With the 100th staging of the Indianapolis 500 nearing, Firestone Racing unveiled a special tire honoring the legendary drivers who contributed to the brand’s 66 victories at the world’s most renowned race.
The Indianapolis 500 Mile Race presented by PennGrade Motor Oil is scheduled on May 30 at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).
As the Official Tire of the Indianapolis 500, Firestone has carried more drivers to Victory Lane at IMS than all other tire manufacturers combined.
“The Firestone brand solidified its place in motor sports history at the first running of the Indianapolis 500 with [winning]driver Ray Harroun. More than a century later, we are honored to celebrate all of the legendary drivers who have taken Firestone to victory circle at the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’” said Lisa Boggs, director of Bridgestone Americas Motorsports. “From the beginning, Harvey Firestone believed in the power of motor sports and the Indianapolis 500 as a showcase for our company’s performance, innovation and technology. That legacy is at the core of everything we do and we are proud to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime event.”
The special sidewalls feature the names of every driver who won the Indianapolis 500 on Firestone tires. The list includes iconic Firestone-shod drivers such as Harroun, the winner of the first Indy 500; Louis Meyer, the first driver to drink milk in Victory Lane; Mario Andretti, the “Driver of the Century” by many accounts and many more.
The tires have been designed to engage and educate both avid and casual fans about the brand’s rich history at IMS. Also displayed on the sidewall is the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 logo and customary Firestone brand markings, including red and white Firestone “F shield” logos that are unique to the Indianapolis 500 tire because they identify the right- and left-side race tires, respectively.
“After analyzing data and feedback from some of the world’s greatest drivers during our tire test in August, we decided on a tire specification that is optimized for the most grueling 500 miles in racing,” said Dale Harrigle, chief engineer and manager of race tire development for Bridgestone Americas Motorsports. “The constant testing and evaluation of our race tires is in keeping with the Firestone brand’s century-long tradition of being the best today, still better tomorrow.”
The tires for the Indy 500 feature an updated right-front construction designed to improve driver confidence in the corners, a softer left-rear construction to add overall grip and a more heat resistant left-side compound. Firestone will produce more than 5,000 tires featuring the commemorative Indy 500 sidewall to be used during practice, qualifying and the historic race on May 29.