IRL: Michigan: Firestone preview

Race Distance: 400 miles (200 laps on the 2-mile superspeedway). Firehawks Supplied: The Firestone Racing program brought 1,360 Firehawk tires to Michigan International Speedway for this weekend's Indy Racing League competition, enough to...

Race Distance: 400 miles (200 laps on the 2-mile superspeedway).

Firehawks Supplied: The Firestone Racing program brought 1,360 Firehawk tires to Michigan International Speedway for this weekend's Indy Racing League competition, enough to provide nine sets per car as determined by IRL officials.

The Firehawks were produced at the Bridgestone/Firestone Technical Center in Akron, Ohio. The compound and construction combination is nearly identical to that used at the IRL event in Fontana (March 24).

This Weekend's Event: The trip to Michigan marks the last of three visits this season by the IRL to tracks two miles or longer (the others being Fontana and Indy). These long races on large tracks pose a major challenge to the Firestone engineers, who must design and develop Firehawks able to handle the higher speeds, heat and tremendous loading.

Quote from Firestone Motorsports Executive Director Al Speyer: "When the Firestone Racing program ended its 20-year hiatus from the top form of racing in 1995, we took our first win at Michigan International Speedway. Since then, we're undefeated in competition at this very challenging track. Because the IRL has not competed here before, our engineers have gathered information from individual team testing and have used other data to select the best Firehawk tires for this weekend's competition. Since there are differences between IRL cars and the other series we've been here with - most notably in downforce - we faced this track somewhat as a new venue. Designing and developing a tire for a long race on a superspeedway is a major undertaking, but we're confident the Firehawks prepared for Sunday's race will again give drivers the grip and durability needed for competitive racing. We're looking forward to another good show, with lots of passing and exciting side-by-side action made possible by the qualities of the Firestone race tires."

Racing For Kids: A group of 25 boys and girls from Mott Children's Hospital in Detroit are at the track today, thanks to a cooperative effort by the Racing for Kids program and the Bridgestone/Firestone Original Equipment group, based in Southfield, Mich. The youngsters are touring the facility, seeing the action on the track and meeting with Dreyer & Reinbold/Purex/Aventis Racing driver Robbie Buhl and the Firestone Firehawk.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Robbie Buhl