Firestone to award $50,000

to final Indianapolis 500 qualifier‏

 The 92nd running of the Indianapolis500 promises to be one of the most exciting in recent history, and Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT) is proud to contribute to the thrills fans have in store by announcing the "Firestone Indy 500 Final Qualifier Award."

Designed to add more drama and rivalry into the final day of qualificationson Sunday, May 18, the $50,000 Firestone Indy 500 Final Qualifier Award willgo to the last driver to make the Indianapolis 500 field on "Bump Day" - not necessarily to the 33rd-place qualifier, but to the driver who is the last to make it into the field for the classic race, which will be run Sunday,May 25.

"There are three competitions at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during themonth of May," said Al Speyer, executive director, Firestone Racing. "One contest is for the pole, one is for the victory, and one is for simply making the show.

All of America's top open-wheel racing teams and drivers will be competing for the most coveted 33 spots in racing under a unified IndyCar Series umbrella, and Firestone Racing is happy to do what we can to add to the anticipation and edge-of-your-seat tension that we know the final day of qualifying can provide."

Said Joie Chitwood, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and chief operating officer: "Teams and drivers fighting for the last spot in the Indianapolis 500 field work just as hard as those competing for the PEAK Motor Oil Pole, so we're thrilled that Firestone is recognizing and rewarding the perseverance and hard work of the final qualifier.

The Firestone Indy 500 Final Qualifier Award is another example of Firestone'slong standing, deep commitment to 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.'" Should Bump Day not occur for any reason, the award will be given to the final qualifier on the third day of qualifications.

If the field is not full and the IndyCar Series conducts a special session to fill the open positions, the award will go to the final qualifier in the special session. Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT) is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world's largest tire and rubber company.

2008 IMS tickets: Tickets for all three world-class events in 2008 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - the 92nd Indianapolis 500, 15th Allstate 400at the Brickyard and inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP - are on sale. Fans have three easy methods to buy tickets: Online at at any time; on the phone by calling (800)822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or (317) 492-6700 locally between 8a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday; or visiting the Indianapolis MotorSpeedway Ticket Office on the first floor of the IMS Administration Building at 4790 W. 16th St. in Indianapolis from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.