IRL: Fontana: Firestone race report

Polesitter Dario Franchitti barely edged Andretti Green teammate Tony Kanaan across the line to claim his second victory of the year in the IndyCar Series season finale at California Speedway. Franchitti's win allowed him to maintain his fourth ...

Polesitter Dario Franchitti barely edged Andretti Green teammate Tony Kanaan across the line to claim his second victory of the year in the IndyCar Series season finale at California Speedway. Franchitti's win allowed him to maintain his fourth place position in the championship standings to finish out the 2005 season.

For this weekend's race, Firestone engineers had selected a proven specification, which was run at Michigan International Speedway earlier this season. Designed to withstand the demands of a fast and wide superspeedway, the spec was based closely on the tire used at Fontana last season, with only slight adjustments to the compound and construction. The tire, one of the few IndyCar Series tires made at the company's technical center in Japan, more than lived up to performance expectations throughout the weekend.

"The tires were great right up until I did the donuts there," said Franchitti. "I worked them pretty hard and they worked fabulous all weekend."

Quote from Al Speyer, executive director, Firestone Racing: "This was exactly the type of race we've come to expect to see at California Speedway -- tight, fast and hard-fought. Some of the things that make this track such a great place to see an exciting race are the very same things that make it tough on tires, but our experience here has given us a very good idea of what works and what doesn't, and we've been able to provide these drivers with a tire they can trust here at more than 200 miles per hour. That shows in the way they drove today. We're certainly a little sad that we won't be back here next season, but we're hopeful that someday soon we'll be competing again at this wonderful facility. Congratulations to Dario and his Andretti Green crew -- it was a well-deserved win for them."

Firestone Performance Award winner: Tomas Scheckter of Panther Racing earned the $10,000 Firestone Performance Award for leading lap 120 of today's race. The award commemorates the fact that Firestone has competed in every IRL IndyCar Series event since the league's inaugural race in 1996. Today's race was the 120th in league history.

Race temperatures ranged from 69 to 74 degrees track and 69 to 71 degrees ambient (F). Race temperatures ranged from 21 to 23 degrees track and 21 to 22 degrees ambient (C).

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Dario Franchitti
Teams Panther Racing