IRL: Firestone Phoenix preview

AVONDALE, Ariz. (March 16,2001) -- The arrival of a new Indy Racing Northern Light Series season brings with it great anticipation and uncertainty. Who will prevail this weekend in the Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International ...

AVONDALE, Ariz. (March 16,2001) -- The arrival of a new Indy Racing Northern Light Series season brings with it great anticipation and uncertainty.

Who will prevail this weekend in the Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway? Who will put it together on a season-long basis to capture the 2001 series championship? Only time, 13 events and thousands of testing, practice and racing miles will determine the answer.

While it's impossible to predict winners, one thing is certain: The journey to race victories and the championship are made much smoother with Firestone tires. Teams and drivers throughout the paddock depend on the Firestone Firehawk racing radials to carry them swiftly and comfortably around every Indy Racing League oval, lap after dizzying lap.

It's a reliance forged in trust. Trust the drivers place in their tires and the savvy Firestone engineers who prepare them. Trust earned from years of unwavering dedication by the Firestone race tire development group to deliver the most consistent and durable tires that Indy cars have ever used.

"Open-wheel racing is a most demanding environment for any manufacturer, but especially a tire supplier,"said Al Speyer, Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Director. "Firestone has won over every team and driver in the IRL for the simple fact that our tires continue to perform, at each track and for every lap. The drivers have placed their highest confidence in our product, and we are going to work hard all season to maintain that trust."

Firestone, Speyer added, suffers from a sort of Catch-22 now that it is the sole tire supplier to the IRL. Firestone begins its second season as the only IRL tire this weekend, though the series remains open to any competitor.

"The tires rarely get attention or mention nowadays because they are so darned reliable," Speyer said. "It seems to be a given in open-wheel circles now that the Firestone tires are going to perform well, no matter where we race. I guess we're a victim of our own success, but we will continue developing and producing the best race tires available because everyone at Firestone Racing takes immense pride in their work."

The Firestone Racing program comes to Phoenix with the same compound and construction combination that performed so admirably last year here and at all the IRL mile ovals.

Bridgestone/Firestone is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. The company traces its involvement with motorsports to 1909, when founder Harvey S. Firestone first took his growing business to the racetrack. All three of the company's largest brands are involved in racing: the Bridgestone brand in Formula One, the Firestone brand in IRL and Championship Auto Racing Teams, and the Dayton brand in Dayton Indy Lights. Firestone tires have appeared in nearly all forms of motorsports, including Formula One, NASCAR, land-speed record attempts, drag racing, monster trucks and many other competitions.

-Firestone Racing

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Series IndyCar