IRL: Nazareth: Firestone race report

Firehawks lend steady hand in Castroneves' triumph. Helio Castroneves found himself in a familiar position in the final laps of the Firestone Indy 225 - battling Sam Hornish Jr. to see who would get to the checkered flag first. Today it was ...

Firehawks lend steady hand in Castroneves' triumph.

Helio Castroneves found himself in a familiar position in the final laps of the Firestone Indy 225 - battling Sam Hornish Jr. to see who would get to the checkered flag first. Today it was Castroneves' turn to win another nail-biter, by just 0.1697 of a second in the closest IndyCar race finish in Nazareth Speedway history.

Throughout the race, Castroneves, Hornish and all the IndyCar Series drivers leaned on their Firestone Firehawk tires each and every lap. That was never more evident than when the two front-runners battled nose to tail in the closing laps. Hornish hounded the leader every inch of the way around the challenging mile oval, squeezing every ounce of speed out of his Firehawks in an effort to pass. But Castroneves relied on the consistent performance of the Firehawks as well, and kept Hornish at bay. Afterward, the excitable winner couldn't use enough adjectives to express his happiness for the tires.

"The Firestone tires were great today. Great, just great!" Castroneves exclaimed. "I never had a problem all day. Very good!"

Firestone is the Official Tire Supplier to the Indy Racing League for both its IndyCar Series and Infiniti Pro Series. All cars in both series are equipped with Firehawk racing radials.

Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "The Firestone Indy 225 today saw some great racing action, a few surprises and a new series points leader emerge. The big surprises included pole sitter Scott Dixon dropping out with mechanical problems and previous points leader Tony Kanaan involved in an unfortunate accident. That left the final competition to series rivals Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish Jr., and they battled to the closest IndyCar finish in the history of Nazareth Speedway. Helio was the eventual winner and also takes the points lead with the victory today. Nazareth Speedway is known as a somewhat tricky track where handling is a key to success. Once again the Firestone Firehawks proved they were fully up to the task with no problems whatsoever throughout the race."

Firestone Performance Award: Castroneves pocketed an additional $10,000 from Firestone Racing today for leading lap 84. The Firestone Performance Award recognizes the fact that Firestone has participated in every IndyCar Series event since the IRL's 1996 inception, with today's race the 84th in series history.

Race temperatures ranged from 108 to 118 degrees track and from 82 to 88 degrees ambient (F).

Race temperatures ranged from 42 to 48 degrees track and from 28 to 31 degrees ambient (C).

-firestone-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Sam Hornish Jr. , Sam Hornis