IRL: Homestead: Firestone race report

Wheldon Starts 2006 With Win Dan Wheldon kept his championship form alive, winning the first race of the 2006 season in his first race for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Polesitter Sam Hornish dominated the first half of the race, but it ...

Wheldon Starts 2006 With Win

Dan Wheldon kept his championship form alive, winning the first race of the 2006 season in his first race for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

Polesitter Sam Hornish dominated the first half of the race, but it was Wheldon and Helio Castroneves who battled it out at the end, running side by side for lap after lap before Wheldon pulled ahead on the last lap to earn his 10th IndyCar Series victory.

* Firestone Tire Performance Summary: Firestone's race tire development team chose a proven specification for this weekend's event. Based on the construction used previously on 1.5-mile ovals, the spec features left- and right-side compounds designed, in part, to increase heat resistance. This spec was employed last season at Chicagoland Speedway and was successfully tested at Homestead-Miami Speedway earlier this month. That tire held up tremendously well at a track which provides the greatest challenge for Firestone's race tire development team--the radius, track surface and banking at Homestead combine to make up the most severe conditions for tires of any venue on the IRL schedule.

* From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "Congratulations to Dan Wheldon and the entire Target Chip Ganassi Racing team for winning the first race of the 2006 season. Obviously, though, everything today has been overshadowed by the tragic loss of Paul Dana. The Firestone Racing team is deeply saddened by his death and we extend our sympathies to his wife Tonya, his family, his team and his many friends and fans. We had the privilege of working with Paul in both the IndyCar Series and the Indy Pro Series and will certainly miss his presence and his competitive spirit."

Race temperatures ranged from 86 to 106 degrees track and from 74 to 76 degrees ambient (F).

Race temperatures ranged from 30 to 41.1 degrees track and from 23.3 to 24.4 degrees ambient (C).

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dan Wheldon , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornis
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing