IRL: Firestone Racing event sponsorships announced

Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire announces key race sponsorships Official Tire and sole tire supplier to serve as title or presenting sponsor for three upcoming IndyCar Series races in 2007 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 14, 2007) - As the ...

Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire announces key race sponsorships Official Tire and sole tire supplier to serve as title or presenting sponsor for three upcoming IndyCar Series races in 2007

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 14, 2007) - As the Official Tire and sole tire supplier to the IndyCar Series, drivers rely on their Firestone Firehawks to meet the unique demands of the high-speed ovals and street and road courses that make up the 2007 schedule. To highlight the diversity of IndyCar Series racing and maximize the Firestone brand exposure it receives from that partnership, Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT) is pleased to announce that it will serve as a title or presenting sponsor for three upcoming events- the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway (July 14), the Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway (August 5), and the inaugural Detroit Indy Grand Prix Presented by Firestone on the streets of Belle Isle (September 2).

"Firestone Racing and the IndyCar Series are virtually synonymous, dating back to Ray Harroun's first Indianapolis 500 Mile Race victory on Firestone tires in 1911," commented Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing, BFNT. "Our partnership has strengthened through the years, and we have achieved a great deal of success together. Race sponsorship is a natural extension of the relationship we have cultivated, and these three events each offer tremendous amounts of marketing, advertising and promotional opportunities in markets that are very important to our brand."

First up is the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. The race's Middle Tennessee location makes it the ideal opportunity to showcase what the partnership between Firestone Racing and the IndyCar Series is all about in front of BFNT teammates, families and friends. Bridgestone Corporation's Americas Support Center is located in Nashville, and there are tire manufacturing facilities nearby in LaVergne and Warren County. Additionally, Lebanon is home to a BFNT Distribution Center, and Chassis Supply Partners, located in Columbia, is a Bridgestone Firestone company that works closely with Saturn and Corvette. Metalpha in Clarksville produces steel cord and bead wire, and BFNT's Diversified Products facility in Dyersburg manufactures air springs. With all of these facilities nearby, Firestone Racing will entertain more than 2,300 teammates and guests at an at-track hospitality chalet. 2007 marks the sixth year that Firestone has served as title sponsor of this popular event.

Next comes the Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway. IndyCar Series racing has a rich history at the two-mile oval, which has traditionally allowed for some of the most exciting and competitive racing on the schedule. Much of that excitement comes from drivers being able to race tire-to-tire, so it is fitting that Firestone serve as title sponsor for a race that possibly best demonstrates the performance capabilities of its product and the trust that its drivers put in them. Firestone has served as title sponsor of this event since 2005, and it is a tradition the company is pleased to continue.

Last but not least, Firestone will serve as presenting sponsor of the inaugural Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone - the only street course event at which the tire company will serve such a role. This may be an inaugural event, but Firestone Racing participated in the CART Belle Isle Grand Prix from 1995 until the last race in 2001.

"When we learned that the IndyCar Series would make a return to Detroit in 2007, and that it would be organized by Roger Penske and his group, it was very important to us that we secure a key role in the event," said Speyer. "Obviously, Detroit is an incredibly important market for any automotive-related company, and our Original Equipment group is based there. This race is an excellent opportunity for the Firestone brand to gain exposure in an ideal setting, as well as a perfect chance for our OE teammates to give back to the Detroit community."

In addition to the Detroit race sponsorship, BFNT and its Firestone brand will participate in promotional and public service activities, such as the Belle Isle playground makeover and the Woodward Dream Cruise. Firestone will also host a group from the Racing for Kids charity at the track on Friday during IndyCar Series practice, allowing children and their families to get up close and personal with the cars and stars.

Earlier this season, Firestone served as the Official Tire of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. That partnership featured a great deal of signage at the track - including turn one, now widely known as "Firestone Corner."

"BFNT is proud, through its Firestone brand, to be a valued partner of the IndyCar Series and three of its premier events," Speyer concluded. "As the series continues to solidify its presence in its current race markets and to venture into new ones, you can be sure that Firestone Racing will be there to support it, both on and off of the race track, every step of the way.

-credit: firestone

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Roger Penske