Bridgestone's Speyer plans to retire in 2013
Al Speyer, executive director of motorsports for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC, intends to retire in 2013 after 38 years with the company.
Speyer has been a well-known face at tracks across the globe during his 30 years in motorsports. He has worked on a wide variety of racing classes, including stock cars, sports cars (SCCA and IMSA and the Firestone Firehawk Endurance Series), drag racing, Formula One and IndyCar.
“I have thought about retirement for some time, and that time has come," he says. "I still very much enjoy what I do; likewise, I will enjoy spending more time with my wife, Jane, our son, Erik, and friends.
"I look forward to helping with the transition to my successor, who will undoubtedly bring new and innovative ideas to the program."
In 1992, shortly after the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. was acquired by Bridgestone Corp. and the U.S. operations were consolidated as Bridgestone/ Firestone Inc., Speyer was named manager of motorsports for the company. The following year, the company announced it would end a 20-year hiatus from the top forms of open-wheel racing.
In 1996, Speyer was tapped to manage the return to open-wheel racing and was promoted to director of motorsports. In 2001, he was named executive director of motorsports.
"When we began supporting the Indy Racing League again in 1996, Al helped lead Firestone back to a premier position in IndyCar Racing,” says Phillip Dobbs, chief marketing officer for the company's Consumer Tire Sales Division.
Bridgestone Americas plans to conduct a search to name Speyer’s successor. In an official statement, the company says it will continue supporting its current efforts in motorsports and IndyCar.