Helio Castroneves drove a flawless race, with a huge assist to the flawless performance from his Firestone tires, to lead every lap and win today's race. It is Castroneves' fourth FedEx Championship Series victory, all coming on Firestone Firehawk...
Helio Castroneves drove a flawless race, with a huge assist to the flawless performance from his Firestone tires, to lead every lap and win today's race. It is Castroneves' fourth FedEx Championship Series victory, all coming on Firestone Firehawk racing radials.
Firestone has now won the last 34 FedEx series events and 70 of the last 72. Firestone has been victorious in 84 of 111 CART events since it joined the series in 1995.
Quote from Al Speyer, Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Director: "It was obvious Helio was in command today from the outset. He was able to do whatever he needed to stay in the lead, in great part because of the confidence he had in his Firestone tires. Cristiano da Matta also had a car that handled well and pressured Helio to the very end. The new breed of tire Firestone has used the past two years at Long Beach has gone a long way in diminishing the marbles that accumulate off line, which allowed Cristiano and others to attempt moves they may not have been able to try a few short years ago. CART asked Firestone to provide more durable tires and we've done that. It's another demonstration of how our engineers can provide the product performance and durability that has Firestone in the position of supplying every car in the CART series."
Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Honda/Reynard/Firestone: "I didn't make any mistakes today. I was perfect. It helps when somebody is behind you, right on your gearbox, because you focus all the time. That was what was happening. â€¦ We put on new tires each time (on a pit stop) so we had lots of grip each time out. And the Firestone tires were holding up perfect. I had no problems all day long."
Firestone also participated in two check presentations prior to the race. The first was an $82,500 donation from the Bridgestone/Firestone Trust Fund to CARA Charities to underwrite the latter's "Buckle Up Baby" campaign for 2001. CARA Charities, in turn, gives $2,500 to a local hospital at each CART and Indy Racing League event this year, the money going to infant car seats for families in need. CARA Charities presented such a check today to Miller Children's Hospital.
Qualifying temperatures ranged from 88 to 92 degrees track and from 66 to 76 degrees ambient.