No Tire Issues Expected

Goodyear

Goodyear has used the same left-side tire at Texas since 2011. Teams will have a new right-side tire. Goodyear has brought its multi-zone tire, which was used last year at Atlanta and Kansas. (Photo: Getty Images)

FORT WORTH, Texas - Goodyear does not expect any tire issues this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at a high-speed track since several teams had problems at Auto Club Speedway.

Goodyear and NASCAR suggested that the tire problems two weeks ago - were the result of low air pressures by those teams. Among those who had such problems were Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick.

Jeff Gordon was not optimistic last week about what could happen at Texas.

“I think we will see issues,’’ Gordon said. “We saw issues there last year. I think, as a team, we are already looking at things that we were doing last year that we can improve as far as abusiveness on the tires.’’

Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire sales, is more confident than Gordon.

“We feel very good about our recommendation here,’’ Stucker said Friday at Texas. “Historically, Texas has not been a racetrack where we have a lot of left-side problems to be honest with you.’’

Goodyear has used the same left-side tire at Texas since 2011. Teams will have a new right-side tire. Goodyear has brought its multi-zone tire, which was used last year at Atlanta and Kansas. Stucker noted that similarities in wear between Atlanta and Texas as the reason for the new right-side tires.

Stucker said the right-side tires have been “toughened’’ on the inside shoulder because “that’s the part of the right-side tire that sees the most stress, sees the most heat.’’

As for the race two weeks ago, Stucker said that Goodyear had not seen anything differently to change its opinion about the cause of tire problems for some teams.

Goodyear has a number of tests upcoming, including one next week at Michigan International Speedway and a test in two weeks at Kansas Speedway, but nothing is scheduled for Auto Club Speedway at this point.

“We all want to keep the door open for potential improvements and changes,’’ Stucker said. “I think the last thing we want to do is to affect the quality of the racing.’’

Some questions have been raised about if NASCAR should mandate tire pressures for all the tires - NASCAR does for the right front, using Goodyear’s recommendation.

Goodyear provides teams with minimum pounds per square inch pressure recommendations. Goodyear recommends 23 psi in the left front and 21 in the left rear. Goodyear proposes 51 psi in the right front and 47 in the right rear.

Kyle Busch, who won at Auto Club Speedway, said he’s not in favor of NASCAR mandating minimum tire pressure settings for all the tires.

“I think it’s been more exciting the racing we’ve had with the rules being loosened up this year, so why do we need more rules?’’ Busch said Friday. “I’m against it.’’

Busch noted that he “salvaged’’ with less speed than those that had tire problems, but that “ultimately, we were able to win the race. I think you need more tortoise-and-hare stories in racing. It’s not going to come from everybody being the same speed.’’

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup

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