CHAMPCAR/CART: Firestone becomes title sponsor of Texas race

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 4, 2001) -- When CART's FedEx Championship Series makes its initial racing appearance at Texas Motor Speedway later this month, the FirestoneRacing program is going to feel right at home. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., today...

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 4, 2001) -- When CART's FedEx Championship Series makes its initial racing appearance at Texas Motor Speedway later this month, the FirestoneRacing program is going to feel right at home. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., today announced it has become title sponsor for the April 29 race, which is now known as the "Firestone Firehawk 600, Presented by Pioneer."

"Every car in that race will be on Firestone racing tires, plus we'll have thousands of Firestone retailers, their family members, friends and customers in the stands," said Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Director Al Speyer. "The success of the Firestone Racing program has been very important to our dealers and company associates; we're certain this strong presence at TMS will support sales and generate additional enthusiasm. It's going to be very, very rewarding to see Firestone have such a commanding presence at what we're sure will be agreat race.

"TMS officials provided us with a great race sponsorship opportunity that was particularly attractive to our Dallas area sales associates," Speyer added. "It includes a number of excellent grandstand seat tickets, which will be distributed through our Texas-area dealers and stores. Our retailers have long recognized how valuable racing can be in demonstrating tire quality. This sponsorship connects us with a world-class racing facility and a great competition where our tires will be an integral part of the excitement. It's really a win-win-win-win relationship for Firestone, the speedway, the series and the fans."

The Texas race is the second Championship Auto Racing Teams event this year where Firestone will be the title sponsor. The May 19 race at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan is known as the Firestone Firehawk 500, for the third consecutive season. The Firestone Racing program and the Bridgestone/Firestone dealer and store network in the Texas area worked cooperatively with CART and TMS to agree on title sponsorship of the April 27-29 event.

Firestone Firehawk tires made their first racing appearance at the 1.5-mile TMS oval in 1997, at an Indy Racing League event. With weight, horsepower, downforce and other factors making the IRL and CART cars perform differently, the Firestone Racing program invested many hours researching rubber compounds and tire construction for the CART event.

"The Firestone tires have performed extremely well at previous events at TMS, and we wanted to make sure we have an equally strong tire for the CART race here," Speyer said. "TMS is a very fast, demanding track and the CART cars are going to require a lot from our tires. We fully expect the teams to push the Firehawks to the max, using every inch of the asphalt. We believe, at day's end, the fans will see a tremendous race and the drivers will be pleased with the performance of their Firestone tires."

-Firestone

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Series Automotive , IndyCar