Firestone Racing Pre-Race Notes & Quotes for Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

The 2024 NTT INDYCAR® SERIES season takes the green flag this weekend in Florida with the 20th edition of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding. The race kicks off the celebration of a key milestone for the iconic Firestone brand, which is entering its 25th consecutive season as the exclusive tire supplier for the series.


  • Beginning with Ray Harroun’s Firestone-equipped Marmon Wasp winning the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911, Firestone has worked to constantly evolve race tire technology and has been the sole supplier of tires for the NTT INDYCAR® SERIES since 2000.
  • The Firestone Race Tire Engineering (RTE) team and nearly 60 expert tire builders will deliver approximately 32,000 Firestone Firehawk race tires for the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, including more than 5,000 for use in practice, qualifying and competition at the Indianapolis 500® alone.
  • Firestone Racing will design, develop, and deliver more than 60 different race tire specifications to meet the extensive and varying demands of the 16 unique oval, permanent road, and temporary street course circuits across the 2024 schedule.   
  • While Firestone has been involved with previous iterations of the INDYCAR ladder series since the early 1990s, this year will be the brand’s second season as the presenting sponsor and exclusive tire supplier of the top-tier development series, INDY NXT by Firestone.
  • This season Firestone will produce more than 5,000 tires with 16 different specifications to support the INDY NXT by Firestone series and help develop the next generation of drivers.  
  • All Firestone Firehawk race tires are manufactured at the Advanced Tire Production Center (ATPC) in Akron, Ohio, which opened in 2022 and is certified by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) system for its transparency and traceability of sustainable raw materials.

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg:

  • Firestone has proudly partnered with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in some form since 2005 and is currently celebrating its 11th straight year as title sponsor.
  • The Firestone brand’s history in Tampa and St. Petersburg dates back 90 years to the opening of its first area retail location. The Firestone Complete Auto Care store location on Kennedy Boulevard in downtown Tampa opened in 1933 and continues to be a trusted provider of tire and automotive service for customers in the area.
  • Firestone is also focused on continuing initiatives to accelerate the use of sustainable technologies in motorsports. This marks the second full season that Firestone is providing alternate race tires marked with a green sidewall for all street course races, including the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The sidewall construction of these alternate tires features natural rubber sourced from guayule shrubs grown at the company’s research facility in Arizona.
  • To celebrate the start of the season and honor friend and champion Gil de Ferran, Firestone Racing is making a $10,000 donation to Kid Spark Education, a nonprofit that offers hands-on STEM education to pre-K through eighth-grade students.



Firestone is supplying more than 1,500 race tires to NTT INDYCAR SERIES teams for Friday and Saturday practices and qualifying, including the Firestone Fast Six, and Sunday’s 100-lap (180 miles) race on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn (5 lefts, 9 rights) temporary street circuit that features part of the Albert Whitted Airport runway as its front stretch.

Firestone Racing provides a real-time tire tracker at for media and fans to follow track tire strategies in qualifying and the race. As per INDYCAR rules, each entry must use one set of primary and one set of new (sticker) alternate tires for at least two laps in the race.

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

  • Primary (black sidewall): 6 sets per entry
  • Alternate (green sidewall):4 sets per entry
  • Rain (gray sidewall): 3 sets per entry

Notes from Cara Krstolic, Chief Engineer, on NTT INDYCAR SERIES tires:
“For this year edition of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, you’ll see a similar gap in drop off to last year between the Firestone Firehawk primary tires and the alternate tire with guayule rubber in the sidewall. The construction is the same, but we made a slight change to the compound that will result in slightly more durability on the lighter Indy car. These tires had a successful test in the off-season at Sebring.”

INDY NXT by Firestone 

Firestone is supplying more than 500 race tires to INDY NXT by Firestone teams for practices, qualifying, and the 45-lap (81 miles) race.

Each of the 22 INDY NXT by Firestone entries will receive the following Firestone Firehawk race tire allocation: 

  • Primary: 3 sets per entry (plus one carryover used set from off-season testing)
  • Rain: 2 sets per entry

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

“We expect the same great race performance from the Firestone Firehawk tires for INDY NXT competition on the streets of St. Petersburg as they were produced with the same construction and compound as last year. All tires for INDY NXT competition on street and road courses will be the same apart from a small construction and compound change for the demanding Road America circuit.”