IRL: Michigan: Firestone race report

Castroneves Adds Twilight Victory Fence Climb to Repertoire Undeterred by a rain delay that forced the Firestone Indy 400 into an evening event, Helio Castroneves drove to a convincing victory today, on the 11-year anniversary of the Firestone...

Castroneves Adds Twilight Victory Fence Climb to Repertoire

Undeterred by a rain delay that forced the Firestone Indy 400 into an evening event, Helio Castroneves drove to a convincing victory today, on the 11-year anniversary of the Firestone Racing program's first win of its current open-wheel era (also at MIS). Castroneves becomes the 13th straight Firestone-equipped MIS race winner. Beginning with that 1995 Scott Pruett triumph, each of those wins has come from a different driver.

Castroneves overtook fellow Brazilian Vitor Meira on the next-to-last round of pit stops and opened a lead of more than four seconds before Meira narrowed the gap in the waning laps. The final margin of victory for Castroneves was 1.6 seconds, as he picked up his fourth win this season and the 17th victory of his major open-wheel career (11 in IRL, six in CART). All 17 of those wins have come on Firestone tires.

From Helio Castroneves, Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"The Firestone tires were holding well. We made the car really consistent and we had no problem. The car was flawless and we were able to keep the speed, especially at the beginning was just incredible -- the tires had great, great, great grip. Toward the end naturally, there was a little degrading, but it was equally. For me, the tires were a big deal."

From Vitor Meira, Revive/Panther Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"We could not ask for more from the tires. They were working really good for me in the low groove and the high groove. Even in the high groove at the beginning after the track being washed out, we had plenty of grip all the way. You can't ask for anything more than grip at the beginning of the race, all the way to the end of the race, for 400 miles.

Firestone Tire Performance Summary:

Firestone returned to Michigan with the same winning compound/construction formula as was used here a year ago, and it delivered the same incredible grip and consistency as in 2005.

From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing:
"Once again we had another thrilling race at Michigan, where the drivers ran extremely hard all race and never experienced tire problems. To Helio and Marlboro Team Penske, we say congratulations. Throughout most of the race, they seemed like one of, it not the strongest team out there. It's nice to know that in 11 years of competition at MIS, Firestone has won every single race we've competed in here. In addition to all of the on-track action, we were also very pleased with how MIS management gave Firestone great exposure around the track for the Firestone Indy 400."

Firestone Performance Award: Dan Wheldon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing earned the $10,000 Firestone Performance Award for leading lap 131 of today's race, the 131st race in IRL IndyCar Series history. The award commemorates Firestone's participation in every event since the league's inaugural race in 1996.

Race temperatures ranged from 101 to 88 degrees track and 87 to 84 degrees ambient (F).
Race temperatures ranged from 38 to 31 degrees track and 31 to 29 degrees ambient (C).

-firestone

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Pruett , Dan Wheldon , Chip Ganassi , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing