IRL: Richmond: Firestone preview

FIRESTONE FIREHAWK FAST FACTS Indy Racing League IndyCar Series SunTrust Indy Challenge -- Richmond Intl. Raceway, Richmond, Va. June 24-25, 2005 -- Round 7 of 17 Race Distance: 187.5 miles or 301.752 kilometers (250 laps around the 0.75-mile...

FIRESTONE FIREHAWK FAST FACTS

Indy Racing League IndyCar Series
SunTrust Indy Challenge -- Richmond Intl. Raceway, Richmond, Va.
June 24-25, 2005 -- Round 7 of 17

Race Distance: 187.5 miles or 301.752 kilometers (250 laps around the 0.75-mile oval).

Firehawk Race Tires Supplied: Firestone delivered 732 Firehawk racing radials for use this weekend. All were produced at the Firestone Technical Center in Akron, Ohio. At the direction of Indy Racing League officials, each entered car will receive seven sets of tires (28 total) this weekend, to be used at the team's discretion throughout the practice, qualifying and race sessions. The tire in use this weekend is making a command performance since the same specification ran successfully at Richmond in 2004. This spec also was used earlier this season on the mile oval at Phoenix, so the IndyCar Series teams have plenty of experience on these Firehawks.

Turn, Turn, Turn: The short ¾-mile oval this weekend gives IndyCar Series drivers the sensation of constantly turning, so the stagger offered by the Firestone tires is never more important than at RIR. "Stagger" is a design feature of Firehawk race tires that purposely molds the right-rear tire with a slightly larger diameter than the left-rear tire. This allows the Indy cars to turn left more smoothly. The diameter difference is tiny -- only about 0.60 of an inch -- yet the effect is dramatic in making the car turn more naturally, which decreases the stresses placed on both driver and equipment.

Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "From the high speeds and high banks of Texas two weeks ago to the cramped bullring of Richmond this weekend, it doesn't matter -- we're sure to see plenty of exciting racing action from the Indy cars and the Firestone tires will play a prominent role in making it all happen. We're returning with a Firehawk specification proven to stand up to the rigorous demands of this unique Richmond oval. The drivers enjoy racing here and have the earned trust in their tires to race high, low and side-by-side all night long on this challenging track."

Firestone Performance Award: During pre-race festivities Saturday night, Firestone Racing will present a $10,000 check to Tomas Scheckter of Panther Racing for winning the Firestone Performance Award by leading lap 109 at the Bombardier Learjet 500k at Texas Motor Speedway on June 11. The award commemorates Firestone's status as the only tire manufacturer to have participated in every IRL event and is given to the driver who, in each IndyCar Series race, leads the lap number corresponding to the total number of races run to that point. This weekend at Richmond, the leader of lap 110 will earn the $10,000 Firestone Performance Award.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter
Teams Panther Racing