FIRESTONE FIREHAWK RACE REPORT
IZOD IndyCar Series - Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
What a memorable first win for Mike Conway, to pass both a Ganassi and a Penske car to take an absolutely dominating victory.
Race Temperatures: Track ranged from 930-1020 F (340- 390 C) and ambient from 66 - 690F (190 -210C).
Firestone Tire Performance Recap: Mike Conway followed a more conventional tire strategy, starting the race on new alternate tires, running scuffed primary tires on his second stint, and finishing the race on used alternates. The used alternates proved fast and sticky, allowing him to pass both Dario Franchitti and Ryan Briscoe with apparent ease. (A chart of drivers' tire use in the race is attached.)
From race winner Mike Conway, #27 Andretti Autosport Window World Cares Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "This feels awesome. The car was great, and I can't thank everyone on the team, Andretti Autosport enough. On the restarts, the car was awesome. When I made that pass on Dario, it looked like he was struggling to get temperature into the tires. The Firestone tires were great. I mean, they came straight up to temperature for me, and they hung in there the whole way. So thanks to Firestone, Honda and Dallara for the great package they have put together."
From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "What a memorable first win for Mike Conway, to pass both a Ganassi and a Penske car to take an absolutely dominating victory. It was very well-deserved. The Firestone tires performed solidly here this weekend. The alternate tires may have held up a little better than we might have wanted them to. But they were still wearing twice as fast as the primary tires. Long Beach is a tricky track, but we have been racing here since 1991 and have a lot of experience developing tires that will work here It has been a fantastic weekend in Long Beach as always, and we're already looking forward to next year."
Firestone "Tire-ific" Move of the Race: This $10,000 prize is awarded after each IndyCar Series race to the driver best utilizing his or her Firestone tires to make a bold, dramatic move during the event. Nominees from today's race are: Mike Conway, for brilliant passes on Franchitti and Briscoe to take the lead and the win; Oriol Servia, who expertly avoided contact with Helio Castroneves and Will Power and finished sixth; and Ryan Briscoe, who used a different tire strategy (starting on primary tires and holding off competitors on alternates) to advance from 12th to finish second. Fans can vote this week at www.indycar.com to determine the winner.