Indy 500: Firestone preview
Race Distance: 500 miles/804.67 km (200 laps on the 2.5-mile/4.023-km superspeedway oval).
Television Broadcast: Live at noon EDT Sunday, May 27 on ABC.
Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied: 5,175 dry-condition slicks.
Each car number entry receives 35 sets (140 total tires) for the entire month. Cars not running all month (i.e., entries starting practice the second week) receive tires on a prorated basis for the number of days they compete.
For Indianapolis, Firestone brings two tire stagger options. Stagger is the process of building the right rear tire slightly larger than the left rear to help the IndyCars go through the left-hand oval turns more smoothly. The stagger options available this month equate to diameter differences of 0.35 and 0.44 of an inch between the right and left rear tires.
New for the 2007 season, these tires were produced in Akron, Ohio, and developed based on testing at Indianapolis last October. They are designed to have slightly more grip than the '06 Indy tire. This same specification was used in the April 21 race at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan.
From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "Firestone has such a deep heritage with the Indy 500, dating back to having tires on Ray Harroun's winning Marmon Wasp in 1911, so we look forward annually to the exciting and unpredictable month of May. We're bringing more than 5,000 Firehawk race tires to supply the field this year. This is a new tire spec that received great reviews at its debut two weeks ago in Japan, so we're eager to see it in action at Indy. We're confident the drivers will continue finding it to their liking, and continue providing them the unflinching trust in their Firehawks to drive around this hallowed track at speeds approaching 230 mph, lap after nail-biting lap. And when all is said and done, we'll be in Victory Lane crowning the newest Indianapolis 500 champion on Firestone tires."
Firestone Performance Award: This $20,000 prize (double the amount for any other race) commemorates Firestone's status as the only tire manufacturer to have participated in every IndyCar Series race. It is given to the driver leading the lap number corresponding to the cumulative number of races in series history. The Indianapolis 500 is the 139th IndyCar Series race, so the Firestone Performance Award will go to the driver who leads lap 139. Firestone