IRL: Homestead: Firestone race report

Wheldon Wins Opener at Homestead New Firestone Specification a Success Andretti Green Racing's Dan Wheldon took the first IndyCar Series victory of the 2005 season, becoming the 87th Firestone-equipped driver to win an IndyCar Series race and ...

Wheldon Wins Opener at Homestead
New Firestone Specification a Success

Andretti Green Racing's Dan Wheldon took the first IndyCar Series victory of the 2005 season, becoming the 87th Firestone-equipped driver to win an IndyCar Series race and doing so on one of Firestone's most challenging tracks.

The current configuration of Homestead-Miami Speedway produces some of the most demanding conditions faced by the Firestone race tire development team. A recent re-configuration increased banking in the turns which places a tremendous amount of loading on tires. This season Firestone developed a new tire specifically designed to deal with these conditions, which was tested successfully in January with positive feedback from drivers and teams. Its performance lived up to expectations throughout the weekend, providing the same durability and high performance that IndyCar Series drivers have come to expect.

"This is a tough track, but the tires worked very, very well," said Wheldon. "They were consistent and had really good grip the whole race. But I seemed to run out of rubber when I was doing the donuts - if I could get another set of tires for donuts I'd be appreciative."

Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "We're really very pleased with tire performance today. Since this track was reconfigured it's been the most challenging venue for us on the IRL circuit - the increase in banking produces an incredible amount of loading on the tires. This year we developed a brand new tire for this race and by all accounts it worked very well here today. Certainly our congratulations go out to Dan and the entire Andretti Green Racing team - it looks as though it may be another great year for them."

Firestone Performance Award winner: Dan Wheldon of Andretti Green Racing earned the $10,000 Firestone Performance Award for leading lap 104 of today's race. The award commemorates the fact that Firestone has competed in every IRL IndyCar Series event since the league's inaugural race in 1996. Today's race was the 104th in league history. Wheldon will be presented with a $10,000 check during pre-race ceremonies for the XM Satellite Radio Indy 200 presented by Argent Mortgage at Phoenix International Raceway on March 19.

Race temperatures ranged from 115 to 119 degrees track and 80 to 83 degrees ambient (F).

Race temperatures ranged from 27 to 28 degrees track and 46 to 48 degrees ambient (C).

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Dan Wheldon