Dare rides Firehawks to Kansas win; Foyt takes the daily double. It would be hard to find a happier man in Kansas today than A.J. Foyt. After his grandson, A.J. Foyt IV, won the inaugural Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series event at Kansas...
Dare rides Firehawks to Kansas win; Foyt takes the daily double.
It would be hard to find a happier man in Kansas today than A.J. Foyt. After his grandson, A.J. Foyt IV, won the inaugural Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series event at Kansas Speedway, three hours later Airton Dare drove the Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing car to victory in the Ameristar Casino Indy 200, the ninth Indy Racing League event of 2002.
"The tires were great," A.J. said in victory circle. "We ran over a hundred laps on one set with no problems." In fact, Dare did not change tires on his next to the last pit stop, asking the Firestone Firehawks to do double duty in the blazing Kansas heat (99 degrees ambient, 132 degrees track). Consequently, Dare accumulated a total of 107 laps on one set of his tires. That mileage is more than double the 45-50 laps Firestone engineers had recommend the tires be used.
Quote from Firestone Racing Project Supervisor Joe Barbieri: "We certainly don't recommend that teams run double stints on our tires, particularly in the extreme heat like we had here today, but it's great to know A.J. Foyt has enough confidence in Firestone tires to do that. It was obvious that Airton still had the grip needed to work his way through traffic, pretty much putting the Harrah's car wherever he wanted it. We had the pleasure of working with Airton in the Dayton Indy Lights series, and knew it was just a matter of time before he'd claim a win in the IRL. We also congratulate A.J. on his double victory today. We know he's proud to see the Foyt legacy in racing continue, as are many race fans. We couldn't be prouder that the younger Foyt took his first major open-wheel race on Firestones."
Quote from Airton Dare (Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We had a good car, great motor, great tires and everybody did everything right. The tires worked really good; at one time we didn't change tires, just left them on for two stints and they worked really good."
Firestone Performance Award: Pennzoil Panther Racing driver Sam Hornish Jr. earned a $10,000 bonus for leading at lap 65 today. The Firestone Performance Award celebrates Firestone tires being in all 65 IRL events conducted thus. Hornish will pick up his check during pre-race ceremonies at the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway July 20.