FIRESTONE FIREHAWK RACE REPORT IndyCar Series - SunTrust Indy Challenge Richmond International Raceway - Richmond, Va. Saturday, June 27, 2009 - Round 8 of 17 Top-5 Finishers: 1. Scott Dixon; 2. Dario Franchitti; 3. Graham Rahal; 4. Hideki...
FIRESTONE FIREHAWK RACE REPORT
IndyCar Series - SunTrust Indy Challenge
Richmond International Raceway - Richmond, Va.
Saturday, June 27, 2009 - Round 8 of 17
Top-5 Finishers: 1. Scott Dixon; 2. Dario Franchitti; 3. Graham Rahal; 4. Hideki Mutoh; 5. Danica Patrick.
Race Temperatures: Track ranged from 91o.-87o. F (33o.-31o. C) and ambient from 81o.-78o. F (27o.-26o.C).
Firestone Tire Performance Recap: Firestone developed a new tire for Richmond this year and it accomplished its goal of reducing understeer. The Firehawk specification also proved incredibly durable - numerous drivers put more than 100 laps on a set, topped by the 135 race laps (101.25 miles) that Tony Kanaan logged on his initial set.
From race winner Scott Dixon, #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "My Firestones were fantastic, super consistent, super grippy. But it was definitely tough to pass, so it was definitely at a premium to stay up front and make sure you had some good tires underneath you."
From Joe Barbieri, Manager, Firestone Racing: "Tire durability was a key tonight, as many drivers ran long stints on their Firehawks without issue. Tony Kanaan and his Andretti Green crew paid us the extreme compliment of having the confidence to run nearly half the race on the same set of Firehawks, and the tires were still there for him at the end of the stint. By the same token, we're aware that there was not as much passing and side-by-side racing tonight as we've seen in some past Richmond races. As always, Firestone Racing will work in concert with the IndyCar Series and the track to make any changes possible to improve the racing here in future years."
Firestone "Tire-ific" Move of the Race: This $10,000 prize is awarded after each IndyCar Series race to the driver who best utilizes his or her Firestone tires to make a bold, dramatic move during the event. Today's nominees are: Tony Kanaan, for double-stinting his first set of Firehawks for 135 laps, helping elevate him to sixth place; Hideki Mutoh, for his 108-lap first stint that included 74 laps in the lead, on his way to finishing fourth; and Graham Rahal, who finished third, a career best on an oval. Prior to tonight's race, Tomas Scheckter received the "Tire-ific" award for making an outside pass of six cars on the opening lap last weekend at Iowa.