Firestone to bring new tire to Richmond Eight sets (32 total tires) per car to use for practice, qualifying and the race. Firestone is bringing 848 tires in all.
One tire stagger of approximately 0.60 of an inch is available for Richmond, the largest stagger for any track this season. Stagger helps Indy cars turn more smoothly on oval tracks and is created by producing the right-rear tire with a slightly larger diameter than the left rear.
Firestone has a completely new tire specification for Richmond in 2009. Developed from a tire test at the track in fall 2008, the Firehawk spec features a new carcass construction for Richmond designed to reduce understeer over the course of a long run, paired with new compound formulas for all four tire positions (which will make overtaking of the car in front harder).
From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "Richmond concludes a run of six consecutive oval track events typifying the great variety of circuits on the IndyCar Series schedule, and for which Firestone Racing is entrusted to provide reliable and consistent tires at each of the very different venues. The ovals have ranged from Indianapolis, the longest and fastest superspeedway on the schedule, to a couple of the high-banked, non-stop 1.5-mile tracks, to all three of the short ovals. Richmond is the shortest of the short and demands a tire with excellent grip, but also one strong enough to absorb the loads from the constant turning there. The Firestone race tire development staff has been successful in meeting the demands of RIR in the past, and we believe the new Firehawk specification for this weekend will do so again. Plus, we're confident that the new spec will help reduce some of the increasing understeer that is inherent over the course of a fuel run at Richmond. We're looking forward to another exciting Richmond race, and the Firestone tires playing a big role in making it that way."
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