The development series for the IndyCar series originally started as the IRL Infiniti Pro Series in 2002, the same year CART’s own Indy Lights series came to an end. Following the 2008 reunification, the Indy Lights name returned. The Indy Lights run as support races to IndyCar series races. In the past, a round during the United States Grand Prix was also a part of the schedule, and the League also added a stand-alone race as part of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. The series is now promoted by Andersen Promotions.
The Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires series represents the final step on the Mazda Road to Indy and the final training ground for drivers before graduating to the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Mazda Road to Indy, the official driver development program of INDYCAR features a clear, defined path for drivers, teams and partners to advance to the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500.
The League’s premier series was named the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series in 2003. In 2013, IZOD announced that they would be leaving the series. Verizon took over the title sponsor in 2014, and the new name is now the Verizon IndyCar Series.
The series was founded partly in response to the increasing prominence of road and street courses on the CART schedule and initially raced exclusively on oval tracks. In 2005, the series abandoned its unofficial ovals-only stance, and added three road–street course events. By 2009, the series had a roughly 50/50 split of ovals and road/street courses. Presently, the series currently runs 1/3rd of its schedule on ovals and the rest on road and street circuits.