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 Takuma Sato’s victory in the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, its 68th Indy 500 win.
Firestone re-entered Indy car competition in 1995 following a two-decade hiatus. This season marks the tire brand's 19th as the sole tire supplier 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.
Firestone and INDYCAR entered into a multiyear extension last season. 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 that are the hallmark of the Verizon IndyCar Series.
In the offseason, Firestone Racing worked closely with INDYCAR, drivers and teams to determine tire specifications for the new 2018 universal aero kit. The Race Tire Development Team 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 Portland International Raceway, all developed by its team of engineers, chemists and technicians based at the company's technical facilities in Akron, Ohio.
Firestone will continue its entitlement and official tire sponsorships at several races, including the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the Indianapolis 500.
Off the track, Firestone Racing will continue its comprehensive, 360-degree approach to engage fans and other key stakeholders. The integrated marketing program includes public relations, advertising, social/digital media and grass-roots engagement.
A pillar of the program is the interactive at-track Firestone Fan 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 2018 edition of the Firestone Fan Experience will feature fan-focused activities including racing simulators, champion celebration fan videos and an airbrushed tattoo station.
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 Firestone passenger tire line, including the Firestone Firehawk Indy 500, the Firehawk All-Season and the Firestone Champion with Fuel Fighter tires.
Keep up with Firestone Racing by following the team on Twitter and Instagram @FirestoneRacing.