IRL: Kentucky: Firestone preview

Race Distance: 300 miles (200 laps around the 1.5-mile oval). Firehawk Race Tires Supplied: Firestone delivered 764 Firehawk racing radials for use this weekend. All were produced at the Firestone Technical Center in Akron, Ohio. At the...

Race Distance: 300 miles (200 laps around the 1.5-mile oval).

Firehawk Race Tires Supplied: Firestone delivered 764 Firehawk racing radials for use this weekend. All were produced at the Firestone Technical Center in Akron, Ohio. At the direction of Indy Racing League officials, each entered car will receive eight sets of tires (32 total) this weekend, to be used at the team's discretion throughout the practice, qualifying and race sessions. The tire chosen by the Firestone race tire development team for this weekend's event is the same specification that was used at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this season. This specification is different from the one used at Kentucky Speedway last season, with slight changes to the compound and construction designed to improve durability.

Firestone in the Indy Racing League: This weekend's race will mark the 98th event since the IRL's debut in 1996 0x2022 and Firestone has been there for every race. The only tire manufacturer to have participated in every IRL event, Firestone is now in its ninth season of IRL competition and fifth season as sole supplier to the league, with 80 victories and seven of the league's nine championships to date. Again this season, Firestone is commemorating its status as the only tire manufacturer to have participated in every IRL race with the Firestone Performance Award, given to the driver leading the race lap that corresponds with the number of IRL races run to that point. This weekend's winner will be the leader of lap 98 and will be presented with a $10,000 check from Firestone Racing during pre-race festivities at the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway on August 22.

Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "This track has undergone some grinding since last season which has left it a little abrasive, so we'll be watching tire wear very carefully, especially early on in the weekend. The tire we brought this weekend is more durable than the one we've used here in the past and we believe it will hold up well. It's a similar situation to what we saw earlier in the season at Nashville 0x2022 as the weekend goes on and rubber gets laid down on the track, wear should become less of an issue. By race day we should see things even out and we don't expect any issues in the race."

Tire Terminology: Compound 0x2022 a mixture of various ingredients used by tire manufacturers to produce the surface layer of a racing tire. Compounds vary based on many different variables, including track characteristics (i.e., degree of banking), anticipated weather conditions (i.e., high ambient temperatures) and league rules and regulations (i.e. aerodynamic package of the cars).

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Series IndyCar