Posts Tagged ‘ Firestone ’

Firestone Racing was there for the very first Indy 500 in 1911, won by Ray Harroun on Firestone brand tires.  Legend has it that tires played a pivotal role in the outcome of that first race.

Knowing that tire/wheel changes were difficult and time consuming back then, Ray asked the Firestone Racing engineers how fast he could drive without a tire failure.  He was told 75 miles per hour.  Sure enough, on May 30, 1911, he crossed the finish line first with an average speed of 74.602 miles per hour – and he only had to change one tire for the whole race.

So many memorable Indy 500 moments have happened on Firestone brand tires.  Of our 61 Indy 500 victories, 43 were consecutive between 1920 and 1966.  Great names such as Gaston Chevrolet, Wilbur Shaw, AJ Foyt, Jimmy Clark, Mario Andretti and Al Unser have chugged the milk in Victory Circle, thanks in no small part to the reliability of their Firestone race tires.

For many years, Firestone would advertise in newspapers around the nation after the race with artwork featuring all of their Indy 500 victories, proclaiming our Indy success.  This ad typified the “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” mentality.

In 2011, the Centennial Anniversary of the first Indy 500, the 62nd driver will cross the  finish line on Firestone tires, and we have re-created that classic ad.  Who do you think it will be?  Comment below and let us know.

Life with Trophy Girl

Posted on: August 3, 2010 | Comments(9) | (L)IZOD | By: Admin

IZOD wouldn’t be IZOD ifIZOD Trophy Girl 1 there wasn’t a model involved, right? Personally, I might have preferred Mark Wahlberg in his CK undies, but Cameron has definitely been a welcome sight to the fans this year.

The role of IZOD Trophy Girl was born at the first race in Brazil. We found a gal. And then an interpreter. It did not go well. Our trophy chick, while gorgeous, was a little more interested in taking pictures of drivers than doing her job. So, onward to St. Pete, where Miss Cameron was cast and the adventures begin.

For most fans, you’ve seen her on TV skillfully placed behind a driver during a post-race interview or hanging out in podium photos. Is it too much? Is it too “Where’s Waldo?” Possibly…but maybe you’ve noticed the Sprint Cup girls have picked up a few Cameron’isms in Victory Circle these days.

I’ve definitely had a variety of roles this season, but the role of pseudo-security guarIZOD Trophy Girl 2d is the most comical. From red carpet police to Wahlberg’s 500 escort, I’ve already had my fair share hands-in-faces (both giving and receiving). When serving as escort, getting Cameron from one location to another is always a circus. I certainly try to be nice, but if you’re grabbing her through a fence, or yelling, gawking or hovering in excess, then momma bear kicks in. Cameron calls it “assertiveness.” Ha! My description starts with a big ole “B.”

In addition to competing for face time with the Firestone Firehawk, she’s there to be in your photos and ham it up for tIZOD Trophy Girl 3he crowd. Wearing a firesuit and walking around a racetrack can be darn confusing to people. Early in the season, she was sometimes Danica, often Ana, and (still) almost always Milka. While we zoom through crowds in a golf cart, fans yell “Good luck, today!” as if she’s driving in the race. With a smile and wave, Cameron gives a cheerful, “thank you!” and we roll on towards our destination.

In between marathon meetings and credential duty, my race-day time with Cameron is a fun little break. Maybe I can be seen in fan pictures on random Facebook pages…but just half of me, off to the side, arms crossed, most likely staring at a phone. Tracked out in my red and white uniform (like Waldo), windblown and sunburnt, [L]IZOD looks pretty weary (and short) next to the tall, dazzling, lipglossed lady in the IZOD firesuit.

The Beautiful Game

Posted on: June 5, 2010 | Comments(6) | Drivers, Random | By: Daniel

I know we’re in the midst of a pretty exciting IndyCar season, but I wanted to take the opportunity to mention something else occurring this summer – the World Cup. I’m a huge soccer fan and will be glued to the TV June 11 – July 11, rooting for England (hey, I was born there) and hoping for some magical goal, incredible matches and a thrilling cup final. Player of the tournament? My pick is Wayne Rooney. Disagree?

I know soccer isn’t very popular in the US, but it’s huge a sport and there are many similarities to IndyCar – the global appeal, Brazilians seem to always do well, cool fans, great athleticism, etc.

There are 32 teams at the World Cup. There are 26 drivers in tonight’s Firestone 500k race at Texas Motor Speedway. So what’s the Nation/Driver breakdown? Before I get into that, check out Rafa Matos visiting the Kansas City Wizards of MLS.

Teams going to South Africa

Australia – Ryan Briscoe, Will Power

Brazil – Helio Castroneves, Mario Moraes, Tony Kanaan, Vitor Meira, Raphael Matos, Mario Romancini

England – Alex Lloyd, Justin Wilson, Dan Wheldon, Jay Howard

Japan – Hideki Mutoh, Takuma Sato

New Zealand – Scott Dixon

South Africa – Tomas Scheckter

Switzerland – Simona de Silvestro

USA – Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sarah Fisher

Not in the World Cup :(

Belgium – Bertrand Baguette

Canada – Alex Tagliani

Scotland – Dario Franchitti

Venezuela – E.J. Viso, Milka Duno

We had some time down here in Texas, so IMS Productions asked some of the drivers what their picks were for the World Cup. Take a look -

Who’s your pick for the 2010 World Cup?

And, BTW – IndyCar staffer Arni Sribhen and Indy Lights driver Martin Plowman have a friendly wager going on the England vs USA match June 11. Stay tuned for a blog post on that.

CEO taken for a ride

Posted on: June 5, 2010 | Comments(6) | Race Tracks, Randy Bernard | By: Dave

“Wow!”

Indy Racing League CEO Randy Bernard isn’t usually a man of few words, but that one sufficed after exiting the Indy Racing Experience two-seater at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnny Rutherford was the driver for four laps on the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval a few hours before the Firestone 550K.

Top speed was about 175 mph – about 40 mph slower than Ryan Briscoe’s four-lap pole average – and Bernard felt the G forces that pinned him to the right side of the stretched Dallara.
In 15 years as CEO of the Professional Bull Riders, Bernard hadn’t once boarded a mechanical bull. Three months into the IZOD IndyCar Series gig and he’s taken a wild ride.

“I’ve never had an experience like that in my life,” Bernard says. “I can’t even fathom going faster than we did. I was blown away with how fast we were going, and to know that Johnny can still go that fast was amazing.”

Johnny Rutherford and Randy Bernard

Johnny Rutherford and Randy Bernard

The three-time Indianapolis 500 champion wasn’t about to take the jab without landing a left hook.

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Kids of the Future

Posted on: May 27, 2010 | Comments (1) | Indy 500 | By: Emily

Electric Car-Designed by High School Students

Although I’m more of a Mini Cooper girl, the superhero design of the electric car built by high school students at the DeLaSalle Education Center’s Automotive Design Studio in Kansas City, Mo., has almost changed my mind.

The car is on display at the Firestone exhibit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway through May 30 – not far from the Yard of Bricks.

The project’s goal is to show how simplicity and lightweight construction can impact performance and energy efficiency. Although its maximum speed is only 60 miles per hour, the electric car is equipped with high-performance Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 Wide Oval tires.

Marty Yurjevich and Jon Stuckey are two tire professionals that came to DeLaSalle to assist the students.

“After working with the school for the past couple of months, I can assure you we are taking away more than we have given to this project,” Yurjevich said.  “Meeting and working with the students and mentors has been a very rewarding experience, and it is a rare occasion to utilize some of our consumer-based products for a community outreach project that not only enriches the lives of at-risk young adults, but also offers positive environmental impact.  We are thrilled to offer display space at Indy to get these messages out to a wider audience.”

The electric car project has allowed the students at DeLaSalle to experience racing up close and personal. The students were invited to be guests at the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Motor Speedway, and for their car to be displayed during the Month of May at IMS.

Mario Ramirez, a newly graduated member of the engineering team, summed it up well by saying, “It blows me away that we as a bunch of high school kids have a car that we have made put on display 20 feet from a sign that reads ‘Gasoline Alley’ at the most important race in the world — the Indy 500.”

Maybe the electric car will be on highways soon, but one thing for sure is the high school students who engineered this car will be the stars of the future.

The Team Moore Racing driver in Firestone Indy Lights, though, has “stop” and “go” printed on his left and right driving shoes, respectively. What if he switched them? “It definitely would scare people,” he said.

Hinch

James Hinchcliffe

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Plug In and Let’s Go Racing

Posted on: March 14, 2010 | Comments(2) | (L)IZOD, Race Tracks | By: Admin

IZOD IndyCar race weekend as something other than a crazy fan.

Wednesday was a travel recovery (and battle internet connection) day. Need a hint for a 10 hour plane ride? Download white noise to your iPod. Sounds weird, but the additional whirringbuzzyfan noice right in your ears is a lifesaver when your back muscles are screaming at you. We were met at the Sao Paulo airport by sweet Murial from CVC, the event company that has hosted us this week.

Thursday was meeting day. Me and the IZOD crew had some great sessions planning cool stuff for the rest of season. Want to see innovation? Want to see celebs? Want to see speed? It’s-a-comin’! We had dinner at a shnazzy place called Club A with purple walls and smoke oozing down from the ceiling. There were attempts at dancing after dinner, but all I saw were a lot of wax-on, wax-off impressions and some sort of an odd lasso move.

Me underneath an IZOD IndyCar

Steering Wheel

airportsign.jpg
Murial, our hostess from CVC
Friday was education day! Professor “Lew,” what would one do without your knowledge? He took me from pit lane to Victory Lane, and then to the garage. Not since my Astronomy class in college have I been so overwhelmed by math and science. I learned all about tech inspections, downforce, tires, carbon fiber, steering wheels and how the drivers sit in molds to have their seats custom made. Lew even made me get UNDERNEATH a car at tech inspection.

Saturday was practice and truly a thrilling day. Rushing around in the heat, hauling radios, drooling over the Apex Brasil suite, hording fruit, dodging groupies, and getting chills from the sound of those amazing engines. The fans here are soooo excited and loving the new game in town. Mobs of people with cameras around the garage entrance, snapping picture after picture (after picture) of our charismatic drivers.

So, Sunday is…well, NOW. I’m looking forward to seeing my first race outside of the stands at the Speedway. Let’s plug in, people! Plug in the fastest drivers and the fastest cars in racing. Plug in the fans. Plug the IZOD into IndyCar!