Firestone locked in through 2018

INDYCAR and Firestone's partnership will endure for at least six more seasons.

This fall, the possibility of a new tire manufacturer for the IZOD IndyCar Series appeared to be a valid one. Firestone's contract was set to run out in 2014, and INDYCAR was exploring its options. But all of that's just past talk now, as both the series and the tiremaker have announced that Firestone will continue to provide tires for North America's top open-wheel series through 2018.

Firestone has provided tires to INDYCAR/Indy Racing League since its opening race in 1996, and has provided constant reliability for teams and drivers over the years.

"The Firestone brand's significant contributions to IZOD IndyCar Series racing are the result of more than 100 years of experience competing in this sport, most recently as part of a continuous 22-year partnership," said INDYCAR interim president/CEO Jeff Belskus in a statement.

"The agreement expands our opportunity to continue working together to provide on-track excitement for our fans and grow the sport through coordinated and consistent off-track promotions. This is an important relationship for both Firestone and INDYCAR and we are very pleased to continue the association."

In his own comments, Firestone Racing's Al Speyer said the company treasured its relationships within the series and wants to help do its part in ensuring a brighter future for INDYCAR.

"We are proud to continue our tradition of exceptional support for the IndyCar Series," said Speyer. "One of our future aims is to help grow interest, so we look forward to welcoming a new generation of fans to the sport while at the same time energizing the existing loyal fan base. Fans are the true end customer for both INDYCAR and Firestone, and their engagement is fundamental to our mutual future success."

More details about the agreement will be announced next year, but Firestone's new pact will also feature investments in advertising and promotions, as well as on-track signage and hospitality.

The company will also maintain its title sponsorship of the June round at Texas Motor Speedway and will stay on as both title sponsor and tire supplier of Firestone Indy Lights through 2013.