IRL: Michigan: Firestone Saturday report

Impressive ACHEEVERment At Michigan Dairy cows may graze leisurely in the Irish Hills pastures just outside Michigan International Raceway, but inside the two-mile track this weekend the Red Bulls are moving fast. The Red Bull Cheever Racing ...

Impressive ACHEEVERment At Michigan

Dairy cows may graze leisurely in the Irish Hills pastures just outside Michigan International Raceway, but inside the two-mile track this weekend the Red Bulls are moving fast. The Red Bull Cheever Racing team (Dallara/Infinit/Firestone), after running quickest in every practice session, today qualified 1-2-3 for Sunday's Michigan Indy 500. Tomas Scheckter earned the pole (221.868 mph), Buddy Rice will start second (221.831 mph) and owner Eddie Cheever Jr. took the third place position (220.328 mph).

For this weekend's competition, the Firestone Racing program provided all Indy Racing League teams with Firehawk racing radials featuring the same compound and construction used at the superspeedway in Fontana earlier this year. That known tire performance provided a valuable advantage to all teams as they prepared for their first IRL appearance at MIS.

"This tire worked unbelievably well at Fontana and it's working unbelievably well here," said pole winner Scheckter. "Firestone, what a company they are, has worked with us to give us some settings. For me, tires are absolutely not an issue.

Al Speyer, Executive Director Firestone Racing: "The big ovals are notoriously tough on drivers and equipment, so you have to look for every advantage you can find in preparing for them. We helped the IRL teams by bringing the same Firehawk used at Fontana, and we think that's been a plus for many of the teams as each searched for the best setup here. Obviously the Cheever group has a handle on what works; they've done a spectacular job thus far and have again raised the bar in IRL competition. After watching how the team has worked so far, I'm switching from coffee in the morning to a Red Bull energy drink."

Helio Castroneves, Marlboro Team Penske (Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The consistency looks very good; I can't tell much difference when we change sets of tires. Having the same tire as Fontana is helpful."

-firestone-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Helio Castroneves , Buddy Rice
Teams Team Penske