Six drivers will test several compounds and specifications of Firestone’s IndyCar tire at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Tuesday and Wednesday, both days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. All but one of them are out of realistic contention for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series title.
Simon Pagenaud, Justin Wilson and Dario Franchitti will be Honda’s representatives with the three Chevrolet reps Will Power, Marco Andretti and current Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan. Pagenaud is third in points, 70 back of Helio Castroneves with three races remaining in the season.
“It’s more a sense of continuous improvement, which is something that Firestone has been based on,” Firestone Racing chief engineer Dale Harrigle told IndyCar.com. “Tire performance was good this May and we think we can make it a little better.”
From an optics standpoint, it will be nice to see IndyCars going their usual, counter-clockwise direction around the IMS 2.5-mile oval, after last week’s test at the IMS road course to evaluate the potential of a race there next year.
And here’s the best part: it’s open to the public, at the South Terrace Grandstand and Turn 2 viewer mounds. Sept. 12 is a designated rain date. Post photos on Twitter (@FirestoneRacing) using #TireTest.
Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.
Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.
Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?
Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!
Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden
Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.
Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)
Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.
Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.
Follow: Jerry Bonkowski