IRL: Chicagoland: Firestone race report

Fernandez Holds Off a Crowd for Second IRL Win Adrian Fernandez fought off all of the usual contenders and pit stop problems to pick up his second victory of the season at Chicagoland Speedway during round 14 of the 2004 IRL season. Polesitter...

Fernandez Holds Off a Crowd for Second IRL Win

Adrian Fernandez fought off all of the usual contenders and pit stop problems to pick up his second victory of the season at Chicagoland Speedway during round 14 of the 2004 IRL season.

Polesitter Helio Castroneves quickly gave up the lead and dropped to the middle of the pack, creating a pitched battle for the victory which featured all of the leaders in the championship standings. Dan Wheldon, Tony Kanaan and Buddy Rice took turns in the lead before Fernandez quietly battled back to lead on the final restart, holding off Andretti Green Racing's Bryan Herta for the win.

Despite the wheel-to-wheel racing and high speeds that are custom at Chicagoland, the Firestone Firehawks that equip every IndyCar Series machine held up extremely well in today's race.

"The Firestone tires were fantastic," said Fernandez. "They held on in very tough conditions because the speed is always high here. I want to thank Firestone for always giving us a great tire."

Firestone Performance Award winner, Buddy Rice: Firestone is the only tire supplier to compete in all 101 Indy Racing League events, with 84 race winners driving to victory lane on Firehawk racing radials. Firestone is commemorating that lofty status all season with the Firestone Performance Award, a $10,000 bonus going to the race leader on the lap that corresponds with the total number of IndyCar Series races. Today's bonus winner was Buddy Rice of Rahal Letterman Racing, the leader at lap 101.

Quote from Joe Barbieri, Manager, Firestone Racing: "Chicagoland Speedway and the Firestone Firehawk radials gave the fans here what they came to see yet again. The type of side-by-side running that these drivers do for 200 laps can only be accomplished by having complete confidence in their tires. Congratulations to Adrian and Fernandez Racing for overcoming their troubles in the pits. It just goes to prove you should never give up on a race."

Race temperatures ranged from 105 to 111 degrees track and from 79 to 80 degrees ambient (F).

Race temperatures ranged from 40.6 to 43.9 degrees track and fro 26.1 to 26.7 degrees ambient (C).

-firestone-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Adrian Fernandez , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice