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IndyCar exploring tire options beyond Firestone

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IndyCar said Tuesday it is exploring partnerships with tire manufacturers besides Bridgestone Firestone, which has been the sole supplier for the series and under contract through the 2014 season.

Al Speyer, executive director of Firestone Racing, told Motorsport Magazine the company is interested in extending its contract with IndyCar through perhaps 2020, but has heard rumors that IndyCar is looking at other deals.

IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard confirmed that the series is looking at many different tire options and Firestone is not out of the mix.

"IndyCar is always exploring what's best for the sport for both the short and long term," Bernard said in a statement. "It is the series' goal to have partners that will provide safe, reliable and high-performance products that are designed to meet and exceed the on-track demands."

Speyer told the magazine Firestone is "deeply concerned" there is little the manufacturer can do but wait to see what IndyCar decides.

"Even though we thought they wanted to extend with us, all of a sudden we learned that they want to go in a different direction," he said. "It's clear to us the current IndyCar management is not interested in working with us. We want to stay. We've got certain rights and we want to stay. This new direction caught us by surprise. We had no idea it was coming."

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  • Really
    Competition? No way. IMS is looking at cheaper alternatives so they can claim to lower prices for the owners and STILL get maximum $$$ for the Dallara parts kickback program. You think a tire war is good thing now with the already overpriced ugly new car and Dallara coffee shop weighing this series down like an albatross? IMS wants to sacrifice quality for $$$, it's that simple.
  • Firestone doesn't sound like a company that has been taken advantage, it sounds like a company that is not pleased that it may face competition. If they do not feel that Indycar has a future, they would not sound so ticked Indycar is looking around at other manufacturers.
    • Short memory
      Firestone was being taken advantage of before the contract was renewed...why you ask? Because the ROI for Firestone was NON EXISTENT. That meant that for every dollar they put in, the IndyCar Series couldn't generate enough interest in it's puny fanbase or TV rating audience to make it worthwhile as a sponsor. SO, IndyCar had to "pay-to-play", and they don't like it. Great time to add a new tire manufacturer....when you are headed into T1 at Pocono at 215mph. Maybe even a double-header....
    • Isn't this the same tire company that was going to dump Indycar until the contract was renegotiated in Firestones favor? Sounds like Indycar learned its lesson and is keeping its options open. I hope they are seriously looking at Hoosier Tire. A great company with a long racing tradition

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