Firestone Freedom 100: Indy Racing Tradition

The Firestone Freedom 100 is the biggest race on the Firestone Indy Lights Series schedule.  Hosted at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the Friday before the Indy 500, the Freedom 100 is a 40-lap race that immediately follows the final practice session for the IZOD IndyCar Series regulars.  It has become a fan favorite since its inception in 2003.  The Indy Lights Series is considered the feeder series for IndyCar, so along with providing fans great racing action just days for the main event, the Firestone Freedom 100 gives a glimpse into what the future has to offer the Indy Racing League — four of the six winners have made the Indianapolis 500.

The race was started in 2003 by former IMS head Tony George, and was initially held during the second weekend of Indy 500 time trials, but was moved to “Carb Day” in 2005, to much greater crowd response.  The race began without sponsorship as the Freedom 100, but took on Futaba to the title for the 2004 and 2005 seasons.  When the IRL and Champ Car merged in 2008, the series was changed from the Indy Pro Series to the Firestone Indy Lights Series, and the Firestone sponsorship extended to the Freedom 100.

Previous Race Winners

2003:  Ed Carpenter
2004:  Thiago Medeiros
2005:  Jaime Camara
2006:  Wade Cunningham
2007:  Alex Lloyd
2008:  Dillon Battistini
2009:  Wade Cunningham

Highlights of the 2009 Firestone Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis

Notes About the Firestone Freedom 100

-Carpenter has had the most success at the IndyCar level among former winners, but Cunningham has been the dominant force, winning two races, two poles, and recording the fastest qualification run, fastest qualification lap, and  winner of the fastest race.  He’ll return in 2010 to defend his title.

-Sam Schmidt Motorsports has won the race four out of the seven years.

-Among the former participants in the race include: former Rahal Letterman driver Jeff Simmons, son of former race winners Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Marco Andretti, former IndyCar regulars Paul Dana and Marty Roth, and current IndyCar driver Alex Lloyd.

-In an open test on Friday afternoon, Gustavo Yacaman, driving with Cape Motorsport/Wayne Taylor Racing car was the fastest driver of the day, with Pippa Mann, Charlie Kimball, Jeff Simmons and Martin Plowman also establishing themselves as contenders to win the 2010 version of the event.

-The Indy Lights cars return to Speedway, Indiana on May 27 for a morning practice session between 9am and 12:30pm, with qualifications taking place between 3pm and 4pm.

-The race starts at 12:30 on Friday, May 28, 2010.

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