Patrick Carpentier bolted to the front in the waning laps of another exhilarating race at Michigan International Speedway, and held on to become the 23rd different Firestone-equipped driver to win a Championship Auto Racing Teams event since the...
Patrick Carpentier bolted to the front in the waning laps of another exhilarating race at Michigan International Speedway, and held on to become the 23rd different Firestone-equipped driver to win a Championship Auto Racing Teams event since the tire maker joined the series six years ago. In that span, Firestone has logged 92 victories in 119 tries (77 percent success rate), including every CART-sanctioned 500-mile race, a string of 12 consecutive 500-milers without a defeat.
In wheel-to-wheel excitement for all 250 laps, Carpentier didn't even take first place until lap 248. With help from Player's/Forsythe Racing teammate Alex Tagliani, Carpentier held off Dario Franchitti and Michel Jourdain Jr. at the finish line by 0.243 seconds. Franchitti charged from the last starting position to place second in a photo finish over Jourdain, who scored his first podium finish.
"Tires were an integral part of why they could race side-by-side at over 220 miles per hour today, lap after lap under hot, demanding conditions," said Al Speyer, Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Director. "Every team and driver I've talked to praised the tires immensely and they had all the confidence in the world that the tires were going to be underneath them no matter what else happened."
Patrick Carpentier, Player's/Forsythe Racing Ford/Reynard/Firestone: "It's been a long time coming. The team worked very hard and never gave up, and I'm very happy for them. Tag came in there and I said, 'Oh man, what is he doing?' Then he got in front, led the way and gave me a push to go win that race. Thanks, Tag. The Firestone tires were fantastic for me. I didn't even notice any change from the beginning to the end of the stint. The tires stayed the same and never really went loose on me or to a push. Firestone makes the best tires and that's why they're by themselves in this series."
Dario Franchitti, Team Kool Green Honda/Reynard/Firestone: "I'm really glad for Pat. It's about time he won a bloody race. The guy's been trying so hard. I knew if it was Michel and I, I could pass him before the start-finish line, but then Tag got in between and screwed the whole thing up. But it was a good race, a fair race. My guys gave me a great car today. From last to second isn't last to first, but it's all right. The Firestone tires were fine all day. No problems from start to finish."
Michel Jourdain Jr., Herdez/Bettenhausen Racing Ford/Lola/Firestone: "This is an amazing moment for me. I thought if I could get into (turn) three leading, I could maintain it by keeping Dario out of the way. Alex had not been there but suddenly he came on the inside of me and I thought I was going into Dario. I thought I had beat him (for second), but he beat me by nothing. But I'm really, really happy. The tires held up perfectly. There was no marbles, there was a lot of grip, they were lasting forever and the balance was the same all day long. Everything was perfect."
Race temperature ranges: 120-129 degrees track 92-93 degrees ambient (F).