IRL: Chicagoland: Firestone race report

Hornish headlines closest 1-2-3 in series history It was another thrilling show at Chicagoland Speedway as defending IRL IndyCar Series champ Sam Hornish Jr. picked up his second win of the season in dramatic fashion. Hornish, driver of the No....

Hornish headlines closest 1-2-3 in series history

It was another thrilling show at Chicagoland Speedway as defending IRL IndyCar Series champ Sam Hornish Jr. picked up his second win of the season in dramatic fashion. Hornish, driver of the No. 4 Penzoil Panther car, led a pack of drivers across the finish line in the closest 1-2-3 finish in IRL IndyCar Series history.

Hornish started in eighth position and leaned heavily on his Firestone Firehawks from the start, quickly picking his way through the field and taking the lead for the first time on lap 52. In the end, the tires' durability was a key factor in the race's finish. Hornish and the other top three drivers on the last pit stop chose not to change their tires, but instead relied on the consistency they knew they could get from their Firestones to race hard all the way to the end.

"The tires were great," said Hornish. "We didn't have a problem all day long, and I could run wherever I wanted to on them."

He was followed very closely across the finish line by Scott Dixon, in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi car - only 0.0099 of a second behind - and Bryan Herta driving for Andretti Green Racing in the No. 27 Archipelago/Motorola, who followed Dixon by just 0.0001 of a second.

Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing:

"Awesome! I don't know how Sam Hornish and the Panther crew continue to win some of the closest finishes in racing history. Maybe they have some secret they're not willing to share with anyone else. Once again we're very pleased that the consistency, durability and control of the Firestone Firehawks help deliver this incredibly close racing. None of the top cars changed tires on their last pit stop, which really shows how much confidence all these teams and drivers have in their Firestones. We can't wait for the final two races this year at Fontana and Texas."

Firestone Performance Award:

Dan Wheldon Dan Wheldon, driving the No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam for Andretti Green Racing, led lap 85 today, earning a $10,000 bonus from Firestone Racing. The award commemorates Firestone competing in every Indy Racing League IndyCar event since the series' beginning in 1996.

Race temperatures ranged from 104 to 111 degrees track and from 83 to 84 degrees ambient (F).
Race temperatures ranged from 40 to 44 degrees track and from 28 to 29 degrees ambient (C).

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Dixon , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Chip Ganassi , Jim Beam , Sam Hornish Jr. , Sam Hornis