Firestone Racing press release and race notes ahead of NTT INDYCAR SERIES race in St. Louis

With only three races remaining in the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, teams are set to take on the Bommarito Automotive Group 500, the fifth and final oval race of the season, taking place August 26-27 at World Wide Technology Raceway (WWTR) near St. Louis.  

For the first time in NTT INDYCAR SERIES history, Firestone will provide alternate race tires for oval competition. The alternate Firestone Firehawk tire compounds were developed specifically for the unique characteristics of the WWTR oval. Per INDYCAR rules, each entry must qualify and start the race on the primary (black) tire, and must use one set of blacks and one set of new (sticker) alternate red-sidewall tires for at least two laps in the race. Firestone Racing will provide a real-time tire tracker to follow the divergent tire strategies for the short-oval race at

INDY NXT by Firestone will also be part of Saturday’s schedule with the “Outfront Showdown”.  


Firestone is supplying close to 1,200 race tires to NTT INDYCAR SERIES teams and drivers for Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions, and Sunday’s 260-lap (500 kilometers/325 miles) race on the 1.25-mile (2.01 km) short oval at WWT Raceway. 

Each NTT INDYCAR SERIES entry will receive the following Firestone Firehawk race tire allocation: 

  • Primary (black sidewall): 8 sets per entry* 
  • Alternate (red sidewall): 2 sets per entry   

Notes from Cara Krstolic, Firestone Chief Engineer, on INDYCAR tires:
Firestone has brought primary tires that will be similar in performance to those used in competition at World Wide Technology Raceway the last two years, but with a compound that is considered slightly more durable and consistent. We worked closely with NTT INDYCAR SERIES officials, teams, and drivers to develop and produce alternate oval tires specifically for WWTR. The new oval-specific alternate tire has similar construction to the primary tire but with compounds that will exhibit increased grip and will degrade quickly.  

Notes from Dan Bishop, Lead Program Engineer, on the development of the new oval alternate tire: 

We used feedback from drivers and teams to bring various tires construction designs and compounds to this track over the past few years, ranging from too durable to iterations that were slightly too soft or had too much degradation, to produce an oval tire that met all criteria requested and has been race-proven for the past three races here. As a result, we collected vast amounts of data and historical knowledge that provided the framework we needed to explore and confidently propose a new alternate option to present to INDYCAR for this year’s race. 

Notes from Brett Schilling, Lead Program Engineer, on new oval tire compounds: 

On ovals, the primary left-side Firestone Firehawk race tire compound is different from the primary right-side. This weekend’s oval-specific alternate tire has compounds that differ from the primary compounds, and also vary from the left-side to the right-side. Firestone developed a total of four different tread compounds for use in this weekend oval race instead of the typical two.  

INDY NXT by Firestone  

Firestone is supplying approximately 250 race tires to INDY NXT by Firestone teams and drivers for Saturday’s practice, qualifying, and 75-lap (95.75 miles or 55-minute) race.  

Each INDY NXT by Firestone entry will receive the following Firestone Firehawk race tire allocation:  

  • Primary: 3 sets per entry 

Notes from Cara Krstolic, Firestone Chief Engineer, on INDY NXT tires:   

The Firestone Firehawk tires for this weekend’s race in St. Louis are similar to those that were produced for the Iowa INDY NXT by Firestone oval races this season. However, while the left-side specs are the same as the ones used in Iowa, the right-side compound has been designed specifically for better performance on the WWTR oval.