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Indy Racing League drivers will continue to compete on Firestone Firehawks

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Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. (BFS) has inked a deal with the Indy Racing League (IRL) to supply Firehawk racing tires through the 2005 season.

The exclusive deal shuts out any other tire manufacturer; Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. had been talking with IRL CEO and President Tony George about possibly supplying tires in the future.

"The Firestone Racing program has consistently demonstrated it can supply the quality tires needed for our high-speed, oval track competition," said George. "We're very appreciateive of the steadfast support from Firestone...."

George said the league wanted one tire supplier "for safety and cost-control benefits."

Shu Ishibashi, executive vice president of BFS and president of the company's U.S. Consumer Tire Group, said, "Our desire to continue in the IRL and the Indianapolis 500 emphasizes our company's commitment to strengthen Firestone, a brand that has been in service for more than 100 years."

The Firestone Firehawk brand also will be the exclusive tire for the newly created Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series, an IRL driver development series.

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