IRL: Nashville: Firestone preview

Race Distance: 266 miles (200 laps on the 1.33-mile oval). Firehawks Supplied: The Firestone Racing program brought 1,260 Firehawk tires to Nashville Superspeedway for the Firestone Indy 200, enough to provide eight sets per car as determined by...

Race Distance: 266 miles (200 laps on the 1.33-mile oval).

Firehawks Supplied: The Firestone Racing program brought 1,260 Firehawk tires to Nashville Superspeedway for the Firestone Indy 200, enough to provide eight sets per car as determined by Indy Racing League officials.

The Firehawks were produced at the Bridgestone/Firestone Technical Center in Akron, Ohio, and feature the same compound and construction used at the June 16 IRL event at Pikes Peak International Raceway. With Nashville being a concrete track, recently ground in spots to remove some bumps, Firestone engineers expect to see the tire wear rate at its highest in the first session Friday as teams work on their car setups.

This Weekend's Event: The Firestone Racing program considers Nashville its home track. With manufacturing plants in Warren County, LaVergne, Dyersburg and Clarksville, corporate offices in Nashville (where Firestone Racing offices are located) and dozens of sales outlets in the region, approximately 4,200 people in Tennessee are employed by Bridgestone/Firestone. Bridgestone/Firestone Americas Holding, Inc. president, chairman and CEO John Lampe will serve as Grand Marshal for the July 20 event. In addition to Firestone tires being on every IRL car, they will also be fitted to every Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series car competing this weekend.

Quote from Al Speyer, Firestone Racing Executive Director: "It's great to be back in action in middle Tennessee, home to Firestone Racing and so many other Bridgestone/Firestone employees. We're honored to serve as title sponsor for another great IRL event here, and to have John Lampe, our president, chairman and CEO, serve as Grand Marshal. We're confident the 200-mph barrier which was nipped at last year will be shattered this weekend, providing the fastest racing ever conducted in this area. Before the IRL main event, fans will get some other great competition, including the second race of the new Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series. The inaugural IPS race at Kansas July 7 saw some fast, close racing, and we expect that to get only better this weekend now that the teams and drivers have an event under their belt."

Firestone History at Nashville:
Pole winner on Firestone tires: 2001 Greg Ray (199.922 mph)
Race winner on Firestone tires: Buddy Lazier (144.809 avg. speed)

See the Win Ad: Check out Friday's issue of USA Today for a full-page ad from Firestone, congratulating Airton Dare on his July 7 IRL win at Kansas Speedway.

Racing For Kids Contribution: Thursday afternoon at the Nashville office of Firestone Racing, the Bridgestone/Firestone Trust Fund announced a $25,000 contribution to the Racing For Kids® program. Racing for Kids® is a not-for-profit 501[c]3 organization, which draws attention to children's healthcare issues by having racecar drivers visit hospitals and medical centers nationwide. Racing for Kids® was founded at Children's Hospital of Michigan by William W. Pinsky, M.D. Since that founding 13 years ago, the program has raised more than $2 million in funding. Racecar drivers involved with the campaign, including current Racing for Kids® national spokesperson Robbie Buhl, have visited thousands of children in hospitals in the United States, Canada and Australia.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Robbie Buhl , Buddy Lazier , Airton Daré