IRL: Nashville: Firestone race report

A Home Win for Firestone and Franchitti Dario Franchitti claimed his first victory of the season in his adopted hometown -- also home to the Firestone Racing program -- in the fourth annual running of the Firestone Indy 200 at ...

A Home Win for Firestone and Franchitti

Dario Franchitti claimed his first victory of the season in his adopted hometown -- also home to the Firestone Racing program -- in the fourth annual running of the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. Franchitti started the race in fourth position and ran among the race leaders throughout. He passed Patrick Carpentier two laps into a restart on lap 194 and held on for the win.

The Firestone race tire development team brought a new, harder and more durable right-side specification to Nashville this weekend in answer to the concrete track known for causing tire wear issues. The new spec exceeded expectations, with some teams running more than a full stint with no durability problems.

"The only problem with the tires was when I did the doughnuts," said Franchitti. "That last set we ran for a stint and a half with no drop off in performance -- we were running our fastest laps at the end of the race, and the grip was consistent from start to finish. Again Firestone has come out with a gem of a tire that worked perfectly."

Quote from Al Speyer, executive director, Firestone Racing: "The concrete surface of this track makes it one of the biggest challenges we face year in and year out, but we could not be happier with the performance we saw from our tires this weekend. It was music to my ears to hear Dario Franchitti raving about tire performance in victory circle. He told me these were the best tires he's ever raced on at Nashville, and they never gave up any grip even though he ran his final set 78 laps. That's the kind of performance these drivers have come to expect from us and it's very satisfying to provide that consistency for them, even on a track this tough."

Firestone Performance Award winner: Tony Kanaan of Andretti Green Racing earned the $10,000 Firestone Performance Award for leading lap 112 of today's race. The award commemorates the fact that Firestone has competed in every IRL IndyCar Series event since the league's inaugural race in 1996. Today's race was the 112th in league history. Kanaan will be presented with a $10,000 check during pre-race ceremonies for the ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt 225 at The Milwaukee Mile on July 24.

Race temperatures ranged from 83 to 94 degrees track and 82 to 87 degrees ambient (F).
Race temperatures ranged from 28 to 34 degrees track and 28 to 31 degrees ambient (C).

-firestone

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , A.J. Foyt