Race Temperatures: Temps ranged from 120o.-125o. F (48o.-55o. C) track and from 90-94o.F (32o.-34o. C) ambient. Firestone Tire Performance Recap: As expected, there was a greater gap between the primary (black sidewall) and alternate (red ...
Race Temperatures: Temps ranged from 120o.-125o. F (48o.-55o. C) track and from 90-94o.F (32o.-34o. C) ambient.
Firestone Tire Performance Recap: As expected, there was a greater gap between the primary (black sidewall) and alternate (red sidewall) tire specifications at Long Beach than we saw two weeks ago at St. Petersburg. Dario Franchitti's team played the tire strategy perfectly, starting the race on alternates and pitting early to change to the primaries, on which they felt the car was a little better balanced. A chart detailing each driver's tire use for the race is on the following page.
From race winner Dario Franchitti, #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "It was a lot of fun! The race came down to the timing of my first pit stop, and Chip [Ganassi] and the team called it perfectly, as the 'reds' were just starting to go off a little bit. The pace of the reds was fabulous, and they did just what we expected. They were very, very fast, but they didn't have the longevity that the primary Firestone Firehawk tires did. The primaries were consistent, and we ran and we ran with them with no drop-off whatsoever."
From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "Today we saw another race where tire strategy played a big role in the outcome. Dario and his team played the tire choice and pit timing to their maximum benefit, so congratulations to them for winning the very first 'unified' Long Beach Grand Prix. From Firestone Racing's perspective, the tires performed well, with teams gaining as much as a second per lap short-term speed advantage on the alternate tires. I'd like to point out that we used the same alternate tire here that we took to St. Petersburg. There were a lot of comments about marbles at St. Pete, but they were no issue whatsoever here in Long Beach."
Firestone "Tire-ific" Move of the Race: This $10,000 prize will be awarded after each IndyCar Series race to the driver who best utilizes his or her Firestone tires to make a bold, dramatic move during the event. This week's nominees are: Dario Franchitti, for pulling away for the victory on primary tires; Danica Patrick, who charged from 22nd to 4th, and Alex Tagliani, who tracked down Ryan Hunter-Reay for a last-lap pass that secured a top-10 finish. Fans can vote through Wednesday at www.indycar.com to determine the recipient. This race's winner will be named at next week's race at Kansas Speedway.