IRL: Kansas: Firestone Indy Car Series preview

Firehawk Race Tires Supplied: Firestone delivered 860 Firehawk racing radials for use this weekend. All were produced at the Firestone Technical Center in Akron, Ohio. Per IndyCar Series regulations, each entered car receives up to eight sets of...

Firehawk Race Tires Supplied:

Firestone delivered 860 Firehawk racing radials for use this weekend. All were produced at the Firestone Technical Center in Akron, Ohio. Per IndyCar Series regulations, each entered car receives up to eight sets of tires (32 total) to be used at the team's discretion throughout the practice, qualifying and race sessions.

If the Firehawk tires used this weekend have a familiar feel to them for IndyCar teams and drivers, it's with good reason. Firestone Racing engineers selected a specification for Kansas with an identical tread compound formula and sidewall construction to that used last month at Texas Motor Speedway.

Stagger Helps the Cars Go 'Round: Firestone engineers purposely design the right rear tire to have a circumference slightly larger than that of the left rear tire for oval competition. The size differential is minor - just 0.45 inches this weekend - but the effect, called "stagger," helps the IndyCars turn left more naturally and smoothly - and decreases the stresses on car and driver alike.

Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing:

"Despite its similarity to other mile-and-a-half tracks where the IndyCar Series competes, Kansas Speedway has shown to be an extremely challenging track for tires. The exceedingly high track temperatures we've seen here in the past, combined with the tremendous speeds and g-force loads generated lap after lap, place great demands on a race tire to deliver the consistency and durability necessary throughout entire fuel stints. That's why Firestone is calling upon a proven compound/construction combination for this weekend. This specification passed the test in last month's Texas race and received high marks from teams that tested at Kansas in the weeks leading to this race. We're confident the drivers will be able to rely on these Firehawks to respond when called upon in any situation throughout the weekend."

The Official Tire of the IRL: Firestone is the exclusive tire supplier to the Indy Racing League for both the IndyCar and Infiniti Pro series. Following a weekend off, the Infiniti Pro Series resumes with the fifth race of its 2003 season Sunday as drivers in the IRL development series chase the Firehawk Cup presented to the points champion.

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Series IndyCar