Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park26 May
8–9Road America17–18 June
10–11Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course1–2 July
12–13Honda Indy Toronto15–16 July
14–15Circuit of the Americas26–27 August
16–18Portland International Raceway2–3 September

USF2000 Championship

#RaceDate
1–2Grand Prix of St. Petersburg4–5 March
3–4Sebring International Raceway25–26 March
5–7Indianapolis Motor Speedway12–13 May
8Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park26 May
9–10Road America17–18 June
11–13Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course1–2 July
14–15Honda Indy Toronto15–16 July
16–18Portland International Raceway2–3 September

USF Juniors

#RaceDate
1–3Sebring International Raceway23–25 March
4–5Barber Motorsports Park28 April
6–8Virginia International Raceway3–4 June
9–10Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course8 July
11–13Road America12–13 August
14–16Circuit of the Americas25–27 August
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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