Firestone qualifying highlight: Alternate tires returned to the place they were "born" (the concept debuted at the 2004 Long Beach Grand Prix), and they once again added a great deal of excitement to qualifying. Each car had two sets of "reds" at...
Firestone qualifying highlight: Alternate tires returned to the place they were "born" (the concept debuted at the 2004 Long Beach Grand Prix), and they once again added a great deal of excitement to qualifying. Each car had two sets of "reds" at its disposal, and teams opted to use new, "sticker" alternate tires to advance to the fast twelve and Firestone Fast Six qualifying sessions rather than saving them for the final ten-minute shootout for the pole. This afternoon, teams will receive one additional set of new alternate tires that must be used for two green flag laps during tomorrow's race.
Qualifying temperatures: Temperatures ranged from 113o.-119o. F (45o.-48o. C) track and from 69o.-80o. F (20o.-26o. C) ambient.
From pole winner Will Power, #12 Verizon Wireless Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "This crew has been great - it's just classic Penske. I changed to a whole new car this weekend, and it was prepared really, really well. The red tires were very good today. I ran my fastest lap on a set of alternates. Both tires were really consistent, and I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow!"
From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "It is so great to see all the cars and stars of the IndyCar Series take to the legendary streets of Long Beach under perfect skies and in front of lots of enthusiastic fans. Today's qualifying rounds saw drivers gain as much as a little over a second on alternate tires versus the primaries, which is, as we expected, a wider gap than we saw at the last event in St. Petersburg. Temperatures tomorrow are expected to be warmer than they have been so far this weekend, so that could raise tire management concerns. However, I am confident that there will be teams and drivers who will get great performance out of both the primary and alternate Firestone Firehawk tires."