IRL: Indy 500: Firestone race report

Hornish Recovers to Win Thrilling Race, Firestone's 57th at Indy Sam Hornish Jr. showed he was the driver to beat all month; even after his team nearly beat itself with a troublesome pit stop, he recovered to win one of the most thrilling ...

Hornish Recovers to Win Thrilling Race, Firestone's 57th at Indy

Sam Hornish Jr. showed he was the driver to beat all month; even after his team nearly beat itself with a troublesome pit stop, he recovered to win one of the most thrilling Indianapolis 500-Mile Races in recent memory. Hornish passed rookie Marco Andretti heading down the front straight on the final lap to win his first Indy 500 and the 14th for Marlboro Team Penske. It is also the 57th Indy victory for Firestone, a total more than all other tire manufacturers combined.

Amazingly, Hornish put 49 laps (122.5 miles) on the set of Firestone Firehawk tires that carried him to the finish line, and they still had enough muscle left to help Hornish run a final lap of 219 mph and the agility to make the pass of Andretti. This despite track temperatures that topped out at a sizzling 130 degrees Fahrenheit near the end of the race.

* From Sam Hornish Jr., Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "Everything with the Firestone tires was good today. They were really consistent throughout the run. We went 40 laps or more on that last stint with them, and the Firestones were there when we needed them. That's for sure! This is the best day I'll ever have as far as my professional career is concerned."

* From Roger Penske, Owner, Marlboro Team Penske: "The Firestone tires were outstanding. We needed them at the end because we didn't pit for tires. They were very good all month, very consistent. It's great to have Firestone in this game."

* Firestone Tire Performance Summary: Firestone brought a new tire specification to Indianapolis, bringing a new compound formula designed to deliver improved wear and mildly better grip. As expected, the new Firehawks displayed greater durability as the race went on, allowing Hornish in particular to put 49 laps on his race-winning set.

*From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "What an awesome race! Anytime fans see a close, unpredictable ending, you know they'll be standing and cheering at the top of their lungs, and that's exactly what happened today. A big congratulations to Marlboro Team Penske and Sam Hornish Jr. for overcoming several setbacks to take a well-deserved win. Sam showed his speed most of the month, and to be rewarded with his first victory here is something we know he'll remember for a long time. I don't know how you could top today's race from an excitement standpoint, but Firestone Racing is eager to return in 2007 to add to all of our records."

Race temperatures ranged from 109 to 130 degrees track and from 88 to 96 degrees ambient (F).

Race temperatures ranged from 43 to 54 degrees track and from 31 to 36 degrees ambient (C).

-firestone-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Marco Andretti , Roger Penske , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske