IRL: Kansas: Firestone preview

Firehawk Race Tires Supplied: Firestone delivered 828 Firehawk racing radials for use at Kansas Speedway. All were produced at the Firestone Technical Center in Akron, Ohio. At the direction of Indy Racing League officials, each entered car...

Firehawk Race Tires Supplied: Firestone delivered 828 Firehawk racing radials for use at Kansas Speedway. All were produced at the Firestone Technical Center in Akron, Ohio. At the direction of Indy Racing League officials, each entered car receives eight sets of tires (28 total) this weekend, to be used at the team's discretion throughout the practice, qualifying and race sessions. The tire specification in use is making its second appearance in the past three IndyCar Series races. The same specification ran quite successfully three weekends ago at Texas Motor Speedway, and comes from the renowned line of Firestone superspeedway tires.

Stagger defined: Firestone purposely molds its right-rear Firehawk oval tires with a slightly greater diameter than the left-rear tires, which allows the Indy cars to turn left more smoothly. The effect is known as "stagger." The diameter difference is tiny --about 0.45 of an inch this weekend -- yet the effect is dramatic in making the cars turn more naturally, which decreases the stresses placed on both driver and equipment.

Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "Whenever the Indy cars compete on these mile-and-a-half ovals, there always seems to be nail-biting, tire-to-tire racing on each and every lap. It's definitely part of the IndyCar Series' allure. To have the bravado to battle and dice like that for 200 laps, the drivers must have the ultimate confidence in their race tires to let them do so. We take pride in knowing that the Firestone tires are trusted so highly in these incredibly demanding conditions, and we expect the Firehawks in use this weekend to go a long way in helping the IRL put on another exciting show."

Firestone Performance Award: During pre-race festivities Sunday, Firestone Racing will present a $10,000 check to Dario Franchitti of Andretti Green Racing for winning the Firestone Performance Award by leading lap 110 last week at Richmond International Raceway. The award commemorates Firestone's status as the only tire manufacturer to have participated in every IRL event and is given to the driver who, in each IndyCar Series race, leads the lap number corresponding to the total number of races run to that point in series history. This weekend at Kansas, the leader of lap 111 will earn the $10,000 Firestone Performance Award.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti