Goodyear Changes Indy Tire After Stewart's Crash
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong
Goodyear will bring a new left-side tire to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to ease the burden on right-side tires there. (Photo: Getty Images)
Goodyear states that increased and sustained speed during Tony Stewart’s run in a tire test this week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway contributed to his right front tire going down and him crashing.
Stewart was uninjured when he hit the Turn 1 wall Tuesday, the second day of a two-day tire test that included Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman.
Logano said he didn’t see Stewart’s crash but heard it.
“It sounded bad,’’ Logano said. “The car didn’t look too pretty.’’
Goodyear stated that Stewart was on lap 17 of a 20-lap run when he crashed.
"Tony was approaching the end of a very strong 20-lap run, with his lap times as much as a second faster than what has become the norm at Indianapolis at that point of a run,’’ said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing, in a statement. “It appears that increased, sustained speed over that run generated a significant amount of heat, which eventually caused the right-front to go down. Those are the conditions we have to consider in making the right decisions for the race."
Stu Grant, Goodyear’s general manager of worldwide racing, told Motor Racing Network that Stewart was using the 2013 tire combination (left and right) during the run he crashed.
Grant said Goodyear will have a different left-side tire next month at Indianapolis to address the issue Stewart experienced with his right front tire.
By making a harder left-side tire, Grant said it will help slow the car and that “will help save the right-side tire.”
Grant said there won’t be a change to the right-side tire for the Indy race.
“We’re going to stay with the 2013 right-side tire for this year because we know that that compound rubbers in the race track,’’ he said. “Wear and rubbering in that race track is a big deal as you know from 2008. We were able to run a gas (run) on the right side tires.
“We’re confident that our wear is going to be OK.’’
Stucker said in a statement that Indianapolis Motor Speedway presents challenges on tires.
"The thing about Indianapolis is the tough conditions the cars -- and the tires -- have to endure," Stucker said. "The surface is very abrasive, the long straightaways and short chutes are fast, cornering is tough with very little banking. Combine that with this new car package, and you've got conditions that put a lot of stress on the tires."
Goodyear also gave an update on tires it will use in future races.
Goodyear will bring the same left-side tire to Chicagoland Speedway and the multi-zone right-side tire that was run at Texas earlier this season. Teams that tested there were Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Logano and Paul Menard.
Goodyear also stated that it will use the same tire next weekend at Kentucky Speedway that it brought last year. Teams that tested there were Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray and Brian Vickers.
Goodyear has two upcoming tests. Goodyear will test July 8-9 at Richmond International Raceway and Aug. 26 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.