2009 IRL Reports: Firestone Racing

IRL Team reports for the 2009 IRL season

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Postby mlittle » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:08 am

"Firestone Fast Six" Qualifying Results (time): 1. Dario Franchitti (01:16:7987); 2. Ryan Briscoe (01:16:8485); 3. Helio Castroneves (01:16:8702); 4. Marco Andretti (01:17:0524); 5. Hideki Mutoh (01:17:2055); 6. Graham Rahal (01:17:3885).

Firestone qualifying highlight: Firestone Racing brought primary and alternate Firestone Firehawk tire specifications that are all-new to Infineon Raceway, so the gap between the two specs was unknown going into today's qualifying session. The Firestone alternate tire proved to be more than one second faster than the primary specification and provided drivers with an extraordinary amount of grip. A chart detailing each drivers' tire selection is below.

Qualifying temperatures: Track temperatures ranged from 108o.-114o. F (42o.-45o. C) and ambient temperatures from 69o.-71o. F (20o.-21o. C).

From pole winner Dario Franchitti, #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "The Target car was really good straight off of the truck today. Scott [Dixon] did the testing for our team here last week, so I have to thank him for his hard work. Firestone brought a different tire for the race than they brought to the test, and that worked great for us. My only issue was that the Firestone red alternate tires have so much grip that the gearbox couldn't keep up with the downshifts. But we won't have that problem tomorrow."

From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "Congratulations to Dario and his Target team for pulling out a great lap there at the end to claim the pole position for the last road course on this year's IndyCar Series schedule. Going into this event, the gap between the primary and alternate tires was a mystery, and with the difference at over a second, the alternates proved to be the tire of choice for qualifying. That bodes well for an exciting race tomorrow, with varying tire strategies providing drivers with greater opportunities to pass on this twisty track."
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Postby mlittle » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:09 am

FIRESTONE FIREHAWK RACE REPORT
IndyCar Series - Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma
Infineon Raceway - Sonoma, California
Sunday, August 23, 2009 - Round 14 of 17

Race Temperatures: Track ranged from 110o.-116o. F (38o.-43o. C) and ambient from 69-76o.F (26o. C).

Firestone Tire Performance Recap: The softer red-sidewall alternate Firestone Firehawk tire proved to be the tire of choice for today's race, as drivers were consistently able to go approximately a second a lap faster on alternate tires than the primary specification. A chart detailing each driver's tire use for the race is on the following page.

From race winner Dario Franchitti, #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/ Firestone: "The car for us was definitely better on the reds. We actually put a used set of reds on at the end and we found they were definitely the best option for us. The car was really consistent on those. It was a great, great day for us - we really managed to get the most out of the reds in qualifying yesterday and in the race. So I'm liking the alternate tires right now! I think these were the best alternate tires Firestone has provided all season."

From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "Going into this race, everyone knew that Infineon Raceway can be a tricky track to pass on. However, today's race really blew that theory out of the water. The combination of the alternate Firestone Firehawk tires, which were about a second a lap faster than the primaries, and the Honda overtake assist button provided plenty of on-track action and passing throughout the field. Except for at the front, that is, as Dario certainly turned in a dominant performance and led every lap. Congratulations to Dario for a well-deserved victory, Ryan Briscoe for yet another second place finish, and also to Mike Conway and Mario Moraes for turning in career-best finishes."

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. This week's nominees are: Dario Franchitti, for his dominating flag-to-flag victory; Mike Conway, for his pass for third place on lap 73, and Justin Wilson, for relying on three sets of new alternate tires to move from 22nd to 7th. Fans can vote through Wednesday at www.indycar.com to determine the recipient. This award winner will be named at the August 1 race at Kentucky. In pre-race ceremonies today, Ryan Hunter-Reay was named the "Tire-ific" winner from the August 9 race at Mid-Ohio.
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Postby mlittle » Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:56 am

FIRESTONE FIREHAWK RACE REPORT
IndyCar Series - Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300
Chicagoland Speedway - Joliet, Illinois
Saturday, August 29, 2009 - Round 15 of 17

Top-5 Finishers: 1. Ryan Briscoe; 2. Scott Dixon; 3. Mario Moraes; 4. Dario Franchitti; 5. Graham Rahal.

Race Temperatures: Track ranged from 63°-60° F (17°-16° C) and ambient from 60°-59 °F (16°-15°C).

Firestone Tire Performance Recap: Despite chilly, windy conditions, the new Firehawk tire specification for Chicagoland performed spectacularly, promoting exciting tire-to-tire racing from start to finish. Drivers were able to take their cars wherever they needed on the track, and Ryan Briscoe relied on his Firehawks to carve his way to the front and take the win by 0.0077 of a second.

From race winner Ryan Briscoe, #6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "The Firehawks were great, really held up to the cold conditions and were very consistent over a long run. No complaints."

From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "We weren't sure if last year's great Chicagoland finish could be duplicated, but it sure was tonight! It was an incredible night of racing from the drop of the green flag to start the race to the checkered flag at the end. We know the Firestone tires had a great deal to do with that. Even though it was a cold August night, the Firehawks gave the drivers the grip and consistency to run hard every single lap, and to maneuver their cars anywhere necessary to make those daring passes. What's amazing is that the top 13 finishers were closer together at the end of 300 miles (separated by 0.82 of a second) than they were at the beginning of the race. It says a lot for the tires that all the drivers felt so comfortable running two- and three-wide and so closely packed all night."

Firestone "Tire-ific" Move of the Race: This $10,000 prize is awarded after each IndyCar Series race to the driver best utilizing his or her Firestone tires to make a bold, dramatic move during the event. Nominees from tonight's race are: Ryan Briscoe, for his perfectly timed winning pass on the next-to-last lap; Mario Moraes, for an impressive drive to a career-best third-place finish; and Graham Rahal, for challenging for the win before finishing a blink of the eye back in fifth. Fans can vote through Wednesday at www.indycar.com to determine the recipient. This award winner will be named at the Sept. 19 race at Twin Ring Motegi. In pre-race ceremonies tonight, Mike Conway was presented the Tire-ific award for his last-lap pass for third place last week at Infineon Raceway.
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Postby mlittle » Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:08 am

MORAES EARNS FIRST INDYCAR CAREER FRONT ROW STARTING POSITION

WILL START SECOND IN TOMORROW'S BRIDGESTONE INDY JAPAN 300 MILE

MOTEGI, JAPAN - - SEPTEMBER 18, 2009 - - Round #16 2009 IndyCar Series season - - KV Racing Technology driver Mario Moraes earned the first front row starting position of his young IndyCar career qualifying second today for tomorrow's Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 Mile at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan.

Both Moraes and KVRT made their debut on the unique1.5-mile eggplant-shaped TRM oval, which requires drivers to shift gears each lap, a success. The talented Brazilian, who went out 13th of the 23 cars making an attempt, qualified with a four-lap average of 201.504 mph running four very consistent laps that varied by only .1379 of a second (1.021 mph) between the fastest and slowest lap. The qualifying run put Moraes at the top of the grid until the very end when Scott Dixon, going out last, snatched the pole. Moraes will grid the #5 Azul -- Votorantim - KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car on the outside of Row #1.

"This is my first time here in Japan and at Motegi and I am so happy to have earned my first front row starting position," Moraes said. "The KV Racing Technology team has worked so hard all season and I really want to thank them. It is going to be a long race, but we will change a few things tonight and I feel confident because we already have a fast car, so hopefully we can have a good result tomorrow."

Moraes began the day by recording the sixth fastest lap in morning practice with a speed of 199.046 mph. In the afternoon session, he practiced with the second group and improved both his time and position despite the fact the team worked extensively on their race setup while running in traffic. Moraes recorded the second fastest speed in his group, 200.332 mph, which also placed him fifth on the combined practice report.

Moraes has now qualified in the top-eight six times out of seven on ovals (Iowa and Kentucky qualifying cancelled) and eight times in 13 total attempts (missed Mid-Ohio) this year. He has earned three top-five starting spots, including today's career high second and a road/street course career high fourth at Watkins Glen. Prior to joining KVRT for the 2009 season, Moraes had qualified in the top-10 in just one IndyCar event and never higher than 20th on an oval.

Moraes, 20, in his second IndyCar season, will be making just his 19th career oval start tomorrow. The talented and personable Brazilian is working on a streak of consecutive top-four finishes after earning the first podium of his career on the Chicagoland oval following a fourth place finish on the road course in Sonoma. Moraes has scored 67 points in the last two races and picked up three spots in the standings. He is currently 16th in the points with 248.

Tomorrow's race will be broadcast live on Versus on September 18 at 10:30 p.m. ET on Versus.
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Postby mlittle » Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:37 am

Firestone Focuses on Two Different But Vital Races in Finale
Special Tire Sidewall Markings for Firestone Indy 300 to Identify
Championship Contenders, Honor Fisher's 'On Track for a Cause' Entry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 7, 2009) - The Firestone brand has been involved in numerous racing disciplines in its 100 years of competition. The brand will help spotlight two very different races at the Firestone Indy 300, the climactic event to the 2009 IndyCar Series season Oct. 9-10 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in South Florida.

Special silvery white tire sidewall "Championship Rings" will adorn the cars of Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Ryan Briscoe, making it easier for fans to identify the remaining championship contenders. In addition, Firestone Racing has developed pink sidewall markings for the tires used by Sarah Fisher, who is running an all-pink racecar at Homestead, dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer.

This is the second consecutive year that Firestone Racing is providing the specially marked sidewalls for the title-contending teams. Much like the Firehawk red-sidewall alternate tires introduced this season at IndyCar Series road- and street-course events, the Championship Rings feature a bright sidewall coloring easily noticeable from the track grandstands and visible on television. The pink sidewalls for Fisher's entry utilize the same process and are a show of support by Firestone Racing for the worthy cause that will benefit, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure(r).

"We're very excited to bring back the Championship Rings as special visual indicators of the drivers vying for the title," said Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing. "We think they'll be helpful to fans once again as Scott, Dario and Ryan battle for top honors at Homestead. Sarah's efforts to aid the 'Komen for the Cure' are highly commendable, and we couldn't be happier about showing Firestone's support with the pink sidewalls . There's no better event we know of to bring these important races together than the Firestone Indy 300."

Fisher, driver/owner of the Sarah Fisher Racing #67 car, is appreciative of Firestone's efforts to support her cause.

"I'm honored Firestone has joined Sarah Fisher Racing in supporting National Breast Cancer Awareness Month," Fisher said. "To have partners that understand the value of working together for the better of a cause is important for the IndyCar Series. Firestone has always been a valuable partner of our team and I greatly appreciate their support with our pink sidewall tires for the race this weekend."

While the tires for Fisher and the championship contenders may look different than those of the other competitors at Homestead, all will feature an identical compound/construction formula - thereby assuring every driver the same reliable footing provided by the Firestone Firehawk racing radials. The tire specification was developed based on race data obtained at other high-banked 1.5-mile ovals this season and a June tire test at Chicagoland Speedway. The Firestone Indy 300 will be the first time that this precise spec will see race weekend use.

"Once again, the championship comes down to the final event, and in all likelihood it could again come down to the last turn of the last lap," said Speyer. "It's one of the many things that make the IndyCar Series so exciting. We know that all the drivers will be pushing themselves and their equipment to the limits, confident in the fact that their Firestone tires will take them where they want to go. We have the same confidence that this new Firehawk tire spec will deliver the great grip and consistency for which they've become famous, and lead to another memorable conclusion to the season."

FIRESTONE FIREHAWK FAST FACTS
IndyCar Series - Firestone Indy 300
Homestead-Miami Speedway - Homestead, Florida
October 9-10, 2009 - Round 17 of 17

Race Distance: 297 miles/477.975 km (200 laps on the 1.485-mile/2.39-km superspeedway).

Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied:

* Eight sets (32 tires) per car for the weekend; 892 dry-condition slicks supplied in total.

* This Firehawk tire specification sees its first race action this weekend. It features the same right-side tires run at Kansas and Texas, paired with the same left-side tires used at Kentucky. As usual with the high-banked 1.5-mile ovals, this tire was designed to withstand high temperatures and speeds while providing consistent grip.

* Tire stagger for Homestead will be approximately 0.45 of an inch. Stagger, which helps cars turn more smoothly on ovals, is created by producing the right rear tire with a slightly larger diameter than the left rear tire.

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. It could be relying on the Firehawks' great grip to execute a daring pass, or having the confidence in the tires' durability to run an extra stint on a set to improve position. After each race, Firestone Racing officials submit three "Tire-ific" candidates to www.indycar.com, where fans cast their votes during the ensuing week to determine the winner. The winner from the Sept. 19 race at Motegi, Japan (nominees are Scott Dixon, Mario Moraes and Oriol Servia) will be named in Homestead pre-race ceremonies Saturday.
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