IRL: Indy 500: Firestone pole weekend report

Tried and True Firestone Tires Quietly Guide 26 into Field A total of 26 cars qualified this weekend for the 88th Indianapolis 500 -- all, of course, on Firestone Firehawk racing radials since Firestone is the Official Tire of the IRL IndyCar...

Tried and True Firestone Tires Quietly Guide 26 into Field

A total of 26 cars qualified this weekend for the 88th Indianapolis 500 -- all, of course, on Firestone Firehawk racing radials since Firestone is the Official Tire of the IRL IndyCar Series. Buddy Rice of Rahal Letterman Racing earned the pole position and led 22 qualifiers Saturday. An additional four drivers added their names to the grid today, led by Bryan Herta of Andretti Green Racing.

The Firestone tires have been tested all week in varying conditions at Indy -- from sultry hot and sunny to chilly and overcast. And the Firehawks -- sporting a splashy look for Indianapolis that includes a color IMS "wings and wheel" logo -- have passed each and every test, no matter the elements.

"The Firehawks have worked so well this week that they're gaining much more attention for their colorful new look than for their on-track performance," said Al Speyer, Executive Director of Firestone Racing. "And that's fine with us. Whether it's been hot or cold, sunny or cloudy, the tires have delivered in all conditions for all the teams and drivers. It's no simple task to develop a tire that pleases everybody in the Indy garage, but that seems to be the case."

Team officials and drivers have universally been complimentary of the Firestone Firehawks, typified by the comments from Tom Anderson, co-owner of the Fernandez Racing and Super Aguri Fernandez Racing teams that qualified drivers Adrian Fernandez and Kosuke Matsuura among the first three rows.

"Firestone did a great job in making tires that work not only in the hot weather as we had early in the week, but the cold weather we had today," Anderson said Saturday.

In all, cars have turned more than 7,000 miles at Indy this week with no tire issues. That's more than 17,500 miles of flawless performance ... with much more to come before and on race day.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Bryan Herta , Buddy Rice , Tom Anderson , Kosuke Matsuura