Castroneves Notches Sixth Career IRL Victory on Firestone Tires Starting from the pole, Helio Castroneves picked up his first victory of the year in the season finale at Texas Motor Speedway, giving Team Penske and Toyota their first win since...
Castroneves Notches Sixth Career IRL Victory on Firestone Tires
Starting from the pole, Helio Castroneves picked up his first victory of the year in the season finale at Texas Motor Speedway, giving Team Penske and Toyota their first win since Sam Hornish took the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the season opener.
Castroneves fought off late-race challenges from Andretti Green Racing teammates Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon, who finished second and third, respectively. The race yielded the high-speed, side-by-side racing that has become the trademark of IRL racing at Texas Motor Speedway and tests the limits of durability and performance for the Firestone Firehawk racing radials that equip each car in the series. The tire specification used this weekend, specifically designed to withstand the steep banking and consistently high speeds that are characteristic of TMS, performed flawlessly.
"The tires were awesome," said Castroneves. "They had great grip on this track. When we put on new tires, it was like the car was on rails. As we kept going they equalized out a little bit, but that seems to be normal. Overall, they were fantastic the whole race."
Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "We saw another incredibly competitive race today, just like we've become accustomed to here with the IRL over the past several years. We take pride in the fact that the drivers can race wheel-to-wheel, lap-after-lap at over 200 mph because of the great control they get from their Firestone Firehawk tires. Congratulations to Helio Castroneves on a fine victory today and also to Kosuke Matsuura for taking home Rookie of the Year honors. Obviously, we also congratulate Tony Kanaan and the entire Andretti Green Racing organization on their championship. The fact that Tony completed every lap of every race this year is an amazing feat and the credit goes to the entire crew that works on his car. Now we'll turn our attention toward the 2005 race schedule and we're excited about the addition of road courses next year. It means we'll have to do some additional off-season testing, but that's the reason we're involved with the IRL 0x2022 to constantly look for improvements that will benefit all of the tires we produce."
Race temperatures ranged from 83 to 93 degrees track and from 79 to 87 degrees ambient (F).
Race temperatures ranged from 28.3 to 33.9 degrees track and from 26.1 to 30.5 degrees ambient (C).