INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Jan. 11, 2002 - All full-time Indy Racing League entrants will be allotted a total of 183 sets of Firestone Firehawk tires for the 2002 season, with 138 sets designated for race use, 15 sets for Open Tests and 30 sets for private testing, Indy Racing League Vice President of Racing Operations Brian Barnhart announced Jan. 11.

The new tire policy is in effect from Jan. 1, 2002, through Oct. 31, 2002, and replaces previous Indy Racing League regulations, which allocated tires for all events but did not restrict the number of tires available for testing.

"These new regulations demonstrate Firestone's commitment to be a strong working partner with the Indy Racing League," Barnhart said. "We're excited about our continuing relationship with Firestone as it helps maintain an even and equal playing field for all Indy Racing competitors."

The 2002 policy pertains to all Firestone Firehawk tires delivered after Jan. 1, 2002. In addition, if a team does not return its remaining inventory of 2001 tires to Firestone by Feb. 6, 2002, these tires will be classified as 2002 stock and considered part of the team's allotment of 30 sets of private testing tires.

Tires allocated for Indy Racing Open Tests are available for use only at the scheduled testing session. If a team does not participate in a particular Open Test, it forfeits its allotment of Firestone Firehawk tires for that event.

Teams are not permitted to sell, trade or reassign tires. Indy Racing League officials and Firestone personnel will use bar-code scanners to conduct random tests at all events and tests to ensure that tires are used only by the assigned entrant. Any team that violates the 2002 tire allocation policy will be subject to a $50,000 fine.

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