Bridgestone Americas executives have committed to supplying tires to IndyCar Series competitors through the 2018 season. The two parties' contract had been due to expire in 2013, and former IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard had looked to another supplier. But the new contract will keep the Firestone brand in Indy cars well past the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Tire maker Bridgestone has settled on a 281-acre site in Eloy, Ariz., for its plans to build a farm growing guayule, a rubber-producing shrub that could become a renewable alternative to existing rubber resources. A related research and development center will be built in nearby Mesa. Construction on the project will start this quarter, with trial rubber production scheduled to start in 2015.
Researchers at Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations are optimistic about the prospects of using rubber produced by Russian dandelions in their manufacturing processes. They plan to follow up this summer on an initial project based at Ohio State University and launch large-scale testing in 2014.
Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations has brought in the president of SpeedPro Imaging's local operations to be its vice president of brand marketing. John Neilson opened SpeedPro's Nashville shop two and a half years ago and also has worked in marketing at Louisiana-Pacific, Miller Brewing and Kraft Foods. Separately, Bridgestone also has promoted Michael Fluck to director of digital marketing. Check all the details here.
Bridgestone Americas executives have told the IndyCar Series that their Firestone Racing division will continue to supply tires to the 16-race circuit through at least 2014. The locally based company a year ago told the series it would wind down its involvement, but it will now extend its official tire designation, which began in 2000.
A division of another local company also is stepping up its involvement with the IndyCar organizations. The Lids Clubhouse division of Genesco has signed a deal to manage the trackside and online merchandising efforts of the series, with which it has had a relationship since the late '90s.