Joe Montana and Walter Payton, who became Indy car owners after leaving the NFL, both saw their drivers qualify for the May 28 Indianapolis 500 on the first day.
Jimmy Vasser and Bryan Herta qualified cars owned by Montana and Chip Ganassi. Rookie Alessandro Zampedri made it in a car owned by Payton and Dale Coyne.
"Maybe some of Joe's golden quality will rub off on me on race day," said Vasser, a resident of San Francisco, the city where Montana became famous.
Firestone tires used in the Indianapolis 500 are made in the Bridgestone factory in Japan. So are tires used in Indy car street races, such as Long Beach.
But Firestone tires used on road courses and on mile ovals are made in Akron, Ohio.