Road to Indy
April 24, 2019 | 4:00 PM
The biggest event on the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires calendar will see significant enhancements next month as long-time series partner Cooper Tires steps up as presenting sponsor of the traditional 100-mile race held on Carb Day, May 24 – as the precursor to the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500. An action-packed day also will include the final practice session for the Indy 500 field and the Indy 500 Pit Stop Competition.
The Freedom 100 Presented by Cooper Tires will feature an increased prize package with a total of $85,000 awarded to the top-three finishers, including $50,000 to the winner.
In addition to the scholarship prize to the series champion of three guaranteed races in the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500, over $535,000 in prize money and awards is on offer to competitors this season.
NBCSN will feature a live broadcast of the Freedom 100 Presented by Cooper Tires, with live and on-demand coverage also on NBC Sports Gold as part of the INDYCAR Pass package. Outside of the United States, the race will be live streamed internationally on the Road to Indy TV App, RoadToIndy.TV and indylights.com.
The Freedom 100 has provided spectacular side-by-side action during its 16-year history and holds the record for the two closest finishes ever on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval – the stunners coming in 2016 with Dean Stoneman edging Ed Jones by 0.0024 seconds and the four-wide finish in 2013 with Peter Dempsey winning by 0.0026 seconds over Gabby Chaves, Sage Karam and Carlos Munoz.
Past winners of the Freedom 100 Presented by Cooper Tires include Colton Herta – who won a nail-biter last year, finishing 0.0281 seconds ahead of Patricio O’Ward – Matheus Leist, Jack Harvey, Gabby Chaves and Josef Newgarden.
“It is both exciting and appropriate that we welcome Cooper Tires as presenting sponsor of our marquee event,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “Cooper Tires has been a tremendous partner of the entire Road to Indy from not only a competition standpoint, but also to marketing, activation and driver development and advancement.
“As we celebrate our 10th year, our three series would not be where they are today without Cooper Tires. Chris Pantani [Director of Motorsports] and his team have helped to develop the Road to Indy into one of the most successful driver development programs in the world.”
Cooper Tires’ footprint can be seen throughout the ladder system from at-track presence with its marketing activation unit that also introduces fans to drivers through hosted Q&A sessions, as well as free collectible driver baseball cards, to the popular Road to Indy TV App powered by Cooper Tires, the Cooper Tires Hashtag Program, now in its sixth year, and TSOLadder.com Presented by Cooper Tires.
In addition to being a key partner in the prize money and scholarships that help drivers take the next steps in their careers, including the Cooper Tires Pole Award presented at every event across the three series, Cooper Tires is a partner of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Honda Indy Toronto and Portland International Raceway, and the Lucas Oil School of Racing.
The Freedom 100 Presented by Cooper Tires will see some new faces on the grid with the recent announcements of Jarett Andretti with Andretti Autosport and Chris Windom with Belardi Auto Racing/Jonathan Byrd’s Racing.
Up next on the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires schedule is the INDYCAR Grand Prix, which will feature a double-header round at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on May 10/11.
Header image by Walter Kuhn/Road to Indy.