Andrew Firestone Long Beach Pro/Celebrity preview

Andrew Firestone to participate in Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at Grand Prix of Long Beach. NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 14, 2004) -- Andrew Firestone, great-grandson of The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. founder Harvey S. Firestone, and recently famous...

Andrew Firestone to participate in Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at Grand Prix of Long Beach.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 14, 2004) -- Andrew Firestone, great-grandson of The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. founder Harvey S. Firestone, and recently famous for his role in ABC's television series The Bachelor, will compete in the 28th Annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The 2004 event will begin at noon on Saturday, April 17, with drivers racing through the streets of downtown Long Beach, Calif. Andrew's specially prepared Toyota Celica, and all other Celica's in the event, will be equipped with Bridgestone-brand Potenza0x00d2 RE750 ultra-high-performance tires, continuing Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire LLC's seven year tradition as official tire supplier of the event.

"As excited as I am to be competing, I'm even more thrilled to represent my family and Bridgestone/Firestone in this high-profile motorsports event," said Andrew Firestone. "Showcasing both the technological advances and enduring quality of our tires on the racetrack is a tradition that my great-grandfather Harvey began more than nine decades ago. I'm very proud to follow in his footsteps."

Drivers in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity race during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, including Andrew Firestone, are trained at Danny McKeever's Fast Lane Racing School, which also relies on Bridgestone/Firestone to provide its official tires. Located at Willow Springs International Motorsports Park in Rosamond, Calif., the Fast Lane Racing School has been the training ground for Toyota Pro/Celebrity drivers for the past 19 years.

Firestone's involvement in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity race, as well as his training at McKeever's Fast Lane Racing School, are two more stops in an intensive training sequence to prepare him for participation in the Tire Rack0x2122 Cannonball0x00ae One Lap of America presented by Car and Driver0x2122 taking place April 28 - May 8. In the past month, Firestone has also honed his skills on the tracks at Infineon Raceway (Sonoma, Calif.), BeaveRun (Big Beaver Borough, Pa.) and Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wis.). For the grueling 10-day Cannonball event, Firestone will be paired with his brother Adam as a co-driver, competing at seven track locations throughout the United States.

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which began in 1974, attracts world-class Champ Car competitors from around the world, driving open-wheel race cars through the streets of downtown Long Beach at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. This season, the Bridgestone brand will again serve as the Presenting Sponsor for what has become known worldwide as Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. Since 2002, Bridgestone has been the Official Tire and Bridgestone/Firestone has served as sole supplier for the series. This season every Champ Car competitor will again be equipped with Bridgestone Potenza racing radials.

"Long Beach is, without a doubt, one of the premier events for us every year," said Al Speyer, executive director of motorsports, Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire LLC. "Supplying both the Champ Car race and the celebrity race gives us a very unique opportunity to showcase the quality of both our street tires and our race tires to the same audience. This year we're particularly proud to have Andrew participate. Like the rest of his family, Andrew is a great race fan, and we're very excited that he's becoming more involved in our motorsports activities."

Sunday's professional race is preceded by a week of festivities, including the Toyota Pro/Celebrity race, which pits Hollywood celebrities against famous sports figures.

Last year, celebrity drivers included JoshBrolin (Senator 'Bill Sterling' on Mr.Sterling), AngieEverhart (actress and model), Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11 astronaut and the second man to walk on the moon), Picabo Street (Olympic skiing champion), Tommy Shane Steiner (country music artist), PeterReckell ('BoBrady' on Days of Our Lives) and Adam Carolla (co-host of The Man Show and the radio show Loveline).

The Bridgestone Potenza RE750 with UNI-T0x2122 technology, inspired by the Bridgestone Potenza racing tire, is an ultra-high performance tire that lives up to the Potenza name. The Potenza RE750 has been engineered to reduce road noise, especially as it wears, and is designed to complement the style and complex systems of today's finest performance cars. The Bridgestone Potenza RE750 has improved wear for performance applications and, with its uni-directional tread pattern, delivers rapid response, traction and outstanding wet and dry handling.

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Series Road racing
Drivers Andrew Firestone