Firestone Firehawk Race Report —Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
Top-5 Finishers: 1. Will Power; 2. Simon Pagenaud; 3. James Hinchcliffe; 4. Tony Kanaan; 5. JR Hildebrand.
Firestone Tire Performance Recap: Firestone Racing engineers brought the same primary (black-sidewall) and alternate (red-sidewall) tire specifications to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach as were used at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg earlier this season. While the tires performed well, the gap between the primary and alternate was not quite as significant as it was last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. Will Power ran an extended last stint (laps 55-85) on a set of new alternate tires to take his second consecutive victory and his first at Long Beach.
From race winner Will Power, Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevy/Firestone: "It's a great day for Chevy and Verizon. I mean, we really didn't think it was possible to win from 12th here, because it's a two stop race. But with my team we overcame a 10-spot grid penalty. They told me Pagenaud was coming, so I saved as much fuel as I could and then ran hard the last lap or two, and it was enough. Firestone definitely brought a good tire today. I mean the Firestone reds (alternates) lasted a very long stint at the end. As good as ever."
From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "Congratulations once again to Team Penske and Chevrolet - two in a row for Will Power and three-for-three for the team and Chevy to start the season. This weekend is another example of the fact that Firestone Racing can build a reliable, consistent tire, in both primary and alternate specifications. However, after the feedback we received last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, we're certainly having discussions about making the performance gap between the primaries and alternates bigger. We had previously said that we would utilize these same specs for all temporary street circuits this season, but that could possibly change. It will be difficult, but it's a great challenge for us."