Drivers Test Tires at Charlotte
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on March 9, 2016 | 2:29 P.M. EST
"We went through quite a few different sets of tires, and everything seems to have good grip and a pretty good amount of fall-off after 15-20 laps." (Photo: Getty Images)
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Four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers took part in the second Goodyear Tire test of the season with the lower-downforce aerodynamic package on Tuesday and Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Austin Dillon, Jamie McMurray, Brian Scott and Martin Truex Jr. participated in the test to help set tire recommendations for races at the speedway in May. The test was the second consecutive at a 1.5-mile track following the January session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where the Sprint Cup Series competed last weekend.
"They've had a challenge, especially at tracks like Vegas where we were trying to get that tire fall-off at a track where the speeds are super-fast," Truex said. "The tires have to be somewhat hard or else they build so much heat and wear out so quickly. I thought they did a great job with that tire at Vegas, getting some fall-off in it with no issues. It's hard to do tracks like Vegas and here at Charlotte, with this newer-style asphalt.
"They have done a great job with it. I can’t tell you how much work goes into it, but they’ve got a really good group of people that come to the tire test and work with the drivers and with the teams and take in all of our comments and feedback."
At one point during the test, teams put on the tires they raced with at Charlotte last season to compare to the new tires. The tire that the teams ran last year was the same left-side they've run at Charlotte since 2012 and the right-side made its debut in May 2015.
"It's similar to Vegas," McMurray said. "The new tires have quite a bit more grip. Speeds have been up from last year. We went through quite a few different sets of tires, and everything seems to have good grip and a pretty good amount of fall-off after 15-20 laps. It's been a good test. We found two or three sets I think will race really well."
Charlotte Motor Speedway is one of the most temperature-sensitive racetracks on the circuit and the test was held in temperatures in the high 70s.
"There are a lot of unknowns when you come to Charlotte this time a year," McMurray said. "It could be 25 degrees or it could be 80. The fact that it was warm helped Goodyear and the teams because the track did slow down quite a bit yesterday afternoon."