Cara Adams, chief engineer for Firestone Racing, has a message for young girls and women. She encouraged them to have a positive mindset and believe in themselves. Adams (center in photo) spoke to members of the Indycar Nation Fan Club today as part of the Fast Cars Fast Girls podcast series.
“Don’t believe people who tell you you can’t do something,” she advised.
Adams came to racing in a roundabout way. Her father was an engineer working for NASA and her mother was a science teacher. Early on she leaned toward science. Neither of her parents were sports fans. She got interested in racing her husband won tickets to the Cleveland Grand Prix. She was most fascinated by the cars. The fascination led to engineering school and eventually a job with Firestone.
Adams contributes to the STEM program which encourages young women to pursue careers in the sciences. She sees herself as having two responsibilities. One is making sure the racing tires are safe. The other is talking to young girls about engineering.
She finds Indycar drivers are “down to earth” people. The only driver she was ever star struck by was Mario Andretti.
Developing tires for the Indianapolis 500 is a project that takes more than a year. Adams said they are already working on next year. She described her May days as 12 nonstop hours.
The drivers rely on Firestone tires. Adams and her team have consistently provided a safe dependable product that has helped Indycar grow.