Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
The Yellow Stripe · Phil Allaway · Tuesday October 7, 2008
Editor’s Note: Our regular rookie columnist Danny Peters is off this Tuesday, so we filled his spot with another freshman! Newsletter contributor Philip Allaway writes this edition of The Yellow Stripe in his place. However, look for your favorite British expert to be back online wext week!
This past weekend’s on-track action at Talladega Superspeedway will be remembered for three notable things. One is the shear number of lead changes (64, the most since the Talladega 500 in July, 1984). Another is the now infamous judgment call that gave Tony Stewart the victory and dropkicked Regan Smith back to 18th. But the one underreported factor that was prevalent all weekend were Goodyear tires — as well as their propensity to fail once again on the top level of racing competition they work for.
Many of the commentators almost made it sound like a new issue at Talladega, but there have been a fair number of tire failures at the 2.66-mile track since the resurfacing two years ago. Also, this issue did not seem to be Goodyear’s fault. If it were simply a Goodyear issue, then the ARCA race would not have been affected by tire issues. But it was, and the ARCA Series runs Hoosiers instead.
In fact, the ARCA RE/MAX Series’ ARCA RE/MAX 250 was marred by multiple blown tires. A right rear blowout on Brian Scott’s No. 16 caused “The Big One” in Turn 1 on lap 12. That particular crash eliminated 11 cars from the race and damaged a couple of others… and it wasn’t the only crash caused by tire failure.
Former Motocross overlord Ricky Carmichael, making his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut, had an explosive tire failure on lap 50. The failure destroyed his right rear fender and sent his No. 33 on a long slide. Points contender Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. also had a tire let go on the backstretch. The resulting spin saw the No. 99 get airborne and nearly flip before setting down. Even points leader (and future Cup Series rookie) Scott Speed was not immune to the tire issues, blowing one late in the race and almost saving it before hitting the wall in the tri-oval.
Goodyear representatives basically didn’t have a definitive answer for why all of these tire problems were occurring. ESPN, to their credit, interviewed Goodyear representative Rick Heinrich during the race. He admitted on air that Goodyear was almost 100 percent positive that David Reutimann’s tire failure was caused by a basic cut. For the others, he said that those tires would have to be analyzed back at Goodyear’s lab in Akron, Ohio. If any news comes out about those tires, we’ll have it right here on the Frontstretch this week.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., after seeing the issues not only with his own car on Friday but in the ARCA race as well, opined that there could be an issue with the track surface. It’s a surface at Talladega that, since the 2006 repave, has been glass-smooth but resulted in more abrasive wear. Indeed, if the track surface is the real problem, then we could be looking at a somewhat similar issue to what happened at Indianapolis — only not as extreme. However, the track surface at Talladega was not diamond ground like at Indianapolis. Thus, there are no grooves that could cut and/or flatten tires — leaving us in search of a better explanation.
Also, since the issues occurred in both the Sprint Cup and ARCA RE/MAX Series, it cannot be tied solely to the CoT.
Looks like we’re talking in circles. Now, I’m not technically inclined — I’m more of a historical nut, to be honest — but, I’ll try to propose some kind of an explanation.
First, some historical context.
In 1987, during ESPN’s broadcast of the now-infamous Winston 500*, then-ESPN pit reporter Dick Berggren talked about the tires that were being used at Talladega. He explained that the tires had very thin tread in order to dissipate the massive heat that gets built up with 210 mph speeds. That race had relatively few tire failures, but most, if not all, of the failures (including Bobby Allison’s scary lap 22 crash) were caused by metal cutting tires. There were no outright blowouts at speed from wear.
Now, I know the Cup cars do not run 210 mph at Talladega anymore, but according to ESPN’s RaceCast (available for free at espn.com) the fastest race lap was set by Juan Pablo Montoya at 200.561 mph. That’s an average, and not exactly tortoise speed. In fact, those speeds are high enough that even the most minimal amount of contact — however slight — could cut a tire down faster than it would take to pull the car to pit road for fresh rubber.
Tire temperatures are never mentioned at Talladega because tires were always seen as being a non-issue. But perhaps the tread thickness has increased since 1987, and thus, tire temperatures are much higher now because heat cannot escape as easily as before.
We have seen a situation very similar to this recently.
Think back to Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 2005, after the “levigation” of the track. If you remember that incident, the track levigation increased the speeds significantly (pole speeds were over 193 mph), while smoothing out the notoriously bumpy 11-year-old pavement. However, this caused the tire temperatures to reach unheard of levels on the super-quick one and a half mile facility. The tires simply could not take this heat and began to fail after 25-30 laps. However, unlike Sunday’s display, it never got any better.
Yes, the finish of the Coca-Cola 600 that year was a classic, but it came after an all-time Sprint Cup Series record 22 cautions at the track. A very unpopular decision to use the same tires in October of that year led to a similar wreckfest, with 17 more cautions. The track has been repaved since, but the tire problems did not go away immediately, and the 2006 races were run using 13-gallon fuel cells due to concerns with durability.
My personal opinion on these issues is that both Goodyear and Hoosier need to look into how well their tires dissipate heat under constant high speeds. A particular emphasis should be paid to tread thickness and how much heat that the tires build up. This can likely be done in the two-tire manufacturer’s factories on a dyno, as opposed to on-track testing.
Because when that testing fails on race day, you get a public reaction of the worst kind.
* NASCAR currently has a contract with TeamMarketingDVD, a division of WaxWorks. As a result of that contract, TeamMarketingDVD puts out single disc DVDs and DVD sets. Nine races have been re-mastered and released. The 1987 Winston 500 is one of these races, and I purchased it through half.com.
©2000 - 2008 Phil Allaway and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
It used to be that engines were the major factor in cars not finishing a race . But technology and testing of engine components , along with new materials and innovative manufacturing techniques solved that problem very nicely . Now , its almost a surprise when a driver has an engine failure . The same can’t be said for tire failures , which have long been the deciding factor in the outcome of races , cars blowing tires , drivers caught up in the aftermath of cars blowing tires , constant long cautions and numerous red flags to clean up after cars blowing tires , and tires that blister or simply wear out too soon . A driver can’t pass because he has more laps on his tires than the other car . Should that really be a factor ? A driver suddenly falls off of the pace because he got a bad set of tires during the last pit stop . Tires that seemingly have to have a perfectly clean and smooth surface or they blow out . When you stop to consider how poor quality race tires have affected every race that NASCAR has ever run , its time to make a decision . Goodyear needs to build a safe , reliable racing tire , and if they can’t they need to be moved aside and let someone else do it . There is no other form of racing on earth that has the tire problems that NASCAR does . Not even close . Goodyear has drifted along for many years making NASCAR race tires that only meet the minimum requirements . Its time for them or someone else to bring radical materials and construction ideas to the NASCAR tire . Its time to stop worrying only about the profit margin , and worry instead about making the race tire do everything its supposed to do .
Quote: “He admitted on air that Goodyear was almost 100 percent positive that David Reutimann’s tire failure was caused by a basic cut.”
I wonder how you can fall for such stuff and reprint it? I watched this interview, and the Goodyear rep was grasping at straws trying to find a way to deflect the real causes of the tire failures!
Of all the tire explosions, all he could say was “well, we found a small cut on one of them”!
Thanks Goodyear for being so very honest and candid!
Did you also find cuts on all the tires that failed at Indianapolis?
On the one hand, it happened to both Goodyear and Hoosier so you can’t really lay the blame right on the tire manufacturers… But this is getting just ridiculous. I could understand these kinds of failures when Hoosier competed against Goodyear in NASCAR for a while, everyone was pushing the envelope. But when Goodyear has a monopoly on this, this is absolutely unacceptable, AND NO ONE IS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
They continue to make sub-par tires and do NOTHING about it. ALMS, Formula 1 and IRL fans hear about this and just can’t comprehend it—tire failures in any other racing series are a rarety, regardless of tire side/width/compound/use. They don’t even happen this often in drag racing, when they have to handle 7000 hp? WHY WON’T ANYONE CALL GOODYEAR OUT ON THIS!?!?
Michael, based on your reply, I think you are suggesting that Goodyear move toward more composite materials (while still using some real rubber) to build tires, similar to Firestone in the IRL and Bridgestone in Formula 1, but I’m not sure. They experience tire failures in those series too, albeit not as often.
Hey Phil, simply stated, GOODYEAR should simply provide a tire that “does not fail” (except for that very low percentage of failure you would normally have on any manufactured product)!
Who cares what materials or construction techniques they may use?
And my most repeated point is: “if GOODYEAR cannot do this, then please tell us”!
Yes , i think that in this day and age there have to be synthetic materials available , new designs and construction techniques ,and maybe even an alternative for rubber than can do a far better job than what we have now .
Why can’t NASCAR see it?
I’m not the smartest person around, but you stated it in such clear simple terms that even Mike Helton and Brian France should understand!
Well, no, maybe I should take that last stament back…
And by the way , the classic excuse used by NASCAR and Goodyear ad nauseum “ other racing series don’t have the high banking that NASCAR does “ won’t wash anymore . Indy has almost no banking at all and the Goodyears were a disaster there as well .
The tires are not at fault,it’s the teams.Goodyear told the teams not to go over the max psi,but several crew s chose to over inflate as much as 10 psi over the max.By over inflating the tires, the faster you go. How do you think Mike Wallace, Mike Skinner, and Denny Hamlin were so fast. Figure it out. Dale Jr tried it on friday in practice.We all know what happened. The 88 bunch wised up and went back to the normal psi.Jr very easily could have one the race. DONT BLAME THE TIRES!
Hey Rusty Rosignol,
How did you get into all those pits and see what all those crews did to their tires?
You even know how much they went over the limit.
Man, you should have alerted everyone after the Dale Jr. blowout!!
Why did you wait until Tuesday afternoon on this site to reveal what you discovered in all those pits you visited???
I really don’t know what the true problem is… how could I? But I will back Rusty R. up about the tires being over inflated. Jimmy Spencer said that was the problem on Speed’s Victory Lane immediately following the race.
Overinflated tires might account for some of the problem on Sunday , though i doubt it . But that in no way excuses Goodyear for 30 years or more of this nonsense . Their tires have been grenading on every type of track and every brand of car for years . And the tire pressure isn’t the problem .Shoddy workmanship , and the profit margin are the answer to Goodyears tires exploding . As for Spencer , nice guy , but i think i’d like to hear from the experts .
Yet more ranting by Douglas!
I read with great disdain some of the comments about Goodyear and their tyres!
One of the comments was “well, the track surfaces are different”!
Like, one was “diamond ground”, another was “just shaved”, and so forth!
But logically speaking, of which there is none in NA$CAR, logic that is, does this mean Goodyear does NOT have any agreement, or contract, with NA$CAR that tracks only get re-surfaced with Goodyears blessing?
Wouldn’t it be completely logical, that if a tires life depended on the track surface condition, that either the sanctioning body, I.E. NA$CRAP, or the tire company, would be suitably notified of any track re-surfacing?
Heck, we poor little fans know when they resurface ANY of the tracks! It’s usually talked about as part of the race reporting such as: “well, fans, when this race is done, the equipment moves in to start a re-surfacing of this track”!
Is anyone following where I am headed?
Goodyear sure seems surprised!
I read an article on Wikipedia on Hoosier Racing Tires that Tony Stewart would feel safer on reliable Hoosier tires than Goodyear Tires. Well, as long as NASCAR receives big money from Goodyear, it will continue to let Goodyear’s constant screwups plague the sport and drag it down.
NASCAR would never have these tire problems will any other tire manufacturer. The Brickyard 400 debacle should have been the final nail in the coffin for Goodyear.
In any decently-run universe, Goodyear’s contract would have been terminated after the Indy disaster. Hoosier should do all it can to get back in NASCAR. If Hoosier can make safe, reliable tires, then NASCAR should wake up and sign them on. But as long as Goodyear is filling Brian France’s and Mike Helton’s pockets, we are all screwed.
It would seem to me, that the cars have changed. The tires have not.
CURE GOODYEAR TIRE PROBLEMS.LOW AND HIGH PRESSURE TIRE FAILURES. (VALVE STEM BLEEDER VALVES)