IRL: Indy 500 to have special race tire for 2004

Firestone to unveil special race tire for 2004 Tire features new sidewall design, color IMS 'Wing and Wheel' logo INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2003 -- The long and storied association between Firestone and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ...

Firestone to unveil special race tire for 2004
Tire features new sidewall design, color IMS 'Wing and Wheel' logo

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2003 -- The long and storied association between Firestone and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway continues to grow with the announcement of a special edition Firestone Firehawk race tire that will debut during the 88th Indianapolis 500 in May 2004.

Specially designed for use at the Indianapolis 500, the tires will feature a new sidewall design with the Speedway's distinctive "Wing and Wheel" official logo in full color, alongside the Firestone name and logo.

Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT) introduced the new design Nov. 4 at its Consumer Dealer Meeting in Las Vegas. The 88th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 30, 2004.

"We're very excited to have new technology that allows us to produce full-color logos on our tires," said Al Speyer, executive director of motorsports for BFNT. "This new design really captures the pageantry that makes the Indianapolis 500 one of the most festive events in all of sports. Firestone has played such an integral role in the history of the Speedway and the '500,' and we're proud to honor that strong relationship."

Firestone's involvement with the Indianapolis 500 dates to 1911 when Ray Harroun won the inaugural event driving Firestone tires. In all, 54 winners have crossed the finish line on Firestone tires -- more victories at Indy than all other tire manufacturers combined.

In 2002, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Firestone joined forces to pay tribute to their relationship by introducing the Firehawk Indy 500 street tire -- the first tire ever produced for street use with the honor of wearing the Indy 500 name and IMS "Wing and Wheel" logo.

The special edition 2004 Indy 500 race tire sidewalls will closely mirror the Indy 500 street tires by featuring the Firehawk and Indy 500 names in white lettering.

"Firestone has been with us since the very beginning, and over the years we've built a bond with them based on loyalty and respect," said Tony George, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "We're extremely honored that they have put together a new design specifically for our race. It showcases a partnership that is very important to us, and we're looking forward to seeing the next Indy 500 winner cross the finish line displaying the colors of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy 500 on the tires that have played such a large part in the history of our event."

Firestone is the Official Tire of the Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis 500.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony George