By: Spencer Neff and Tanner Watkins
January 18, 2019 | 6:56 AM
What a busy week for IndyCar! After months of speculation, the series has found its title sponsor. On Tuesday, the newly-renamed NTT IndyCar Series was announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Open-Wheels Owner/Editor Tanner Watkins recaps the major announcement. Watkins also has insight into NTT Data as a company, including some thoughts from the company’s executive vice president and head of global business, Tsunehisa Okuno.
Also included are some thoughts from Hulman & Company president and CEO Mark Miles.
The sponsorship announcements went beyond the series itself this week as well. On Monday, Gateway Motorsports Park announced an extension with Bommarito Automotive Group as the title sponsor at the 1.25-mile oval.
On Wednesday, Road America (Rev Group) and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (Firestone) also announced title sponsors for each of their races.
Lastly, IndyCar Flashback returns for another installment. Assistant Editor/Senior Contributor Spencer Neff profiles the 1969 Indianapolis 500 in this week’s edition.
Detroit also hosted the Baby Borg presentation to Will Power and Roger Penske. Power won his first Indianapolis 500 on May 27, extending Team Penske’s record to 17.
Cars took to the track for the first time in 2019 this week. A two-day session at Sebring International Raceway. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe led the two-day session.
Although teams have three weeks to prepare for the February 8 test at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the off-season has ramped up even further.
Get caught up with all the latest IndyCar news and start your weekend off right with IndyCar Roundup.
INDYCAR didn’t have to change the blueprint very much in its search for a new title sponsor.
On Tuesday the sanctioning body announced NTT as the IndyCar Series’ new title sponsor, aligning with Japan’s version of Verizon. The announcement was made before a crowd at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
“Having a strong technology partner is critically important to INDYCAR’s continued growth, so we are thrilled to welcome NTT as our new title sponsor. INDYCAR’s rise in popularity is a testament to the fact that we’ve made the sport as accessible as possible to our fans and we plan to continue in that mission,” Mark Miles, president and CEO of Hulman & Company, which owns INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“We have a history with NTT through NTT DATA’s involvement in the sport with Chip Ganassi Racing. We know this partnership will help us attract the next generation of fans to what remains the most competitive racing program on the planet.” READ MORE
Header image by Stephen King/INDYCAR.
If you haven’t heard the news by now, Japanese telecommunications giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) has signed on to be the title sponsor of the IndyCar Series for the next few years.
And if that name sounds familiar to you, that’s because NTT Data, a subsidiary of NTT, has been increasingly noticeable on the IndyCar scene recently. The company has been a partner with Chip Ganassi Racing since 2013, appearing on the cars of Scott Dixon and Ed Jones in recent years as well as Felix Rosenqvist’s No. 10 ride in 2019.
NTT Data and IndyCar turned a few heads as well recently when the pairing appeared in a nationally-televised advertisement for the Indianapolis 500 on NBC during the NFL playoffs.
So while IndyCar fans will be happy to have a new title sponsor in place after Verizon’s five-year run recently ended, they may be asking: who is this company? READ MORE
Header image by Chris Jones/INDYCAR
During Tuesday’s press conference introducing the new NTT IndyCar Series, the star of the show was Nippon Telegraph and Telephone’s executive vice president and head of global business, Tsunehisa Okuno.
Okuno, 58, began working with NTT back in April of 1983 and earned a degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Since joining NTT in 1983, Okuno has risen from network service and corporate planning to a variety of executive positions with the Japanese telecommunications giant.
Okuno is also a newly-appointed member of the company’s board of directors.
On hand for most of the deliberations between INDYCAR and NTT over the winter, Okuno played a vital role in the newly-announced title sponsorship. Hulman & Company’s president and CEO Mark Miles praised NTT for the expedited negotiations that took place and their willingness to work with today’s announcement schedule. READ MORE
Header Image by Chris Owens/INDYCAR
While the cat has been out of the bag for a while now, INDYCAR’s recently-announced title sponsorship with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) is no less important.
By snagging Japan’s equivalent of Verizon, the previous IndyCar Series title partner, Hulman & Company president and CEO Mark Miles has more than enough reasons to be pleased with today’s announcement. During today’s unveil at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Miles spoke on the fast-paced negotiations between INDYCAR and NTT.
“We started talking about this possibility not very long ago, near the end of the championship I think in early September, and in no time at all, led by Jay Frye on our team and Mark Sibla, who engaged directly with NTT Data, soon we were invited to Tokyo,” said Miles earlier today.
“(In Tokyo) we had a meeting together which I’ll never forget. Takuma Sato, one of our best-known drivers and champions who happens to be a hero in Japan, was with us, and by the end of that discussion, we said, let’s get this done. READ MORE
Header image by James Black/INDYCAR.
This morning the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) kicked off in Detroit with two weeks’ worth of car reveals, announcements and displays on-hand for fans and professionals to take in.
Among those announcements scheduled for this year’s show is tomorrow’s “major announcement” made public by INDYCAR last week. The press conference will take place at 12:15 PM ET on Tuesday, to be held at the Atrium Stage in the Cobo Center.
With the most important executives in INDYCAR on hand – including Hulman & company president and CEO Mark Miles as well as Jay Frye, the president of INDYCAR – it is widely expected that the sanctioning body will announce the next title sponsor for the IndyCar Series. This comes after Verizon ended its five-year partnership in December.
Last week, INDYCAR called a press conference at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to announce television listings for the 2019 season. The announcement also allowed Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi, last season’s top two championship finishers, to speak on the enthusiasm surrounding NBC’s 2019 plans and the future of INDYCAR as a whole. READ MORE
Header image by Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR.
Officials at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois, and the Bommarito Automotive Group today announced an extension of the automotive dealers’ sponsorship of the speedway’s annual INDYCAR race. This extends the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline sponsorship, which began in 2017, through the 2021 event.
“The marketing partnership between Gateway Motorsports Park and the Bommarito Automotive Group has made a big impact on our efforts of showcasing professional motorsports in the St. Louis region,” said Gateway Motorsports Park owner and CEO Curtis Francois.
“The Bommarito team and their partners have done a great job in coordinating their activation programs surrounding the event. The results have garnered the respect of the entire INDYCAR industry.
“We have been fortunate to find a local sponsor who shares our vision,” Francois added. READ MORE
Press Release By Gateway Motorsports Park, Header image by Matt Fraver/INDYCAR.
It is a trendy thing to do this week in racing: announce title sponsorships. Keeping with the momentum, Firestone has been announced as the title sponsor for the NTT IndyCar Series season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The news was announced by INDYCAR.
Today’s announcement comes after Gateway Motorsports Park confirmed that the Bommarito Automotive Group would return as title sponsor for INDYCAR’s August race, through 2021. Of course it also follows yesterday’s announcement that the Japanese telecommunications company, NTT, would become the series’ title sponsor.
Firestone is entering its 25th consecutive season as a tire supplier for IndyCar, holding the distinction of sole tire supplier for the last 20 years. The tire manufacturer also sponsors the season-opening race on the streets of St. Petersburg in March.
“Firestone is a time-tested brand with a rich tradition in open-wheel racing, making it the perfect match for INDYCAR’s return to this iconic road course,” said Lisa Boggs, director of motorsports at Firestone’s parent company, Bridgestone Americas.
This week’s slew of title sponsor announcements has to have IndyCar fans feeling like they are on an episode of Oprah: You get a title sponsor! And you get a title sponsor! You all get title sponsors!
Following title sponsor reveals from INDYCAR, Gateway Motorsports Park and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, it is now Road America’s turn to announce a new title sponsor. REV Group will replace KOHLER as the NTT IndyCar Series race weekend sponsor when the event is held June 20-23, 2019.
“REV is excited to be the title sponsor of the NTT IndyCar Series event at Road America,” said Tim Sullivan, President and CEO of REV Group, “Road America is one of North America’s premier road courses, and a proud part of our community. Motorsports is an effective platform for REV to connect with our customers and showcase the technology, engineering and quality we put into our vehicles.
“We are using the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America to pay tribute to first responders, sharing our appreciation for the dedicated people who use our vehicles each day to serve their communities.” READ MORE
Header image by Shawn Gritzmacher/INDYCAR.
The 1960s was a decade of revolution at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Over that 10-year span, several innovations were brought to, from new safety measures to new engine ideas and car designs.
Included in this decade of revolution were several legendary names who made their mark in the record book. For this week’s IndyCar Flashback, we look at the last “500” of the ’60s.
Although the winner of this race never returned to victory lane at Indianapolis, his global racing success made him a household name. READ MORE
Header Image By INDYCAR; Feature Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR