Richmond: Firestone preview

Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied: 1,120 dry-condition slicks; each car receives eight sets (32 tires) for the two-day weekend. Four drivers (J. Andretti, Bell, Hunter-Reay, Roth) receive one set each for Thursday's practice session; nine ...

Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied:
1,120 dry-condition slicks; each car receives eight sets (32 tires) for the two-day weekend. Four drivers (J. Andretti, Bell, Hunter-Reay, Roth) receive one set each for Thursday's practice session; nine drivers (Bernoldi, Camara, Junqueira, Moraes, Power, Rahal, Servia, Viso, Wilson) receive two sets for Thursday's practice session. All tires used Thursday must be returned before Friday practice.

Firestone Racing selected the Richmond tire specification based on results from a tire test there in March with drivers Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe. The Richmond tires feature the same left-side compounds and constructions as used at Milwaukee, paired with new right-side tires designed to add durability. Tire stagger (producing the right-rear tire with a slightly larger diameter than the left rear) also will play an important role this weekend, since the cars are turning almost constantly on this shortest of ovals. Firestone tire stagger for Richmond will be approximately 0.60 of an inch, the largest stagger for any track in '08.

From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "Richmond completes the run of all three IndyCar Series short ovals in a four-race span. The drivers say these tracks, while similar in length, are very different to drive. That's quite apparent from the Firestone tires as well, as we are using differing tire specifications for each of the three short tracks. The Firehawk spec for Richmond combines part of the Milwaukee spec with a new right-side spec confirmed at the Richmond tire test in March. We could have given the teams and drivers one tire spec for all three short ovals, but that's not how we do things at Firestone. Our race tire development staff is constantly working to make an excellent product better, even if it means developing different tire specs for similar tracks. The Richmond race is always exciting; with the new Firehawk tires, the larger field and an added 50 laps, it will only be more thrilling this year."

Firestone "Tire-ific" Move of the Race: This $10,000 prize is 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. It could be relying on the Firehawks' great grip to execute a daring pass, or having the confidence in the tires' durability to run an extra stint on a set to improve position. After each race, Firestone Racing submits the top three "Tire-ific" candidates to www.indycar.com, where fans cast their votes during the ensuing week to determine the winner. The "Tire-ific" recipient from the June 22 race at Iowa (John Andretti, A.J. Foyt IV and Dan Wheldon are nominated) will be named in pre-race ceremonies Saturday evening.

-credit: firestone

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers John Andretti , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon