From the beginning, Harvey Firestone understood that motorsports provided the ultimate proving ground for his products, where months of ordinary wear were crowded into a few hours and hundreds of hard-fought laps. He understood that the racetrack, unlike traditional testing grounds, offers the distinct advantage of showcasing the product before a grandstand full of auto enthusiasts.
No other race or racetrack has proven as important a proving ground for the quality and success of Firestone tires, than the Indianapolis 500 and the famed Brickyard. The brand was there for that first race in 1911, when driver Ray Harroun won the inaugural 500-mile event race aboard his Marmon Wasp outfitted with Firestone tires.
Since Harroun’s historic run, the Firestone brand has continued to propel some of the sport’s most revered drivers to victory, while using what its learned at this famed speedway to enhance the performance of the tires that millions of people drive on every day.
Firestone will provide 5,000 tires for the 100th running of the Indy 500, and each entry will receive: 36 sets of tires for practice, qualifying and the race.
Celebrating the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, Firestone is providing a special tire honoring the legendary drivers who contributed to the brand’s 66 combined victories at the world’s most renowned race. As the Official Tire of the Indianapolis 500, Firestone has carried more drivers to victory circle at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) than all other tire manufacturers combined.
Firestone used the tire test at IMS in August 2015 to evaluate possible tire specifications for the 100th Running. The tires feature an updated right-front construction designed to improve driver confidence in the corners, a softer left-rear construction to add overall grip and a more heat resistant left-side compound.
The Firestone tires used in the inaugural Indianapolis 500 winner, Ray Harroun, in 1911 were 34 inches in diameter, but only 4.5 inches wide. The rear tires on today’s Indy car are approximatly 27 inches in diameter and more than 15 inches wide.
Firestone is proud to honor all 69 winners of the Indianapolis 500 as the recipients of this year’s Firestone Legends of the Indianapolis 500 Award. This Award celebrates the proud heritage of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and those individuals who have helped contributed to and define the unique spirit and legacy of the Indy 500.
The drivers who are emblazoned on the Borg Warner Trophy have solidified their place in history; they embody the daring, speed and passion that have made this race into the spectacle that it is today. They achieved immortality on racing’s greatest stage and it is our distinct privilege to honor them on Firestone Legends Day.
In addition to honoring the Legends of the Speedway, Firestone will make a $20,000 donation to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Musuem, so they may continue to celebrate and honor the rich history of the world’s most iconic racetrack.