SBD/Closing Bell

Firestone Reaches Deal To Remain IndyCar's Official Tire Through '18

Bridgestone on Friday announced it has reached an agreement with IndyCar that will see its Firestone brand remain the official tire of the open-wheel series through '18. Financial terms of the deal were not available. Firestone has been the tire provider for the series since '96. Bridgestone considered exiting IndyCar after the '11 season because the series did not fit its marketing objectives. IndyCar leaders approached Goodyear, Michelin, Cooper and Pirelli about replacing Firestone before eventually negotiating a new, two-year agreement in '11 with the tire brand. Under terms of that extension, IndyCar teams paid twice as much for tires.

Outgoing Firestone Racing Exec Dir Al Speyer in a statement said, “Our agreement to move forward together is a manifestation of the business value we both realize from this partnership. We are proud to continue our tradition of exceptional support for the IndyCar Series. One of our future aims is to help grow interest, so we look forward to welcoming a new generation of fans to the sport while at the same time energizing the existing loyal fan base.” Firestone will retain entitlement rights to the IndyCar Lights Series in '13. That deal is due to end after the season. The two parties are in discussions about whether or not to extend it.
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