Determined Hornish Wins on Equally Determined Firestone Tires Sam Hornish Jr. bounced off a couple competitors' cars, nearly crashed twice and had to pass Dario Franchitti two times in the last 15 laps for the lead, but the Marlboro Team Penske...
Determined Hornish Wins on Equally Determined Firestone Tires
Sam Hornish Jr. bounced off a couple competitors' cars, nearly crashed twice and had to pass Dario Franchitti two times in the last 15 laps for the lead, but the Marlboro Team Penske driver did it all and still won today's race at the legendary Milwaukee Mile. It marks the 14th career IndyCar Series win for Hornish, the most in league history and each one coming on Firestone Firehawk tires.
The two-time series champion used a single set of Firehawks over the final 95 laps in scorching heat, and the Firestone tires were more than up to the task. As a matter of fact, Hornish was one of at least four drivers -- along with runner-up Franchitti, fourth-place Tony Kanaan and fifth-place Dan Wheldon -- who completed the final 95 miles on a single set of Firehawks.
"We saved our best set of Firestone tires for the end there, a sticker set, and they did everything we needed them to do," Hornish said. "They gave us a real good handle at the end of the track and they stuck real well when we went inside or outside. That's what you want. It's tough that we had to go that far on the last set -- you don't like to -- but the Firestones stood up to the test and did exactly what we needed them to do."
Quote from Joe Barbieri, Manager, Firestone Racing: "Sam Hornish put on an amazing driving performance today, but that's nothing new. His Firestone tires allowed him to go high, low, wherever he needed. And he not only had to make one pass for the lead in the final laps, but two after also making an incredible save from hitting the wall. Sam's comments about the tire performance today are typical of what we've heard from the drivers and teams. Despite the oppressive heat that just made this difficult, flat track more slick, the Firehawks retained their grip exceptionally well -- even for stints as long as 95 laps. That says it all."
Firestone Performance Award winner: Dan Wheldon took the lead for the first time on lap 113, enabling the Andretti Green Racing driver to claim the $10,000 Firestone Performance Award. The award commemorates the fact Firestone has competed in every IRL IndyCar Series event since the league's inception in 1996, with today's race the 113th in league history. Wheldon will be presented with a $10,000 check during pre-race ceremonies for the Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway on July 31.
Race temperatures ranged from 121 to 126 degrees track and 94 to 96
degrees ambient (F).
Race temperatures ranged from 49 to 52 degrees track and 34 to 36 degrees ambient (C).