IRL: Kentucky: Firestone race report

Firehawks Carry Sharp to Long-Awaited Victory Scott Sharp took the checkered flag today at Kentucky Speedway in the AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300 for his first victory since 2003. Sharp, driving for Fernandez Racing, started in seventh position...

Firehawks Carry Sharp to Long-Awaited Victory

Scott Sharp took the checkered flag today at Kentucky Speedway in the AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300 for his first victory since 2003. Sharp, driving for Fernandez Racing, started in seventh position and took the lead late, beating Vitor Meira across the finish line by just 0.0779 of a second.

Sharp won on a Firestone Firehawk tire specification used twice already this season--at Texas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway. But the low wear rate at Kentucky Speedway, along with incredibly hot temperatures, turned out to be a little tougher on the tires and some teams experienced problems during the race.

Despite the harsh conditions, the tires held up well throughout and the race winner had no complaints about their performance.

"I gotta tell you, I think the biggest constant in the IRL is Firestone and their tremendous support," said Sharp. "I've driven other tires, and I can tell you that Firestone tires are consistently flawless. From start to finish today, from lap one to lap 50, they were tremendous."

Quote from Joe Barbieri, Manager, Firestone Racing: "This one turned out to be quite a challenge. Having run this same spec at two different tracks this year we weren't expecting any problems, but conditions were pretty harsh, in terms of tires, all weekend long. Most teams were able to make adjustments and, in the end, the tires held up and it turned out to be a fine show for the fans here at Kentucky. It was great to see Scott Sharp and Fernandez Racing back in the winner's circle."

Firestone Performance Award winner: Vitor Meira of Rahal Letterman Racing led lap 115 today to claim the Firestone Performance Award, which commemorates the fact Firestone has competed in every IRL IndyCar Series event since the league's 1996 inception. Today's race was the 115th in league history. Meira will be presented a $10,000 check during pre-race festivities for the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway on Aug. 21.

Race temperatures ranged from 109 to 122 degrees track, with a constant ambient of 86 degrees (F).

Race temperatures ranged from 43 to 50 degrees track, with a constant ambient of 30 degrees (C).

-firestone

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Vitor Meira