IRL: Michigan: Firestone race report

Barron edges way to 2nd win in Firestone-sponsored race There's something about races sponsored by Firestone that bring out the best in driver Alex Barron. The Californian collected his second career Indy Racing League IndyCar Series victory in...

Barron edges way to 2nd win in Firestone-sponsored race

There's something about races sponsored by Firestone that bring out the best in driver Alex Barron. The Californian collected his second career Indy Racing League IndyCar Series victory in most exciting fashion today, nudging past Sam Hornish Jr. to win the Firestone Indy 400 by a mere 0.0121 of a second in the fastest race in series history.

Barron's first IRL triumph came in last year's Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. Subbing this weekend for the injured Felipe Giaffone in the Hollywood G Force/Toyota on Firestone Firehawks, Barron made a miraculous "spin-and-win" recovery after touching wheels with Tomas Scheckter on lap 164. Barron charged back to hound Hornish over the final 20 laps, making the outside pass on the final lap and winning by inches.

Afterward, he credited the Firestone tires for helping him get to victory lane. "The Firestone tires were so strong, we went flat out the whole time," said Barron, who averaged 180.917 mph over the 200 laps. "They were very consistent all day; we never had to make any adjustments."

Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "What a fantastic race! They ran amazingly fast and, most importantly, safely all day long. Michigan combines high speed and high banking, one of the most severe tests for any tire, but once again the Firestone Firehawks ran flawlessly. By winning the Firestone Indy 400 today, we are truly happy for Alex Barron. He now has the unique distinction to be the first to win two IRL races sponsored by Firestone."

Firestone Performance Award:

Sam Hornish Jr. led more laps than anyone today but the most important may have been lap 81, which earned him $10,000 from Firestone Racing. The Firestone Performance Award recognizes the fact that Firestone has participated in every IndyCar Series event, with today's race the 81st in series history.

Sweepstakes Winners:

Two lucky fans won brand new vehicles with today's conclusion to the Firestone Indy 500/Chevrolet Race 2 Win Sweepstakes. Five finalists drew random keys before the race and used them to try and start the giveaway vehicles. Craig McDaniel of Tulsa, Okla., won a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado truck equipped with Firestone tires while Clara Farmer of Houston, Texas, won a 2003 Chevy Malibu LS with Firestone tires.

Race temperatures ranged from 95 to 108 degrees track and from 83 to 84 degrees ambient (F). Race temperatures ranged from 35 to 42 degrees track and from 28 to 20 degrees ambient (C).

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Alex Barron , Sam Hornish Jr.