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Talking about Tires

Firehawk Indy 500 tireI learned more about tires the last two days than I’ve learned in many years of driving on them. Who knew tires were (1) the four most important features on a car, according to one lecturer; and (2) available in so many different sizes/types/tread patterns.

At a recent event hosted by Bridgestone and Firestone Tires, it became obvious it would take some of us much longer than two days to pass any exam. Their educational seminars showed this writer to be so lacking in tire knowledge that I hardly deserved to be called a car columnist. It didn’t help to learn that most of my fellow students were editors or journalists from across the U.S. and Canada who worked exclusively for tire magazines.

So I determined to learn as much as possible about all these different types of tires. It only took me half a day to find my favorite racing tire. This Firestone Indy 500 Commemorative racing tire bore the names of winning drivers. Names like Wilbur Shaw, Floyd Roberts, Bill Holland, Sam Hanks, and A. J. Foyt are printed on the tire.

Firestone tires were used in 67 of the winning entries over the last 99 years. Since 2016 is the 100th anniversary for the Indy 500, Firestone created this tire inscribed with the names of the 51 Champion drivers who were using their product.  Firestone launched a new Firehawk Indy 500 consumer tires in 2016, which is available for purchase at your local dealers. While I’m not sure they will make a famous racetrack winner out of you, they certainly deserve high marks for winning more than their share of races in past years.

This year’s Indy 500 will be Sunday, May 29. Firestone will join the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to honor all winners of the event that’s called “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” at Legends Day May 28. A. J. Foyt and other winners are scheduled to appear that day.

Meb with medalsAnother highlight of Bridgestone’s educational event at the Gaylord Texan was meeting spokesman and Olympic athlete Meb Keflezighi. He was the amazing surprise winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon. That victory marked the first time the race was won by a U. S. citizen.Durhl with Meb

An Eritrean-born American, Meb placed fourth in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Like a true champion, he came back to win a silver medal in 2014. The author of an inspirational book titled “Meb for Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat like a Champion Marathoner” proved to be a very personable young man. Meb is also an inspirational spokesman for the tire company.  

Meb joined us at Texas Motor Speedway later that day to try his prowess at driving the Dodge Hellcat. With its 6.2 Liter Super-Charged Hemi V-8 engine, speeds over 120 mpg, and Firehawk Performance Tires, this car runs a little faster than he does.

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