IRL: Firestone Richmond race report

The bullring at Richmond International Raceway provided excitement under the lights as Hemelgarn Racing's Buddy Lazier led 224 of 250 laps to win the inaugural SunTrust Indy Challenge on Firestone Firehawk racing radials. Patience played an ...

The bullring at Richmond International Raceway provided excitement under the lights as Hemelgarn Racing's Buddy Lazier led 224 of 250 laps to win the inaugural SunTrust Indy Challenge on Firestone Firehawk racing radials. Patience played an important part in the race as the caution flag came out nine times.

"It's great to be here at the short track in Richmond," said Joe Barbieri, Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Project Supervisor. "This track is very demanding on the drivers, the engines and the tires.  Tonight's race took tremendous concentration and I'd like to congratulate the drivers for putting on a great show for the fans. Many drivers commented on the consistency of their Firestone tires throughout the ever-changing track conditions. Once again, a great testament to the Firestone engineering team."

In addition to the winner's trophy, Lazier also takes home an extra $20,000. He won $10,000 for leading the 75th lap of the race, which was the 10,000th lap in IRL history.  The 1996 Indy 500 winner also took home the Firestone "Leader at Halfway" $10,000 award for being in the top spot at lap 125.

Buddy Lazier:

"The car ran perfectly all night long.  This was a really tough race and my guys gave me a great car.  We're picking up momentum as we go through the season.  This is a physically demanding place to run but I think these cars are really suited for a track like this. It was an awesome day and I had an awesome car and my tires were awesome all night."

Ron Hemelgarn, Hemelgarn Racing owner:

"What a great race for us.  Our tires were great all night, phenomenal.  In fact, the tires were holding up so well, I think we could have skipped a tire change on our last pit stop."

Prior to the race, Firestone donated $2,500 to Children's Hospital of Richmond as a part of theBridgestone/Firestone Trust Fund's overall donation to CARA Charities' Buckle Up Baby program.

Race temperatures ranged from 88 to 92 degrees ambient and from 99 to 109 degrees on the track.

-firestone

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier