IRL: Kentucky: Firestone preview

FIRESTONE FIREHAWK FAST FACTS Indy Racing League IndyCar Series Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, Ky. August 16-17, 2003 - Round 12 of 16 Race Distance: 300 miles (200 laps around the 1.5-mile oval). Firehawk Race Tires ...

FIRESTONE FIREHAWK FAST FACTS
Indy Racing League IndyCar Series
Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, Ky.
August 16-17, 2003 - Round 12 of 16

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

Firehawk Race Tires Supplied:

Firestone delivered 796 Firehawk racing radials for use this weekend. Each IndyCar Series entry receives up to eight sets of tires (32 total) to use as its team sees fit during practice, qualifying and the race. Firestone Racing engineers opted for a race-tested tire specification for this weekend that proved itself on the most recent 1.5-mile track on the IndyCar schedule. The tires for Kentucky are from the same spec that performed so well last month under the extreme heat conditions at Kansas Speedway.

Stagger Helps the Cars Go 'Round:

Firestone engineers purposely design the right rear tire with a circumference slightly larger than that of the left rear tire for oval competition. The size differential is minor - just 0.45 of an inch this weekend - but the effect, called "stagger," helps the IndyCars turn left more naturally and smoothly, and decreases the stresses on car and driver alike.

Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing:

"With three of the final five races in 2003 held on 1.5-mile ovals, it becomes critically important for the teams to have their cars perform well on these comparable tracks. Having race tires that are consistent, stable and durable is a key ingredient to setting up a competitive racecar, and that's why Firestone is utilizing a tire that's already shown it can take the heat and keep on racing. This tire spec performed flawlessly in the sauna-like conditions at Kansas and received excellent feedback when it was used again in the recent open test at Kentucky Speedway. While the track surface here underwent a grinding and buffing since the open test, we foresee no difficulties and expect the Firehawks to continue with their masterful performances. The IndyCar championship looks as if it will go down to the wire yet again and Firestone is proud to play a part in making the competition so doggone exciting."

The Official Tire of the IRL:

Firestone is the exclusive tire supplier to the Indy Racing League for both the IndyCar and Infiniti Pro series. The Infiniti Pro Series conducts the ninth of its 12-race schedule with Saturday's Kentucky 100 at Kentucky Speedway.

Firestone Performance Award:

In recognition of the fact that the tire maker has competed in every IRL race, Firestone Racing is awarding $10,000 at each 2003 event to the leader of the lap that coincides with the number of IndyCar Series races that have taken place. Since this weekend's race is the 83rd in series history, the leader of lap 83 Sunday will earn the bonus.

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Series IndyCar