Firestone to remain supplier for IndyCar

IndyCar is sticking with Firestone as its sole tire supplier through the 2013 season.

The deal, announced Friday, comes a week after IndyCar and Firestone’s parent company Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations decided to let the current deal expire at the end of 2011.

IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said a meeting with team owners this week helped lead to the change of heart.

Owner Dennis Reinbold said owners encouraged IndyCar to approach Firestone with a new deal, citing safety concerns and the need for continuity as the series prepares to introduce a new car in 2012.

Firestone has supplied tires for the series since 1996.

The deal does not include Firestone’s relationship as title sponsor for the Indy Lights Series. That contract will end this fall.