INDIANAPOLIS — When you see drivers oversteering down the straightaways at Sunday's Indianapolis 500, it's because the tires are designed to pull the car to the left. It's the little things that help a car stay above 220 mph in the turns.
Cara Adams, director of race tire engineering and production for Bridgestone Americas Inc. and Firestone Racing, spoke this week about the event and, more specifically, the Firestone Firehawk racing tires that will be used, via video from Indianapolis.
Despite pandemic-related distractions, when the green flag flies for the 104th Indy 500, the Firestone Racing Tire team will be focused on the track.
This year's Indy 500, which runs Sunday on NBC starting at 1 p.m. EDT, was delayed three months because of COVID-19. No fans will be in attendance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), an event that typically draws 300,000.
"We really, really miss the fans," Ms. Adams said. "It's great to be out racing, but sad to be out here without the fans."
Bridgestone has been the sole tire supplier for the IndyCar Series since 1996. The current contract runs through 2025.
The Indy 500 is where Firestone really got its start back in 1911, Ms. Adams said.
"Here at Firestone, Harvey Firestone really realized the importance of racing that very first (Indy 500). The racing platform provided the opportunity for a brand not only to provide a proving ground for our tire development but also for a promotional platform for the tires."
She quoted Mr. Firestone's famous words, "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday."