IRL: Firestone Richmond pre-race fast facts

Firestone Firehawk Fast Facts Indy Racing Northern Light Series SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, Va. June 28-30, 2001 Race distance: 250 laps, 187.5 miles. Firestone tires supplied this weekend:...

Firestone Firehawk Fast Facts
Indy Racing Northern Light Series
SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, Va.
June 28-30, 2001

Race distance: 250 laps, 187.5 miles.

Firestone tires supplied this weekend: approximately 600 (based on 7 sets per car for 21 cars).

Tire staggers available: 1 (approximately 0.60 inches). Past Firestone winners at Richmond: This is the first Indy Racing League event at Richmond International Raceway. Golden moment: This weekend will mark the 50th Indy Racing League race since the series' inception in 1996, and Firestone has been there every step of the way. When the checkered flag waves Saturday evening, it will also mark Firestone's 33rd IRL victory, a lofty 66.6 winning percentage. While Firestone is currently the sole tire supplier to the IRL, the series remains open to any adversary.

Al Speyer, Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Director, on the tire selection for Richmond:
"Firestone is pleased to supply every Indy Racing League competitor as the series makes its Richmond debut this weekend and expands the presence of Indy-car racing into a new frontier. Going to a new track always poses some uncertainty for a manufacturer, particularly when it is as different from the norm as Richmond is from other IRL venues. The shortness of the track and the sealant applied to the track surface are two of the peculiarities that make Richmond most unique in our minds. But the Firestone Racing engineers earned their reputation as the best in the business by being 'spot on' with their tire selection nearly every time we've competed in a race, and we're confident they've made the right call again this weekend. The tire specification we've brought is actually from the same compound/construction combination that ran so successfully in the season opener at Phoenix, so it has already proven itself in sultry Arizona desert conditions. Plus, many teams had the opportunity to test the tire here at Richmond, and the feedback was quite positive. Greg Ray, in fact, said he felt as comfortable running 160 miles an hour on tires with 90 laps on them as he did with fresh rubber. Words like that have us optimistic for another sensational tire performance and another exciting IRL race weekend."

FIRESTONE LEADER AT HALFWAY AWARD:

Greg Ray and Sam Hornish Jr. have downright owned the honor of leading this year's Indy Racing Northern Light Series events at the midway points, and are the richer for it thanks to Firestone Racing. Team Menard's Ray has been the race leader at the halfway juncture of races at Phoenix, Atlanta, Indianapolis and Texas to earn $50,000 in bonus money from Firestone ($20,000 for Indy, $10,000 for the other races). Hornish has been in first place at the halfway point at Homestead and Pikes Peak, to earn $20,000 for himself and Panther Racing. Will the duo maintain their stranglehold on the bonus bucks this weekend at Richmond? Only time and completion of the 125th lap will tell.

-Firestone-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Panther Racing