DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.— Bringing a new tire to compete at Daytona International Speedway proved it’s challenges for drivers.
Goodyear brought a new tire compound that was supposed to provide more grip for drivers. The tire provided grip for stability, not speed. However, there were numerous tire issues during the weekend.
On Thursday during the opening minutes of NASCAR Xfinity Series practice, Spencer Gallagher had a tire go down in the middle of the draft, sending himself and Cole Custer to a backup up car.
In the Coke Zero 400, five drivers reported tire issues. The most vocal was Kevin Harvick, who stated over his radio that the tires were “crap.”
Tire issues were the main cause of some of the cautions on the track. However, the problem was not because of issues with the tire, but because of fender rubs.
Because of the nature of drafting, the fenders were pushed in from the beating and banging in the draft. Despite claims from driver’s about the tires, Goodyear saw no issues with the tire they brought to the track.
RIDGEWAY, Va.— Tire wear and tire management will be crucial in today’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
Goodyear has brought a new right-side tire to Martinsville. This new tire was developed to help rubber-in the concrete-asphalt combination at Martinsville. The concrete corners at Martinsville provided a challange for Goodyear because they behave differently and the density of the surface.
Goodyear hopes this tire combination will optimize acceleration, deceleration, and cornering that is required at the track.
Teams have eight sets of tires to use for the STP 500. That is two sets less than what teams had last year.
With Friday’s rains washing away the rubber laid down on the track from one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) practice.
Two MENCS practices, NCWTS qualifying, and the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 helped rubber in the track on Saturday,
Chase Elliott, the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 race winner, talked about how the complexion of that race changed and expectations for today’s race.
“The temperatures are definitely up from what we typically see in this race. To me, the race track is taking on lots of rubber way quicker than it typically does. Typically, you don’t see rubber laid down in the truck race and don’t see it laid down until halfway through the Cup race. The fact that it is blackening up today, I think will probably lend itself to see some Martinsville of old with guys moving around. It’s going to be darkened up really fast,” said Elliott post-race.
When asked about tire wear on the left side, Elliott showed no concern.
The STP 500 is slated to drop the green flag at 2:13 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Kyle Busch had some strong words for Goodyear following his accident on lap 129 that collected 17 cars.
Busch had a tire going down when he went towards the wall going into the third turn. There was no indication that the tire was going down:
“No. I wished I would’ve. If I would’ve, I would’ve tried to wave off as many guys behind me as I could, but it happened just as soon as we started picking up load into turn three. Just spun around and you know it actually felt like I hung onto it for a long ways and then finally it went. I don’t know if it was a left rear that went down or the right that went down but man, tore up three JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) cars in one hit and also Jr. (Dale Earnhardt Jr.),” said Busch.
As Goodyear enters into the final year of their current contract as NASCAR’s Tire Supplier, Busch talked about the frustration caused by the tires.
“You know obviously Goodyear tires just aren’t very good at holding air. It’s very frustrating when we have that down here every single year we’ve been here. Last year we had it as well too. It wrecked us in practice and tore up a car – a few cars actually were in that as well.”
In response, Goodyear was adamant that their tires do hold air. Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s Racing Director, saw that there was evidence of impact on the right rear tire, which they will investigate.
"There's also damage on the left rear, which we feel could have contributed, but again, until you know exactly what it looks like inside [the tire], it's tough to say for sure," Stucker said. "But certainly, both tires were completely intact with regard to components or any obvious issues that we feel could have led to any sort of premature air loss. It was obviously an outside impact or source that created it; we just don't know exactly what yet and which tire."
Goodyear did not see any tire issues throughout Daytona Speedweeks, and believes that Busch reacted in the heat of the moment.
Tires are a major concern this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. Goodyear had a tire test and noticed some blistering happening within the tires, which resulted in the tire compound to be changed last minute. Goodyear has asked teams to scuff their tires. Because of this last minute change, NASCAR has given teams in all three series an extra set of tires.
For the Sprint Cup Series, the left side tires are the same ones used at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The right side tires are a single tread version of the tires used at Michigan. Cup teams have six sets for practice and qualifying. Teams were given six sets of tires for practice and qualifying and 11 sets for the race.
For the Xfinity Series, the right side tires feature the multi-zone tread, similar to what was used at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. The left side tire used this weekend at Michigan is the same as the Sprint Cup. 10 sets of tires were given.
For the Camping World Truck Series, the left side tires are the same as Cup and Xfinity. The right side tires are the same as Xfinity. Teams were given 8 sets for the whole event.
Goodyear is awaiting teams to have long runs to see how the tires are holding up.
Carl Edwards in his media availability stated, “For us, we scuffed a bunch of tires. While we’re doing that, I’m looking at the little nuances of the track, where are the bumps, the grip level, exactly where is the speed. This track is difficult. Determining how you’re going to balance the car to be aggressive and how loose you need to be here or there, it’s kind of hard to figure it out, but that’s what I was working on.”