HealthSportsIndyCar's Nashville Finale: Firestone Tires Face a One-of-a-Kind Challenge

IndyCar’s Nashville Finale: Firestone Tires Face a One-of-a-Kind Challenge

The Final IndyCar Race Moves to ‍Lebanon, Tennessee

The ‍IndyCar‍ Series recently announced the relocation of its‍ final race to the 1.33-mile D-shaped concrete oval ‌track in Lebanon, Tennessee, ​on September 15. This decision marks ⁤a significant shift as it ⁤will be the first time since 2014 that the season finale will take place on⁣ an ‌oval track (last‍ held in Fontana).

Challenges⁤ for‍ Firestone

The adjustment to an oval track has presented a unique challenge for Firestone, the exclusive tire supplier for the IndyCar Series. Adapting to the demands of the concrete oval in Nashville, ‌which is known for its abrasive surface and high ‌tire wear, requires a specialized approach. The introduction of ⁤the hybrid car mid-season further complicates matters, as it affects tire​ heat distribution and​ wear. Cara Krstolic, Executive Director of⁤ race tire engineering and production ‌for Firestone, emphasized the need for ‌specific tire construction tailored​ to​ the Nashville Speedway.

Unique Tire Construction

Krstolic highlighted the intricacies involved in designing⁢ tires for ​the Nashville Speedway. Unlike other ovals paved​ with asphalt, the concrete surface in Nashville poses distinct challenges. The ‌tire ‍construction must‌ be durable, consistent, and capable of withstanding the abrasive nature of the track.⁤ The oval’s shape adds to the⁢ heat generated by the tires, necessitating a construction specific to Nashville. Krstolic stressed‍ the importance of testing ‍compounds and constructions to meet the track’s unique demands, ruling ​out the possibility of using tires from‍ other speedways.

Tire Testing and Preparation

In preparation for⁤ the race, Firestone has scheduled a tire test ⁢with the hybrid car on June 14. This test comes amidst a busy racing schedule, including four ​races over five weeks starting on May 11, with Indianapolis 500 qualifying in between. Krstolic acknowledged the ⁤uncertainties surrounding the tire test, considering the⁣ impact of different aero​ configurations and the hybrid ⁢engine on‌ tire ‍performance. Despite the workload and budgetary ⁣constraints, Firestone has dedicated its‍ engineering resources to ⁤meet⁣ the challenges posed by the ⁤upcoming race.

In conclusion, the shift to an oval track for the season finale presents⁣ a new set⁢ of challenges for Firestone in designing tires that can withstand the unique demands ⁤of the Nashville Speedway. With meticulous ⁢testing and preparation,⁣ Firestone aims to deliver ⁣high-performance ⁤tires that meet‍ the requirements of‍ the race.

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