NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Al Speyer, executive director of motorsports at Bridgestone Americas, will retire next year after a 38-year career with the company and Firestone.
Speyer began his tire industry career with Firestone Tire after graduating from Syracuse University with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. By the early 1980s he was firmly ensconced in the firm's motorsports department, where he went on to work in a variety of racing competition, from stock cars to sports cars, drag racing, Formula 1 and IndyCar.
Among his more notable achievements was overseeing the company's return to top-flight motorsports in 1996 after a 20-year hiatus, Bridgestone said. He was tapped that year to manage the return of the Firestone brand to open-wheel racing (the Indy Racing League), and under his management, the Firestone racing program quickly moved from new kid on the block to series champion.
"Al Speyer was instrumental in managing our motorsports programs for the past 30 years," said Phillip Dobbs, chief marketing officer, Consumer Tire Sales division, Bridgestone Americas.
Bridgestone hasn't named a replacement.