(NASHVILLE,TN) – If you tune into the NTT IndyCar Series Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on Sunday, you may see a different color of Firestone tire on the cars on the track.
After teasing its new green-banded NTT IndyCar Series tires during May’s Indy 500 Pit Stop Competition(pictured above), Firestone will go racing this weekend at Nashville with alternate compound tires that are partially constructed with rubber produced from the guayule shrub.
“We are thrilled to be introducing guayule natural rubber to the NTT IndyCar Series this weekend on the streets of Nashville,” said Cara Krystolic, Bridgestone/Firestone’s director of race tire engineering and production. “It goes back over 10 years with an initial investment of over $100 million into the project. Guayule is a fast-growing shrub grown here in the United States and Mexico that produces rubber in about every area of the plant. Our Firestone Firehawk race tires made with guayule in the sidewall feature a green sidewall design that will replace our traditional alternate race tire [with red sidewalls] for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix.”
Although the use of guayule in competition is limited to Nashville this season, Firestone intends to “incorporate guayule natural rubber into more of its race tires” in 2023.
“The tread compound is the same as the 2022 street course alternate tire,” Krystolic explained. “With these race tires made with guayule, our IndyCar drivers can expect the same performance and durability as a traditional Firestone tire. The primary tire compound and construction are the same as last year’s street course tires. We at Firestone Racing are passionate about racing and motorsports and want to ensure fans can enjoy the sport we love for generations to come.”