IRL: Richmond: Firestone preview

FIRESTONE FIREHAWK FAST FACTS Indy Racing League IndyCar Series SunTrust Indy Challenge - Richmond Intl. Raceway, Richmond, Va. June 23-24, 2006 - Round 7 of 14 Race Distance: 187.5 miles/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 23-24, 2006 - Round 7 of 14

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

Firehawk Race Tires Supplied: Firestone delivered 880 dry-condition Firehawk race tires for use. All were produced at the Firestone Technical Center in Akron, Ohio. Per IRL rules, Firestone brings a single specification to oval events, assuring all competitors the same quality race tire. Each car receives seven sets of slicks (28 total tires) for the race weekend, to use as its team determines in the practice, qualifying and race sessions. In addition, each team receives two sets (8 total tires) for the open test on Thursday afternoon. However, rookies get four sets (16 total tires) for Thursday, since they will also run a morning session that day. While the short oval tire spec Firestone Racing engineers selected for this weekend is new, it is expected to have similar grip and wear to the specification used at this track in 2005.

Turn, Turn, Turn: The short 3/4-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: "Richmond presents a unique challenge because it is short and very tight - it almost makes you dizzy watching the cars go around so quickly. Our engineers have tweaked the design of last year's tire specification to better meet the distinctive demands of the shortest oval on the IndyCar schedule, and we are confident that the changes will lend themselves beautifully to the trademark side-by-side racing that occurs here. From a corporate entertainment perspective, Richmond is always an important event for us, and as usual, we will have several government representatives attending our hospitality area. We know our guests will enjoy watching the non-stop, thrilling action that Richmond guarantees to deliver."

Firestone Performance Award: During the 2006 season, Firestone Racing continues presenting this award in conjunction with each IndyCar Series event. The $10,000 bonus commemorates Firestone's status as the only tire manufacturer to have participated in every IRL race, and is traditionally given to the driver who, at each IndyCar Series event, leads the lap number corresponding to the cumulative number of races run in series history. The SunTrust Indy Challenge is the 127th IndyCar Series race, so the award will go to the driver who leads lap 127.

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