IRL: Phoenix - Firehawks take the heat with no problems

Indy Racing Northern Light Series Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway Sunday, March 18, 2001 - Race Day Notes As track temperatures climbed to more the 117 F today, the tread surface temperatures of the Firestone ...

Indy Racing Northern Light Series Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway Sunday, March 18, 2001 - Race Day Notes

As track temperatures climbed to more the 117 F today, the tread surface temperatures of the Firestone Firehawks were hotter than boiling water, some actually several degrees hotter. The high temperatures, combined with the stress of 200 miles around the low-banked PIR track, were factors the Firestone engineers knew would require all teams to pay extra attention to tire inflations levels and set-up. The teams did their job, and so did the Firestone Fiehawks, with yet another race in the books with no tire-related incidents.

Quote from Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Director Al Speyer: "We're really happy that the Firestone Firehawks performed well today on the always demanding Phoenix oval. All of the teams worked with us to adjust tire pressures and suspension settings to optimize tire performance. We are very pleased for Sam Hornish and the Pennzoil Panther Racing team for today's win. It's a significant challenge for Firestone to keep everyone happy since every single car is running our tires, but we're once again gratified by the confidence all the drivers have in our product. We've got one in the books and we're looking forward to going to Homestead."

Quote from Sam Hornish, Pennzoil Panther Racing, Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone:

"The tires were great; I could run 'em high, I could run 'em low, anywhere. I pushed them real hard, perhaps too hard on the fronts on the last run, but they were there all day. What else can you say, Firestone!"

Today's race marked the 110th victory for the Firestone Racing program since it returned to the top forms of open-wheel competition in 1995. Seventy-nine of those wins came in the 123 races from '95 through '99 when two tire companies competed in the IRL and CART events.

-Woody McMillin

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sam Hornis
Teams Panther Racing