Autoweek reports that Firestone was to notify IndyCar of its intent to return as the spec tire supplier for the IZOD IndyCar Series by Dec. 31, but it did not do so. Bridgestone/Firestone's contract with the league expires after the 2011 season.
In response to the speculation, Firestone issued a terse statement that neither confirmed nor denied the report:
"The Firestone brand's current sponsorship contract with IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway runs though the 2011 race season," the statement read. "Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations is committed to the growth and success of our brands. As such, all programs are continually under review as we search for the most effective ways to communicate our brand messages. Given that the specific details of our business relationship with IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are confidential, we're not in a position to make any comment or respond to speculation regarding our motorsports partnerships."
Firestone's Al Speyer told Autoweek on Tuesday that both sides have agreed to keep the lines of communication open. "We'll leave it an open book," he said.