Firestone St. Pete Preview Race Distance: 180 mi./289.68 km (100 laps on the 1.80-mi./2.897-km temporary street circuit). Television/Radio Broadcast: Live - Sunday, April 5, at 2 p.m. EDT on VERSUS, IMS Radio Network and XM Radio 145. Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied: * Primary (black-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 702, each entry gets six sets (24 total tires); * Alternate (red-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 347, each entry gets three sets (12 total tires); * Wet-condition (rain) tires with grooved tread pattern: 436, each entry gets four sets as needed.
Per IndyCar Series rules, each entry must declare to the league within one hour after qualifying on which dry-condition tire spec it intends to start the race. All cars must use at least one primary set and one new alternate set during the race, each for a minimum of two green-flag laps. Firestone Racing's street-course tires in general feature the softest constructions and tread compounds available to assist cornering in the slow, tight turns and to enhance acceleration upon exiting the turns.
From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "Another IndyCar Series season is here, and for the first time we get to kick it off at one of the premier events, the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Firestone Racing has been a strong supporter of this event since it debuted in 2005, and we are continuing that role as the grand prix's official tire this year. The racing at St. Pete has always been exciting and unpredictable, and it should become even more so with the introduction of our alternate tire concept to IndyCar Series road and street courses this season. Each car will have a limited supply of the red-sidewall alternate tires, which possess a softer tread compound for faster lap times. But, by design, the Firehawk 'reds' trade away some tread compound durability over the long run, so teams will need to manage their tire use wisely to maximize their car's performance. This added strategy variable could yield even more unexpected results in both qualifying and the race. We're thrilled to see the alternate tire concept added to the competition, and we believe the IndyCar fans will enjoy it."
Firestone "Tire-ific" Move of the Race is back: This $10,000 prize reliant on fan voting returns this season. Following each race, Firestone Racing nominates three drivers who best utilized their 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. Fans can go to http://www.indycar.com to vote for the nominee they believe made the most "Tire-ific" move of the race. The winner is announced and the $10,000 prize awarded at the next race.
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