Goodyear Puzzled Over Issues At Bristol NASCAR Cup Race

Jackson Wheeler
4 Min Read

Extensive tire wear at Bristol Motor Speedway during Sunday’s Food City 500 left Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company executives puzzled since the tire used this March was identical to the one used in last September’s NASCAR Cup race at the high-banked, half-mile track.

“We tested here last year with the intent to come up with a tire package that generated more tire wear,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “That was the request from NASCAR and the teams. We feel like we had a very successful test. We feel like we had a successful race in the fall last year.

“Now, we’re trying to understand what’s different. Why is the race track behaving differently this weekend than what it did a year ago. It’s the same package. It’s the same power combination.”

However, there was one difference. Resin was put on the low groove after Saturday night’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck race instead of PJ1. Stucker said that was a track decision and it didn’t surprise him because everyone was trying to get away from using PJ1. The resin cheese grated the tires during the race, but Stucker said it shouldn’t have affected how the track’s middle and high grooves took rubber.

“Last fall, it took rubber immediately during that race,” Stucker said. “Still a bit of an unknown as far as why it’s (race track) not behaving the same way.

“Some guys are able to manage through it a little bit better than others. It’s still a tough situation. We’re just going to have to try to understand exactly what’s happening, what’s different and adjust from there.”

The tire problems began before the race was 100 laps old. In fact, cords were showing on some tires when the first pit stops occurred 25 laps into the 500-lap race. The teams immediately turned to tire management and by lap 150 the speeds were nearly a second slower.

“If you look up in the corners, the tire rubber is being worn off and it’s just not adhering to the racetrack,” Stucker said. “That’s why you see all of the marbles up at the upper corners. Again, last (fall) it took rubber immediately. As is typical with concrete, you run around under caution and it will pick it back up. We see that at Martinsville. We see that at Dover. We see that here. But immediately when we go back green, it lays back down and it’s just not happening.”

Stucker said Saturday night’s truck race went exactly “like we expected.”

“It put rubber down immediately, tire wear was in line with what we have historically seen,” Stucker said. “So, it’s a little bit unclear as far as why we’re not seeing that same thing today (Sunday).”

Stucker said “it was a good bet” they would have a Bristol tire test before the September race.

Share This Article
Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
Leave a comment