IRL: Firestone race notes

For the past three-quarters of a century, the Grand Ole Opry has been the hottest ticket in Nashville on any given Saturday night. The Indy Racing League brought its own special brand of performing to middle Tennessee tonight, giving local race...

For the past three-quarters of a century, the Grand Ole Opry has been the hottest ticket in Nashville on any given Saturday night. The Indy Racing League brought its own special brand of performing to middle Tennessee tonight, giving local race fans a great evening of motorsports action with more sparkles and high notes than a Dolly Parton concert. The entire field was equipped with Firestone Firehawk racing tires, provided by the Nashville-based Firestone Racing program.

Hemelgarn Racing driver Buddy Lazier put the Firehawks through a challenging competition on the new concrete track, but the tires were well up to the task as he took the victory - his seventh in IRL action -- to become the series leaders in event wins. Joining him on the podium was younger brother Jaques, who finished third, and Billy Boat, who finished second.

Quote from Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Director Al Speyer: "Concrete is notoriously tough on tires, but tonight the Firehawks proved they were up to the task of running on this exciting new track. They had the durability the drivers needed, while the grip level permitted an impressive amount of passing and two-abreast racing. This was a very special event for us because our corporate headquarters and other sales and marketing offices are in Nashville, and we have several manufacturing facilities in middle Tennessee. We had a lot of friends and family members in the sold-out crowd, and we were quite proud to contribute to the quality of racing they saw tonight. Buddy turned in a very impressive performance in earning this win; we congratulate him for the victory. We're confident when the IRL comes back here next year, there will be even more open-wheel fans wanting tickets to this event."

Buddy Lazier, Hemelgarn Racing (Dallara/Olds/Firestone): "The team did just a beautiful job in preparing my car and I had great grip with my Firestone tires all night long; it was a perfect night for us. We love Nashville and can't wait to come back here next year."

Ron Hemelgarn, Team Owner: "We can win this championship. The tires were fantastic: they're always good, the best there is!"

-Firestone

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier , Billy Boat