IRL: Pikes Peak: Firestone race report

Franchitti Takes Same Firehawk Tire to Another Short-Oval Victory Dario Franchitti certainly enjoys the most durable Firehawk short-oval tire used in IRL IndyCar Series competition this year by the Firestone Racing engineers. The Andretti Green...

Franchitti Takes Same Firehawk Tire to Another Short-Oval Victory

Dario Franchitti certainly enjoys the most durable Firehawk short-oval tire used in IRL IndyCar Series competition this year by the Firestone Racing engineers. The Andretti Green Racing driver made it 2-for-2 in 2004 on that particular tire, winning today's race after taking the same Firehawk specification to victory lane four weeks ago at The Milwaukee Mile. The victory also made AGR a perfect 4-for-4 this year on IRL short ovals, with Tony Kanaan winning at Phoenix and Dan Wheldon triumphant at Richmond.

Franchitti, in the ArcaEx Dallara/Honda on Firestone tires, was sensational on restarts today and made the Firehawks hold up throughout runs that lasted as long as 90 laps on the difficult Pikes Peak tri-oval. Franchitti passed Sam Hornish Jr. of Team Penske for the lead on the 132nd of 225 laps and he never surrendered the top position from that point onward.

"These kind of low-grip situations definitely suit my driving style," Franchitti said on the victory stage. "The car was pretty strong on cold tires. I think I surprised a couple guys. Pikes Peak is a difficult track because you really start to lose grip as the run goes on with the heat during the day. We're happy that the ArcaEx was good enough today. We ran close to 100 laps on the Firestone tires today and we put them through a workout. We really relied on them and they were good right to the end."

Quote from Joe Barbieri, Manager, Firestone Racing: "Apparently the Andretti Green Racing team knows how to get the most out of the Firestone Firehawks. Another convincing win by the team on a short oval and Dario's dominance certainly shows what experience will do when it comes to setting up a car properly to take full advantage of the tire performance. We're very proud of how the Firestone tires handled Pikes Peak this weekend. Now we look to another short oval next weekend at Nazareth, a milestone event for Firestone and the Indy Racing League as it will be the 100th race for us both. We'll have to see if anyone can stop the Andretti Green short-oval supremacy there."

Firestone Performance Award winner: Sam Hornish Jr. of Marlboro Team Penske earned the $10,000 Firestone Performance Award for leading lap 99 of today's race. The award commemorates the fact that Firestone has competed in every IRL IndyCar Series event since the league's inception in 1996. Today's race was the 99th in league history. Firestone Racing will present Hornish with his check during pre-race festivities at next weekend's Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway.

Race temperatures ranged from 124 to 130 degrees track and 84 to 87 degrees ambient (F).

Race temperatures ranged from 51 to 54 degrees track and 29 to 31 degrees ambient (C).

-firestone

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske