Firestone Firehawk Race Report: Firestone 550
Top-5 Finishers: 1. Helio Castroneves; 2. Ryan Hunter-Reay; 3. Tony Kanaan; 4. Ed Carpenter; 5. Marco Andretti.
Points leaders: 1. Helio Castroneves (259); 2. Marco Andretti (237); 3. Ryan Hunter-Reay (232); 4. Tony Kanaan (195); 5. (tie) Takuma Sato, Simon Pagenaud (194).
Working in concert with IndyCar officials, Firestone Racing developed a new tire specification for this year’s Texas race that would perform similar to last year, when the tires were intentionally designed to “go off” if not properly managed through a stint. While some drivers, as expected, struggled to make the tires last for a full run, others ran more than 60 laps (90-plus miles) on a set of Firehawks without issue. Race winner Helio Castroneves put in three full stints of 53 laps or more.
From race winner Helio Castroneves, No. 3 AAA Insurance/Penske Racing Dallara/ Chevrolet/Firestone: “Thank you for the Firestone tires. The Firestone tires were great for us. We managed the tires at the beginning of the stint, there was a great set-up on the car and we did a great job. Then at the end when the temperature came down (at dark), my car was on rails. A very tough race mentally but it all paid off. It’s one of those days when you don’t have many cars like that, so you’ve got to take it and drive it like you stole it.”