IRL: Sears Point: Firestone race report

Third-Generation Andretti Adds Name to Firestone Winners' Roll He hails from a family whose racing legacy is tightly intertwined with Firestone, and Marco Andretti today joined his father and grandfather as Indy-style race victors on the fabled...

Third-Generation Andretti Adds Name to Firestone Winners' Roll

He hails from a family whose racing legacy is tightly intertwined with Firestone, and Marco Andretti today joined his father and grandfather as Indy-style race victors on the fabled tire brand. Opting for a different pit strategy, the 19-year-old Andretti took the lead on the 51st of 80 laps around the permanent road course and held on for his initial IndyCar Series win. Saving fuel to reach the finish, Andretti leaned on his Firestone Firehawk tires and they gave him all the support he needed.

From Marco Andretti, NYSE/Andretti Green Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "This is great; I've been trying for it all year. We knew this was one we had a shot at, but we knew how tough it was going to be. It was definitely close on fuel, so I had to use those Firestones rather than the fuel. The tires were just awesome; couldn't have been better. I had to rely on them more than usual just because we were saving the fuel. I didn't want to use the car, I needed to use the tires, and they were there."

Firestone Tire Performance Summary: Firestone brought an updated version of its highest-grip ("softest") road-course tire specification and it performed exceptionally. Not only did it deliver tremendous grip on the challenging circuit, but the Firehawks' incredible durability was proven by drivers Dan Wheldon and Danica Patrick, who each changed tires just once in the race. Wheldon logged 41 laps (92.7 miles) on his second set while Patrick put 40 laps (90.4 miles) on each set of Firehawks she used today.

From Dan Wheldon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Honda/Firestone: "Firestone always gives us a tire that gives you options in long races because of the durability and the consistency of the tire. Our car was a little bit off today, which made it difficult, but from a grip standpoint the tires were certainly capable of performing very, very well -- no matter how many laps they had on them."

From Danica Patrick, Rahal Letterman Racing Argent Panoz/Honda/Firestone: "The Firestone tires were awesome today. We only changed tires once in an 80-lap race, and for them to hold up and never give out -- I never once keyed the radio and said the tires were falling off -- they were just great the whole time."

From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "What a tremendous day to see the Andretti/ Firestone legacy continue with Marco's victory. It's a history that dates back four decades. Marco's grandfather got his first IndyCar win on Firestone tires, his dad took the last wins of his career on the Firestone family of tires, and now Marco has joined that esteemed list."

Firestone Performance Award: Besides winning today's race, Marco Andretti earned the $10,000 Firestone Performance Award for leading lap 59 today. That's when the 133rd mile was completed, commemorating Firestone's participation in every IRL IndyCar Series race since the league's inaugural event in 1996.

Race temperatures ranged from 108 to 132 degrees track and 76 to 83 degrees ambient (F).

Race temperatures ranged from 42 to 56 degrees track and 24 to 28 degrees ambient (C).

-credit: firestone

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dan Wheldon , Marco Andretti , Chip Ganassi , Danica Patrick
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing