For more than a century, the Firestone brand has been involved in world-class motorsports events across the globe, dating back to its founder's aspiration to use racing as the ultimate proving ground for his tire products and technology.
The Firestone brand's entry into racing's record books came May 30, 1911, when Ray Harroun's Firestone-equipped Marmon Wasp won the inaugural Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Since then, Firestone has won the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" more than all other tire manufacturers combined, including Alexander Rossi's victory in the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, its 67th Indy 500 win.
Firestone re-entered Indy car competition in 1995 following a two-decade hiatus. This season marks the tire brand's 16th as the official tire of the Verizon IndyCar Series and the partnership between Firestone and INDYCAR continues to extend far beyond the roles of tire supplier and sanctioning body; it is a collaborative working relationship that covers both on and off-track initiatives.
Furthering the time-tested relationship between Firestone and INDYCAR, the two entities recently entered into a new multiyear extension. Under this agreement, Firestone will continue to work in partnership with INDYCAR to ensure its race tires are optimized to perform and continue to deliver trusted dependability across the wide range of tracks and racing conditions provided by the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.
In the offseason, Firestone Racing focused its tire development efforts on determining more than 60 race tire specifications for this season's 17-race schedule, including the series' return to Gateway Motorsports Park, all developed by its team of engineers, chemists and technicians based at the company's technical facilities in Akron, Ohio. Also new for 2017, INDYCAR's tire rules include the addition of an extra alternate tire (red-sidewall) set for practice sessions, which will allow teams more flexibility and the opportunity to better evaluate the tires' performance for qualifying and the race.
In addition to its official tire designation, Firestone will continue its entitlement and official tire sponsorships at several races in 2017, including the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the 101st Indianapolis 500.
Off the track, Firestone Racing will continue its comprehensive, 360-degree approach to engage fans and other key stakeholders in 2017. The integrated marketing program includes public relations, advertising, social/digital media and grass-roots engagement in every race market.
A pillar of the program is the interactive at-track Firestone Experience, which is highlighted by unique, hands-on activities that tell the Firestone story and educate fans about its extensive line of passenger tires. The 2017 edition of the Firestone Experience will include fan-focused activities including racing simulators, show cars and an airbrushed tattoo station, while adding a new social media area that will allow fans to "celebrate like a champion."
In achieving Harvey Firestone's vision, the tire brand's time-tested dedication to innovation and performance has helped its on-track success translate to the open road. Firestone Racing's engineers work side by side with the company's passenger tire engineers to ensure the technological advances developed for the racetrack help consumers meet the demands of their daily travel. A testament to the collaborative relationship between Firestone Racing and the overall brand team is the new Firestone passenger tire line, including the Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 high-performance tire, the Firestone Firehawk All-Season tire and the Firestone Champion with Fuel Fighter.
Keep up with Firestone Racing by following the team on Twitter and Instagram (@FirestoneRacing) or by visiting FirestoneRacing.com.