Firestone Preview of MAV TV 500
Race Distance: 500 miles/804.672 kilometers (250 laps on the 2-mile/3.219-kilometer superspeedway oval).
Television/Radio Broadcast: Live – Saturday, September 15, at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, IMS Radio Network, XM Radio 94 and Sirius Radio 212. A qualifying recap/championship preview show airs at 7 p.m. ET Friday, September 14 on NBC Sports Network.
Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied:
· A proven Firestone specification with 1,772 total tires is available, with each entry receiving 15 sets (60 total tires) for the race weekend. The tire spec selected for Auto Club Speedway is identical to the spec used for the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway in June.
· Tire stagger: A single stagger of approximately 0.45 of an inch is available for all teams. Stagger, created by molding the right rear tire with a larger diameter than the left rear, helps racecars turn left more easily on ovals. Though the tire diameter difference is minimal, stagger makes the cars naturally turn left and requires the driver to turn the steering wheel slightly right, or “counter-steer,” to keep the car in a straight line on the straightaways.
From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: “It’s been a tremendous season of IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights competition in 2012, and returning to Auto Club Speedway to decide the two championships is a great way to finish the year. Firestone Racing has enjoyed enormous success on this track; in fact, Firestone tires have won every Indy-car race contested here, dating to the 1990s when there was tire competition. So we feel very confident in our ability to bring the right tires to stand up to this most rigorous 500-mile test of driver and machine. We have selected the same Firehawk tire specification that was used earlier this season for the Firestone 550 at Texas, where we witnessed an incredibly exciting race. The mandated aerodynamic specifications on the cars for Auto Club Speedway will place a premium on tire management through a full stint, just as we saw in Texas, so those teams and drivers able to set up their cars to work best over the long run will probably be the ones we will see battling for the race win and the championship. It should be another exciting race weekend to cap off a thrilling season. Best of luck to everyone involved.”
Firestone Racing History of Note: Firestone has been an integral part of impressive speed records achieved at Auto Club Speedway. Mauricio Gugelmin set the official one-lap, closed-course world record of 240.942 mph and clocked a practice lap of 242.333 mph (unofficial because it occurred in practice) in 1997. Four years later, Gil de Ferran upped the official closed-course standard to 241.426 mph. In 2003, Sam Hornish Jr. won the 400-mile race with an average speed of 207.151 mph, still the fastest race in IndyCar history. The common denominator in all of these records was the Firestone tires … and the unwavering confidence those drivers had in their Firehawks to stand up to those most demanding conditions.