IndyCar announced a multiyear contract extension with NTT at its title sponsor Thursday, a move that solves one of the looming financial questions facing Roger Penske in his second year as owner of the series.
NTT is a global technology giant that became the title sponsor of the IndyCar Series in 2019. The company has since become the official technology partner of IndyCar, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Brickyard weekend.
"Over the first two years as entitlement sponsor of the series, the dedicated team at NTT has helped IndyCar become more efficient and effective through smart technologies," said Penske, who became owner of IMS and IndyCar in January 2020. "As our sport continues to grow by connecting with a new generation of fans, NTT helps take us down new roads by creating more engaging experiences through our shared digital platforms."
Next on Penske's to-do list is ironing out a new television contract. The current deal with NBC Sports is in its final season, and it remains unclear where IndyCar may land.
NBC in its current deal with NASCAR will be shifting programming to the USA Network when NBC Sports Network ceases operations near the end of the year. IndyCar this year has a record nine races on NBC, but practices and qualifying have been shifted to its Peacock streaming service.
Penske will no doubt be looking for a higher rights fee in the next TV deal, and NBC may choose to walk away.
IndyCar is also courting a third engine manufacturer, which would not enter the series any earlier than the 2023 debut of a new engine. The new V6 engine will go from 2.2 liters to 2.4 and add approximately 100 horsepower. The twin-turbocharged V-6 will also have hybrid tech for the first time.
"We believe that in every respect the series is growing," IndyCar CEO Mark Miles said. "I hate talking about being positioned for growth. I like growth. I think it's happening now. All the metrics are indicating that. More fans are paying more attention, being more engaged with us."
At Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NTT worked with Penske on the 100-foot Pagoda Plaza video board that provides a new viewing experience inside the historic track.
The Indianapolis 500 will be held May 30, with qualifying set for this weekend.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.