CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland: Grand Marshal named

Bridgestone Firestone's Lampe named Grand Marshal of Firestone Indy 200, NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 10, 2002) - The Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway is just 10 days away and you can feel the excitement growing in middle Tennessee. A...

Bridgestone Firestone's Lampe named Grand Marshal of Firestone Indy 200,

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 10, 2002) - The Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway is just 10 days away and you can feel the excitement growing in middle Tennessee. A major reason the 10th Indy Racing League competition of 2002 is so popular here is the abundance of Tennesseans who have a connection with Firestone.

With manufacturing plants in Warren County, LaVergne, Dyersburg and Clarksville, corporate offices in Nashville and dozens of sales outlets in the region, approximately 4,200 people in Tennessee are employed by Bridgestone/Firestone. Recognizing this strong presence, the Nashville Superspeedway named Bridgestone/Firestone Americas Holding, Inc. president, chairman and CEO John Lampe as Grand Marshal for the July 20 event.

"To serve as Grand Marshal of an Indy Racing League event bearing the Firestone name is a tremendous honor I share with all our employees," Lampe said. "We know racing fans are going to see a great competition here in our backyard, and we're proud that every car in both the IRL and the new Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series events will compete on Firestone tires. More than 2,000 of our associates and family members will be at the race, cheering on their favorite drivers on Firestone tires." The Firestone Racing program and Nashville Superspeedway today gave local dignitaries and media a glimpse of what is expected in the July 20 action. Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford gave guests rides around the 1.3-mile oval track in a two-seater Indy car. That was followed by a special luncheon, interviews with drivers and demonstration runs of the IRL and IPS cars.

Drivers participating included Scott Sharp and Jason Priestley with Kelley Racing, Buddy Lazier and Aaron Fike with Hemelgarn Racing, and Gil de Ferran with Team Penske.

"The Firestone Racing program is headquartered in Nashville, about 30 minutes away from the track," said Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Executive Director Al Speyer. "We've traveled around the world with our motorsports activities, so it's nice to be home in Nashville for another exciting IRL event.

"Last year we saw speeds reaching 199 miles per hour at Nashville Superspeedway, and this year we believe we'll go even faster. The grip and durability provided by the Firestone race tires contribute to the speed, but even more important is the confidence these drivers have in our tires. They push the pedal all the way to the floor, never giving a second thought to their tires. For us, that confidence is a fabulous reward for building Firehawk race tires that perform so well lap after lap, race after race. To have John Lampe serve as Grand Marshal for this competition in Nashville makes this event more special for us."

Lampe began work with the company in 1973 after earning a master's degree from the American Graduate School of International Management. Starting as a store manager in Cincinnati, Ohio, he held positions of escalating responsibility with the company in Singapore, Denmark, Spain, Costa Rica and Brazil. He was named president of Bridgestone/Firestone Tire Sales Company in 1995. He became CEO, chairman of the board and president of Bridgestone/Firestone Americas Holding, Inc. in 2001.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier , Scott Sharp , Aaron Fike , Jason Priestley , Johnny Rutherford
Teams Team Penske