IRL: California: Firestone Racing qualifying notes

Fast Eddie rides Firehawks to girst IRL pole Eddie Cheever Jr. (Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone) today claimed his first Indy Racing League pole with a 32.5171-second (221.422 mph) lap at California Speedway. He will be...

Fast Eddie rides Firehawks to girst IRL pole

Eddie Cheever Jr. (Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone) today claimed his first Indy Racing League pole with a 32.5171-second (221.422 mph) lap at California Speedway. He will be joined on the front row for Sunday's Yamaha Indy 400 by Menards/John Manville driver Jaques Lazier (Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone), who turned a lap at 32.5925 seconds (220.909 mph). Dreyer & Reinbold Racing driver Robbie Buhl was involved in an accident during his qualifying run and was transported to Loma Linda Medical Center for tests and observation.

Al Speyer, Firestone Motorsports Executive Director: "There's no complacency in the Firestone Racing program, evidenced by new tires we developed for this race. We heard quite a few positive comments from teams and drivers when they used these tires during the Test In the West here last month; we've heard even more today as they've accumulated more miles on them. Our goal as the official tire supplier of the Indy Racing League is to keep looking for new designs, materials and construction techniques that give racers the grip and durability they need for all tracks. We congratulate Eddie on his first IRL pole; he's been very good about providing feedback on our tires, and we're proud to be a part of this moment in his impressive career."

Cheever Indy Racing driver Eddie Cheever Jr. (Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "The Firestones are working very well. We've managed to do 40 percent more on a set of tires than we need for a full tank of fuel. There's no change in handling as you go through the run and they warm up very quickly. It makes the car easier to drive."

Hemelgarn Racing driver Buddy Lazier (Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "As always, the Firestone tires are working perfectly. The wear is awesome and the grip is really good.

Pennzoil Panther Racing driver Sam Hornish Jr. (Dallara/ Chevrolet/Firestone): "The grip on these tires is really good; I've been able to run high or run low. That's good because when these cars run three wide on this track, you're going to get a lot of air moving around and grip is important."

Firestone Performance Award: "The Firestone Racing program will present a $10,000 bonus check to the IRL driver leading at the end of lap 59 in Sunday's event. The award celebrates Firestone being in all 59 IRL events conducted since the first competition in 1996 - the only tire manufacturer to have done so. In pre-race ceremonies Sunday, Firestone will present a $10,000 check to Pennzoil Panther Racing driver Sam Hornish Jr., who was leading at the end of lap 58 in the 58th IRL race last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.

Morning practice temperatures ranged from 81 to 89 degrees track and from 61 to 64 degrees ambient (F).
Afternoon qualifying temperatures ranged from 79 to 94 degrees track and from 64 to 66 degrees ambient (F).

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Buddy Lazier , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Panther Racing , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing