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DATE News (chronologically)
03/09/11
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Oh no!  IndyCar, Goodyear discuss race tires UPDATE
Firestone IndyCar tires
The result of an open forum meeting among the INDYCAR owners on Monday resulted in a near-unanimous vote to stick with Firestone – regardless of the price (probably so scared that they might get Goodyear instead) reports SPEEDtv.com.

“We all want to keep running with Firestone,” said Conquest Racing owner Eric Bachelart. “We know those people; we trust their product and we have to save the deal. “They are the best partner ever and we can’t afford to lose them so we’re hoping they’ll review their decision.”

Al Speyer, the executive director for motorsports for Bridgestone/Firestone, reached at his home in Nashville, Tenn. on Tuesday night, said, “It’s nice to hear those things but that’s about all I can say,” said Speyer. “I guess we’ll have to wait and see if they send us a proposal.”

Equally as good as Bridgestone would of course be Michelin, and we wonder if IndyCar has spoken to them.  Everyone praises their racing tires and they make the some of the best passenger car tires you can buy.

Jeff Gordon's wrecked race car in Las Vegas last weekend after his exploding Goodyear tire sent him into the wall.  NASCAR's Goodyear tires explode on a regular basis, something NASCAR competitors have come to expect.
03/08/11 Goodyear (who makes those exploding NASCAR tires we see every week on the race track that send cars careening into the walls) has had discussions but no formal negotiations with IndyCar officials about supplying race tires for the 2012 race season now that Bridgestone is pulling its Firestone brand from the open-wheel circuit after this year.

Goodyear executives are having ''internal discussions'' regarding supplying tires for IndyCar but no decisions have been made, a company spokesman said.

''Our focus is on NASCAR'' and other motorsports with which Goodyear already has a relationship, spokesman Ed Markey said.

''We have had discussions with IndyCar,'' he said. But the Akron tire maker does not want to take on new business that would jeopardize its relationships with current customers, he added.

Bridgestone Americas and Indianapolis-based IndyCar on Friday announced that Bridgestone's Firestone brand will no longer build and supply tires after the 2011 season. The decision means Nashville-based Bridgestone Americas will shut down its Akron race tire plant likely in September or October, putting 46 hourly workers, with Steelworkers Local 7, and 22 salaried employees out of work.

The tire company and IndyCar said the decision to part was mutual. Firestone has been IndyCar's sole tire supplier since 2000.

Bridgestone did not renew a contract by a Dec. 31 deadline that would have kept the company making race tires for upcoming years. The tire company and IndyCar kept negotiating afterward but never reached an agreement.

Bridgestone Americas said pulling out of IndyCar was a ''strategic business decision'' and that it intends to continue promoting and growing its Firestone brand.

The Izod IndyCar Series starts on March 27 with a race in Florida and includes an Aug. 7 race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington; the series concludes Oct. 16 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Firestone said it will participate in IndyCar's celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 race on May 29.

Goodyear Chief Executive Officer Rich Kramer said earlier in an interview with the Beacon Journal that it might consider getting back into open-wheel racing such as IndyCar and that ''there could be'' interest if Firestone dropped out.

Goodyear makes all of the tires for NASCAR at its sole remaining Akron tire plant.

IndyCar Series Chief Executive Officer Randy Bernard told the Indianapolis Star that there have been discussions with Goodyear, Hoosier, Cooper and other tire manufacturers.

''Every tire manufacturer we could [talk to],'' he told the Star. ''We have to put this on a fast track.'' Ohio.com

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