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Past Tire - Sponsor News, Testing and Rumors

2009 News

  • Tire testing at Auto Club done: Security at Auto Club Speedway was very tight Tuesday and Wednesday as Goodyear conducted two days of tire testing at the Fontana, CA track. Unlike other tire tests in recent year, the track was off-limits to all (especially the media) from 9:00am until the 4:30pm conclusion. At other tests, drivers often have time for noon interviews, but not this week. One team from each of the four manufacturers participated in the tests. #9-Kasey Kahne was in a RPM Ford for the first time while #12-Brad Keselowski made his first runs in a Penske Racing Dodge. Joe Gibbs Racing's #20-Joey Logano represented Toyota while Richard Childress Racing driver #31-Jeff Burton was in a Chevy. It was difficult to distinguish one model from another as all were in primer gray. Tire testing can be a tedious exercise, but Burton certainly didn't have that attitude. He ran 500 miles on Tuesday and was prepared to run an equal number the following day, a few laps at a time. "We're hoping to help Goodyear get a better tire for Fontana," Burton said. "That's goal No. 1. Hopefully that's something we can learn. We really don't learn much about the race track because Goodyear doesn't want us to change the cars as they are studying the tires. I like testing, it's a real opportunity to learn, a real opportunity to try a lot of stuff. And for the driver, it's an opportunity to also try lots of different things." Since NASCAR implemented its testing ban following the 2008 season, tire tests are the only ones conducted at tracks on the Sprint Cup schedule.(Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)(12-17-2009)

  • Goodyear tire tests scheduled:Goodyear has four offseason tire tests scheduled. #9-Kasey Kahne [Ford], #12-Brad Keselowski [Dodge], #20-Joey Logano [Toyota] and #31-Jeff Burton [Chevy] are scheduled to test Tuesday and Wednesday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
    #56-Martin Truex Jr. [Toyota], #5-Mark Martin [Chevy], #77-Sam Hornish Jr. [Dodge] and #60-Carl Edwards [Ford] are scheduled to test Jan. 12-13 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    #14-Tony Stewart [Chevy], #16-Greg Biffle [Ford], #83-Brian Vickers [Toyota] and #2-Kurt Busch [Dodge] are scheduled to test Jan. 19-20 at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Biffle also is set to test with Roush Fenway Racing on Wednesday and Thursday at Phoenix. That test is for Goodyear's 17-inch tire, the bigger, wider tire Goodyear is developing for possible future use.(Hampton Roads)(12-11-2009)

  • Tire test at Auto Club: Goodyear has a tire test scheduled for Dec. 15-16 at Auto Club Speedway in California. #9-Kasey Kahne (Ford) is expected to attend along with the #12-Brad Keselowski (Dodge). #20-Joey Logano (Toyota) and #31-Jeff Burton (Chevy).(FoxSports)(12-2-2009)

  • Goodyear to test bigger tire: Goodyear will again test the taller, wider tire again with Roush Racing at Phoenix Intenrational Raceway on Dec. 8 and 9.(FoxSports)(11-17-2009)

  • Goodyear News Release -- Daytona test: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company brought 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers to the Daytona International Speedway for a test this past Monday and Tuesday for Daytona 500. The goal was to build upon the information gathered during a test at Daytona on September 22-23 and finalize the tire recommendation for next year's Daytona 500.
    Participating in this week's test were A.J. Allmendinger (#44 Ford), Marcos Ambrose (#47 Toyota), Kurt Busch (#2 Dodge), Kyle Busch (#18 Toyota), Erik Darnell (#96 Ford), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (#88 Chevy), Sam Hornish (#77 Dodge), Matt Kenseth (#17 Ford), Brad Keselowski (#12 Dodge), Sterling Marlin (#09 Chevy), Jamie McMurray (#26 Ford), Paul Menard (#98 Ford), Juan Pablo Montoya (#1 and #42 Chevy), David Ragan (#6 Ford), David Reutimann (#00 Toyota), Regan Smith (#78 Chevy) and Scott Speed (#82 Toyota).
    The September test featured four teams and provided a baseline from which to start. Goodyear returned this week with a greater number of cars to better simulate race conditions. Cars tend to move around more when running in a big pack at Daytona, which then has an effect on the tires with the highly worn track surface. The highlight of this week's test was three different drafting sessions involving all the cars. The group ran a 25-lap run on Monday afternoon, a 15-lap run early Tuesday morning and a 30-lap run shortly after that. In the Monday session, all the cars were on the same tire set-up. On Tuesday, four different combinations were used throughout the field. One other wrinkle was that the teams integrated a new rear shock package mandated by NASCAR. Overall, Goodyear was pleased with the results. "We're very happy with the results of this week's test," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire sales. "Overall grip and wear was good, and we also improved the appearance of the tire over the course of a run compared with the past. Like always, our engineers will review all the data and finalize the race recommendation for next year's 500 so we can start production. This was a big undertaking, not only for us but for NASCAR and all the teams that made time in their schedules to come down to Daytona and participate. With the large draft runs, we were able to more accurately simulate race conditions."(Goodyear PR)(11-6-2009)

  • Two-Day Goodyear Tire Test For 2010 Daytona 500 Wraps Up: On Monday and Tuesday [Nov 2-3], 17 drivers with 18 cars were in attendance for a two-day Goodyear tire test at Daytona International Speedway in advance of the 2010 Daytona 500. The list of drivers testing tire compounds for Goodyear included #17-Matt Kenseth, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #26-Jamie McMurray, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #2-Kurt Busch, #18-Kyle Busch, #6-David Ragan, #77-Sam Hornish Jr., #12-Brad Keselowski, #00-David Reutimann, #47-Marcos Ambrose, #78-Regan Smith, #44/43-A.J. Allmendinger, #82-Scott Speed, #96-Erik Darnell, #98-Paul Menard and #09-Sterling Marlin. Drivers toured the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval shaking down Goodyear tires in both single car and drafting sessions. Penske Racing’s Kurt Busch said the drafting sessions consisted of 15, 20 and 30-lap runs. Tickets for the 52nd annual Daytona 500, which start at $55, as well as other Speedweeks 2010 events, are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-3-2009)

  • Tire Test at Daytona: More than a dozen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are expected Monday morning for a two-day, Goodyear tire test at Daytona International Speedway. Goodyear engineers are working on a tire that will be used during Speed Weeks 2010. The tests will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Spectators are welcome to watch at no charge from the Oldfield Grandstands.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-2-2009)

  • Goodyear to test 'Big' Tire again: Goodyear is set to test the larger tire it is developing on Dec. 8-9 at Phoenix International Raceway. Roush Fenway Racing, which did the test at Richmond earlier this month, will again do the test since it has a car to accommodate the larger dimensions.(Roanoke Times)(10-26-2009)

  • Tire test at LMS: Goodyear completed a two-day tire test Tuesday at Lowe's Motor Speedway with #47-Marcos Ambrose (Toyota), #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Chevy), #17-Matt Kenseth (Ford) and #19-Elliott Sadler (Dodge).(Roanoke Times)(10-20-2009)

  • Goodyear says all teams can test tires at Daytona: Goodyear and potentially as many as 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will head to Daytona International Speedway on Nov. 2-3, the Monday and Tuesday after Talladega, to try to figure out a tire for the 2010 Daytona 500. The test is open to all teams, and about 25-30 are expected, Stu Grant, Goodyear’s manager of worldwide racing, said Friday at Auto Club Speedway in California. Goodyear expects that some multicar organizations will only send some of their drivers and teams. Typical Goodyear tests have only four teams, but it’s hard to simulate conditions and tire wear in the draft with so few cars. It will be the only chance Sprint Cup teams will have to run at Daytona prior to February as NASCAR has extended its moratorium on testing at tracks in its three national series through 2010.(SceneDaily)(10-10-2009)

  • Goodyear happy with test of larger tire: UPDATE: Goodyear's Stu Grant, the veteran racing boss, says this week's first on-track test of the proposed new 17-inch NASCAR racing tire-and-wheel, at Richmond International Raceway, was a success, and he is planning a second test in later this fall, probably at Phoenix International Raceway (where the Sprint Cup tour races Nov. 15, providing a good baseline). "We got it on the ground for the first time, and we plan to put it on a short track, like Phoenix, sometime later this year, before January 1st," Grant said. "And then we will sit down with NASCAR and say 'Okay, here we are looking at 2010….and how aggressive do we want to be with this thing?'" Grant said "We don't have a firm timetable for implementation" of the new tire in NASCAR racing. "And obviously NASCAR is in step with us in this whole process." But Grant made very clear the 17-inch tire concept was a decided plus for Goodyear. Paul Menard and Travis Kvapil tested the new, larger tires in Jack Roush Fords, against baseline runs on Goodyear's current 15-inch NASCAR tires. "Travis said the 17-inch was very similar to the 15-inch from a handling standpoint," Grant said. "Paul thought it was more forgiving and easier to drive; that you could get back in the throttle quicker. "The nice thing is it ran cooler. So with a bigger footprint on the ground, more rubber, that's nice, because that gives us some room to play with, from a compound standpoint." Another issue here is the larger tire requires some chassis changes to make the tire fit under the fenders -- and keeping those changes to a minimum – economically as well as technically – may be the biggest challenge. Still, the key so far is that the test confirmed the theory that a larger tire would run cooler and offer more grip.(MikeMulhern.net)(10-9-2009)
    UPDATE: Listen to Roush's own reaction to the prospect of racing a new, larger tire: "There is no 17-inch tire coming….and you can quote me on that. It would be too expensive….it's unnecessary… There is maybe only one tire company in the world that could do that, as seen by me. And based on my conversations with NASCAR, I don't think there is any 17-inch tire coming. The things that Goodyear is learning through the 17-inch-tire excusion, or experiment, is intended to benefit the tires we have today." Yes, Roush confirms he is Goodyear's lead in this program. "But there is no 17-inch tire in our future," Roush insists.(Mike Mulhern.net)(10-10-2009)

  • Larger tire to be tested at Richmond: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will hold a two-day tire test at Richmond International Raceway next Tuesday and Wednesday (October 6-7). The purpose of the test is two-fold – (1) do some fundamental work on its short track/flat track tire set-up for the 2010 NASCAR season, and (2) take the first on-track look at a larger NASCAR tire. “First and foremost, this is a ‘normal’ tire test for us,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of race tire sales. “We’re going to Richmond to work on our short track set-up, looking for some things we might want to evaluate further before next season.” While Goodyear has made great gains on its current tire lineup with an aggressive testing schedule, the larger tire is a future project that the company has chosen to keep on its radar screen. “The second part of the Richmond test is very preliminary and is our first opportunity to get the larger size tire on the track,” said Stucker. “We’ve been very happy with the lab work on the larger tire and the modeling results that we’ve seen, so the next logical step is to get this tire on the ground.”
    Roush-Fenway Racing drivers Matt Kenseth and Travis Kvapil will handle the driving duties for the test, with the team bringing a specific car to accommodate the larger tire which is one-and-a-half inches taller and one-and-a-half inches wider than the current NASCAR tire, and will be run on 17-inch wheels as compared to the current 15-inch configuration. "Both Goodyear and NASCAR work on research and development programs all the time and that's what we have here," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president for competition. "In fact, one of the goals of this test is to further enhance the reliability and performance of the current 15-inch tire that we use today. There is absolutely no timetable whatsoever in regards to the possibility of having a new tire."(Goodyear)(10-3-2009)

  • Goodyear to test larger tire: Goodyear will test a new larger NASCAR tire on October 6th at Richmond International Raceway. The 17-inch tire - which is an inch-and-a-half wider and higher - will provide a larger contact patch on the track and is expected to offer better handling and more grip. "The longitudinal grip improves the forward and back motion while the lateral grip helps with cornering," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear Director of Race Tire Sales. "We'll be looking at what performance gains it gives us and what it allows us to do. Roush Fenway Racing is providing the car and driver for the test. Stucker said the car had to be modified for the test. Goodyear will also test a car using the current 15-inch tire to use as a baseline to compare the two tires. Goodyear will also return for further testing at Daytona International Speedway on Nov. 2. Stucker hopes to entice at least 20 to 25 cars to offer the full feel of the draft.(Fox Sports)(9-28-2009)

  • Tire Testing at Daytona on Sept 22/23: UPDATE 2: #6-David Ragan (Ford), #20-Joey Logano (Toyota), #47-Marcos Ambrose (Toyota), #12-Brad Keselowski (Dodge) as well as to-be-named driver from Richard Childress Racing (Chevy) are scheduled participate in a Goodyear Tire Test at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, Sept. 22 and Wednesday, Sept. 23, 9:00am to 5:00pm/et. The test is open to fans, who can go through Daytona 500 Experience to the Oldfield Grandstand to watch the testing.(DIS)(9-19-2009)
    UPDATE: #33-Clint Bowyer is the RCR driver participating in the test at DIS.(9-22-2009)
    UPDATE 2: Five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers wrapped up a two-day Goodyear tire test on Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway. In between rain showers, drivers shook down tires for Goodyear in advance of the 52nd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 14. "I think the Goodyear tires the last year or two have been pretty competitive," #6-David Ragan said after the first day of testing. "We haven't had any issues with them. It's just a deal where Goodyear tries to fine tune on their tires and combinations to make it right. I'm sure this won't be the last (test) before the Daytona 500 in February." Ragan participated in last September's Goodyear tire test at Daytona while #20-Joey Logano and #47-Marcos Ambrose were among a group of drivers who tested tires in May. "We tried a lot of different tires," Logano said. "I think we had about five or six different ones that we put on, just trying different things that Goodyear has come up with. We had some good ones and some that weren't as good. You pick what you want and I'm sure they'll change a few things. I know they are going to come back here again and do some drafting." The test gave Brad Keselowski his first opportunity to work with his new #12 team for the 2010 season. Keselowski, who competes for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will join Penske in 2010 for his first full Sprint Cup Series season.(DIS PR)(9-23-2009)

  • No rain tires for Cup...yet UPDATE:
    NASCAR president Mike Helton said more research will have to be done before fans see Sprint Cup Series cars racing in wet conditions. #24-Jeff Gordon said he isn't thrilled about the idea but enjoyed watching the 2008 Nationwide race in Montreal run in wet conditions. #39-Ryan Newman was more open to the idea but pointed out that Sprint Cup cars are heavier than Nationwide vehicles. "I think that in bad weather, NASA sends up smaller space craft instead of the big space craft and it is pretty similar," Newman said. "You don't want to risk a lot. I don't think it would be an ideal situation for all of the fans. It hasn't, per se, been done yet. It has been tested and practiced a little bit. I am all for it. I have never raced in the rain. It would be a disadvantage to me. I think it is still racing."(Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)(8-9-2009)
    UPDATE: Well before the first raindrops fell at Watkins Glen International this weekend, NASCAR president Mike Helton publicly stated there were no plans in place to run a Sprint Cup road race on a wet track in the near future. But if there was ever a change of heart from the sanctioning body, Goodyear officials said Sunday the Akron-based tire company would be equal to the task. "We certainly think so," Goodyear spokesman Greg Stucker said. "There's not that big a difference between the two cars and if you go back years ago, we did run them in Japan on the Cup cars. We're confident we could have a package that would be suitable, if that's what they chose to do." In fact, Goodyear's newest stock-car racing rain tire, closely related to the Eagle One passenger tire, underwent extensive testing this past November at Goodyear's facility in Texas. They used one of Chip Ganassi's Nationwide cars with Juan Montoya behind the wheel, and from all indications, the improvements made to the tire proved successful.(NASCAR.com)(8-9-2009)

  • Tire testing at Dover: Goodyear is scheduled to test tires at Dover Internation Speedway on August 4-5, #48-Jimmie Johnson (Chevy) and #18-Kyle Busch (Toyota) are among the drivers scheduled to test.(ESPN's NASCAR Now), also hearing #42-Juan Pablo Montoya will test.(8-1/4-2009)
    UPDATE: Several drivers from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series are at Dover International Speedway on track as part of a Goodyear tire test on August 4 and 5 in preparation for the upcoming Sept. 25-27, 2009 "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup" race weekend. Participating drivers include: #48-Johnson, #42-Montoya, #47-Ambrose, #18-Busch, #12-Stremme, #6-Ragan, #96-Labonte and #44-Allmendinger. Truck Series drivers testing: #5-Skinner and #6-Braun. This is a closed test session and fans are not permitted in the outdoor grandstand or inside the track.(Dover International Speedway)(8-5-2009)

  • Goodyear, drivers happy with Indy tire: Any lingering concerns about tires again making a mockery of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard were put to rest Friday during two hour-long practice sessions at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Goodyear was embarrassed a year ago when rapid tire wear produced a race run in short stints between mandatory cautions that resulted in a race-record 52 of 160 laps under caution. After seven visits to the Speedway for more than 13,000 miles of testing, Goodyear saw the results it was hoping for Friday. Goodyear's Greg Stucker admitted to a "few butterflies" as the day began, but they quickly flew away as it became clear NASCAR's 16th visit to the Speedway would not be a repeat of the 15th. "Everything we've seen we're very happy with," said Stucker, expressing complete confidence that Sunday's race will go off without a hitch. "There was a little apprehension, but it settled when we saw the track rubber in so quickly."(Indianapolis Star)(7-25-2009)

  • Tire Test at Atlanta UPDATE: In preparation for Atlanta Motor Speedway's first NASCAR Sprint Cup night race, the Pep Boys Auto 500, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is conducting a two-day tire test [July 14-15, Tue-Wed] to ensure the preeminent tire is ready for night racing in Atlanta. Drivers scheduled to take part in the test: #14-Tony Stewart (Chevy), #2-Kurt Busch (Dodge), #11-Denny Hamlin (Toyota) and #26-Jamie McMurray (Ford). This session is closed to the public.(AMS)(7-10-2009)
    UPDATE: Tire testing is currently underway at Atlanta Motor Speedway, as four NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers assist the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in preparing the preeminent tire for Atlanta’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup night race, the Pep Boys Auto 500 on Sept. 6. Goodyear is tasked with preparing the first tire for Sprint Cup night racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the company is utilizing NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers #2-Kurt Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin, #26-Jamie McMurray and #14-Tony Stewart in the two-day Goodyear Tire Test. “It’s definitely tough to prepare a tire for a night race [in Atlanta], because there are unknowns going into a night race – how fast is the track going to be and where do we need to have many of our settings,” said Busch, who won the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March. “I felt like the tire was just fine in March, obviously. With the way our car handled and we drove it into Victory Lane, I wouldn’t change a thing. But, we’ve got a night race now, so we’re here working with Goodyear to find something better and make the racing more exciting.” All four participating drivers have higher-average finishes in night races than afternoon races in 2009. In five-2009 night races, Stewart has the highest average night race finish of the four at 2.4, compared to his season average of 7.6. Of the remaining drivers, Hamlin has an average night race finish of 8.2 (13.4 for the entire season), Busch has an average of 10.6 (12.5) and McMurray’s average night race finish is 14.6 (20.2). Tire testing will resume at 2:00pm/et on Tuesday and continue until 10:00pm/et. The test is closed to the public.(AMS)(7-14-2009)

  • Stewart say Goodyear has solved Indy tire problems: Two-time Allstate 400 winner #14-Tony Stewart says he's confident Goodyear has solved the tire problems that plagued last year's race at the Brickyard. Stewart was among the drivers who participated in Goodyear's seven test sessions at the track since last year, when the problems turned the race into a series of 10- to 12-lap sprints. Stewart says he was able to run about 30 laps on the new tires during the tests and he's "not at all" concerned about their durability. (Associated Press)(7-8-2009)

  • Goodyear conducts tire test at Bristol: Drivers from NASCAR's top three series were at Bristol Motor Speedway Tuesday for a closed-session tire test to help Goodyear determine the best compounds for the upcoming August races. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular #07-Casey Mears tested tires for the Aug. 22 Sharpie 500, while Jason Keller and Steve Wallace ran laps on behalf of the Nationwide Series competitors who will race in the Aug. 21 Food City 250. Past Camping World Truck Series champions Todd Bodine and Ron Hornaday were on hand representing that series. After spending the morning hours working rubber into the track, the drivers began to get a feel for what to expect in August.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(7-7-2009)

  • Goodyear returns to Indy for another tire test: UPDATE: Goodyear appears to have resolved some of the problems that plagued last year's Allstate 400 in Indianapolis. Nine cars made it onto the track for testing Monday. Kyle Busch's #18 car did the most consecutive laps with 17 early in the afternoon. During last year's Allstate 400, tire problems forced race officials to call competition cautions every 10 to 12 laps. It's the third time Goodyear has returned to Indy for testing this year. Two cars reportedly ran 30 consecutive laps before running out of fuel at a previous session. Goodyear has one more test session Tuesday.(Associated Press)(6-16-2009)
    UPDATE: Jeff Gordon insists this year's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard will be a real race, not a seven-lap sprint to the finish line like last year. He guarantees it. After rain washed out most of Goodyear's final tire testing day at Indianapolis, the four-time Cup champion gave the manufacturer's new, softer tires an unwavering endorsement for one of NASCAR's biggest races. "I'm 100 percent confident," he said Tuesday. "I ran this tire as hard as I possibly could, and this is a dead issue. This race might come down to a lot of things - fuel, pit strategy, a double-file restart - but it is not going to come down to a 10-lap shootout on whose tires can last the longest." Race organizers and Goodyear could not have hoped for a stronger statement from one of the series most recognizable drivers, nor could they have chosen a better time for Gordon to make it. Race tire sales director Greg Stucker could not calculate how much money or how many man-hours were spent resolving the problem but acknowledged that tires for Indianapolis were discussed every day since late July. Teams were running 20-lap intervals late [Monday] afternoon and projected they could have gone 35 to 40 laps on the new tires. Gordon suggested he could have run 50, and Carl Edwards ran multiple segments Monday, totaling 33 or 34 laps, before running out of fuel.(Associated Press)(6-16-2009)

  • Tire Testing at Indy: UPDATE: Goodyear is back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week with several Sprint Cup drivers and teams, conducting a sixth test since last year's tire meltdown at Indy during the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard. The Allstate 400, seven weeks away on July 26, is NASCAR's second-biggest event of the year. Only the Daytona 500 ranks higher in terms of prestige and importance. How serious is it? Serious enough that Goodyear invited its biggest critic in the past -- Tony Stewart -- to make some laps on Monday at Indy. As did #12-David Stremme, who was pleased with the progress Goodyear has made. "They brought a tire that has really even wear," Stremme said. "We got to a full fuel run [about 30 laps]. Goodyear has done their homework." Twelve Cup teams will participate in a seventh test later this month. The three-day test this week is closed to the media.(ESPN.com). scheduled to test are #14-Tony Stewart, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #9-Kasey Kahne, #7-Robby Gordon, #36-?, #12-David Stremme, #16-Greg Biffle, #21-Bill Elliott and #31-Jeff Burton. The public can view the testing from the infield grandstands in the South chute.(6-3-2009)
    UPDATE: The process for Goodyear to determine the tire combination for the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race continued this week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With weather and track conditions very near what is expected for the July 26-28 event, more than 1,200 laps of testing was completed with all results indicating they are on target to finalize that recommendation. Goodyear brought nine teams to the Speedway for on-track sessions on Monday and Tuesday, while rain rolled through the area on Wednesday, cancelling the third day of the scheduled test. Drivers and teams that participated were: #16-Greg Biffle, #31-Jeff Burton, #36-Patrick Carpentier, #21-Bill Elliott, #7-Robby Gordon, #9-Kasey Kahne, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya #14-Tony Stewart and #12-David Stremme. Throughout the test,several cars were able to make runs of more than 30 laps, with some even running out of fuel on the track. A fuel stop at the two-and-a-half-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway is estimated at 32 laps. (Goodyear PR)(6-4-2009)

  • Goodyear to test tires at Indy, June 1-3: Goodyear has two tire tests scheduled next month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the tire manufacturer tries to find a way to avoid last year's debacle. Nine cars are scheduled to test June 1-3. Those scheduled to test are #14-Tony Stewart, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #9-Kasey Kahne, #7-Robby Gordon, #36-Scott Riggs, #12-David Stremme, #16-Greg Biffle, #21-Bill Elliott, and either #07-Casey Mears or #31-Jeff Burton. The second test is expected to have at least a dozen teams June 15-17.(Roanoke Times)(5-25-2009)

  • Goodyear tests at Daytona: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company continued its summer testing program with a visit to Daytona International Speedway this past week. The tire manufacturer was at the famed speedway with 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup teams on Monday and Tuesday, testing several tire combinations that will help the cars drive with more stability while jockeying around in the draft. Participating in this week's two-day tests were Chrevrolet drivers Aric Almirola. Mark Martin and Clint Bowyer; Dodge driver A.J. Allmendinger and Sam Hornish; Ford drivers Jamie McMurray and Paul Menard; and Toyota drivers Marcos Ambrose, Joey Logano and Scott Speed. "We tested at Daytona this week because we're continually trying to improve the tire package there," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's Director of Race Tire Sales. "Even though its a superspeedway of two-and-a-half miles, it requires a good handling package. Now that we have more of a history with the COT at Daytona, we felt like we could give the drivers some more grip and enhance the cars' stability in the multi-car packs. The test went very well, and we accomplished a lot over the two days. The teams worked through all the tire combinations we brought, and I believe we've got some good options to review in determining the final tire set-up for July." Goodyear will finalize it's tire recommendation this coming week for Daytona's Coke Zero 400 scheduled for July 3-4.(Goodyear PR)(5-9-2009)

  • Tire testing at Daytona UPDATE: Goodyear has scheduled a tire test at Daytona International Speedway for Monday, May 4 and Tuesday, May 5, 9am/et. Drivwers scheduled to test: #5-Mark Martin, #47-Marcos Ambrose, #77-Sam Hornish Jr., #82-Scott Speed, #98-Paul Menard, #33-Clint Bowyer, #?-Aric Almirola [Earnhardt Ganassi Racing], #20-Joey Logano, #26-Jamie McMurray and #44-A.J. Allmendinger.(5-1-2009)
    UPDATE: With the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola on July 2-4 two months away, 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers participated in a two-day Goodyear tire test on Monday and Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway. Among the drivers participating in the test includes #5-Mark Martin, #47-Marcos Ambrose, #77-Sam Hornish Jr., #82-Scott Speed, #98-Paul Menard, #33-Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, #20-Joey Logano, #26-Jamie McMurray and #44-A.J. Allmendinger. “When you get here, they let you get your stuff sorted out and get your car handling good and then they start throwing tires at you and getting your input on which one you think is best,” said Bowyer on Monday after the first day of testing. “We were able to get out there and draft a little bit and just try to get the speeds up as much as possible and go through the motions of the different tires and which we think is best.” Having such a big group of drivers here for the two-day test on the 2.5-mile tri-oval has helped Goodyear engineers gather a significant amount of information. “Just having three or four cars out there drafting, you don’t get the effect, you don’t get the sensation of the speed, what the cars go through in the draft, so we needed a few more cars here then just two or three cars out there drafting for a tire test,” said Bowyer, who drives for Richard Childress Racing. “The tire doesn’t get the abuse that it does when you are under the loads of drafting with 40 cars out there. I think they got a good amount of cars here, the right amount.”
    Said McMurray, a 2007 Coke Zero 400 champion, after the first day of testing: “We did 15-lap runs, maybe we did 10 of them, different compounds, different construction. I think they are trying to eliminate heat in the tire and also get your feedback on how the car drives – better or worse.” McMurray, who drives for Roush Fenway Racing, nipped Kyle Busch in the 2007 mid-summer classic by .005 seconds, the second closest finish in NASCAR history. He says he frequently looks back on that triumph. “Pretty much every day I think about that,” McMurray said. “It’s so cool to get to win at Daytona. Every kid growing up, if you want to make it in NASCAR, the Daytona race is what you think about.”
    For Marcos Ambrose, this was his second Goodyear tire test and the Tasmania native was thrilled to get more laps around DIS. “I’ve had a few laps around Daytona now, but you never get sick of driving around here,” Ambrose said on Monday. “The bumps, the car moving around, just the feel of the place is spectacular and it’s great to be down here running. We just done the simple stuff, single-car runs and a little bit of drafting this afternoon trying to get use to the way the car moves around here in the heat. It’s definitely different than what it’s here for the 500. The track is a lot slicker and there’s less grip to use. It’s fun and it’s a learning experience for me.”(DIS PR)(5-5-2009)

  • Goodyear Completes Another Tire Test at Indy: Goodyear returned to Indianapolis Motor Speedway Wednesday for a continuation test to gather data in preparation for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the track July 24-26. Testing this week were #9-Kasey Kahne (Dodge), #17-Matt Kenseth (Ford), #39-Ryan Newman (Chevy) and #83-Brian Vickers (Toyota). Once again, due to rain in the Indianapolis area, Goodyear and the teams were confronted with a 'green' race track and a delayed start to their day. After working to get the track rubbered in, teams got down to testing the various tire set-ups Goodyear brought. "We were able to make significant progress laying rubber down on the track surface at Indy during our test with just four cars this week. Having said that, we still have some work to do and some things we'd like to try to enhance overall performance and come up with the optimum tire set-up for the Brickyard 400," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's Director of Race Tire Sales. "With the limited amount of track time we've been able to squeeze in over the last two weeks because of rain, we will likely go back to IMS right after the Indianapolis 500 in May in preparation for our multi-car test in mid-June." The dates for the initial test in June are yet to be determined, while a 12-car test is scheduled to be run at the Speedway June 15-16.(Goodyear PR)
    AND Ryan Newman described Wednesday's tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a "small gain" in regards to the number of laps he could run on one set of Goodyears. "The tires [used for racing at Indianapolis] are still not ideal," he said before Friday's NASCAR Sprint Cup practice at Richmond International Raceway. The test was the fourth since last year's fiasco in which NASCAR had to call a competition caution about every dozen laps in the Brickyard 400 because tires were wearing so fast. Newman said he got a maximum of 18 laps on a set of tires during Wednesday's test. "Last week it was 10 laps," Newman said. "So it was a gain in number of laps." Newman said Goodyear may have to consider bringing one set of tires to put rubber on the track during practice for the July race and another to actually race on.(ESPN.com)(5-1-2009)

  • After rain leaves, drivers test tires at Indy: Rain again disrupted a Goodyear test today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but once the track dried shortly after noon, four NASCAR teams were able to get in nearly six hours of tire testing. The purpose of the one-day session, which was a continuation of last week's rain-plagued test, was to settle on the tire compound Goodyear will bring to a final test June 15-16. That session will involve about a dozen teams as Goodyear works to avoid the embarrassing problems that marred last year's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. This year's race is scheduled July 26. #39-Ryan Newman (Chevy), #17-Matt Kenseth (Ford), #83-Brian Vickers (Toyota) and #9-Kasey Kahne (Dodge) were the participating drivers Wednesday.(Indianapolis Star)(4-30-2009)

  • Goodyear returns to Indy to test tires this week: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Wednesday to continue its testing program for this year’s Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the track this July 24-26. This week's one-day session is a continuation from a rain-shortened test at the Speedway last week. Goodyear held three different sessions at Indianapolis last September to begin the testing program, and made some good strides toward this year’s tire recommendation at that time. After the long winter, the tire manufacturer picked up where it left off at the historic, 2.5-mile track. Rain slowed the on-track activity last Monday and Tuesday, forcing Goodyear and the four Sprint Cup teams it was working with to stay through Wednesday. Participating last week were #17-Matt Kenseth (Ford), #39-Ryan Newman (Chevrolet), #43-Reed Sorenson (Dodge) and #83-Brian Vickers (Toyota).
    “The goal was to build upon what we've learned up to this point. We started last week on the control tire from last fall, the one that enabled us to make some 25-lap runs at the time. We went on to evaluate some additional compounds and constructions and we just didn’t see the same results,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s Director of Race Tire Sales. “The one thing we know that changed over the winter was the amount of rubber on the race track. Our test last week was the first on-track activity since our fall tests, and the race track is much greener than we saw at that time. We’re not getting the wear levels we’d like to see at this point.”
    As a result, Goodyear has decided to return to Indianapolis for a continuation test this coming Wednesday. “The track worked with us, the teams have worked with us and our guys at the Goodyear Tech Center have produced some additional development tires in just a few days so we can continue our testing this week,” said Stucker. “Even though the wear wasn’t the same as we saw last fall, the drivers were happy with the handling characteristics of this set-up. Our challenge right now is to not overreact to last week’s results because we know the track will be different after the Indianapolis 500 in May. That’s why we have a multi-car confirmation test scheduled in June in preparation for our race in July.“
    Three of the four teams from last week will return this Wednesday for the continuation test -- those of Kenseth, Newman and Vickers. Sorenson and his team could not make it back this week and will be replaced by #9-Kasey Kahne. “Like all tire testing at Goodyear, this is a process,” said Stucker. “Our goal is to always bring the best performing, most competitive tires to the race track. Indy certainly presents a challenge and we are committed to getting it right.”(Goodyear PR)(4/28-2009)

  • Goodyear still looking for right compound for Indy: NASCAR and Goodyear made progress in finding a suitable tire for Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but drivers who participated in testing at the 2.5-mile oval this week said work remains to solve the durability issues that turned last year's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard into a debacle. Ryan Newman of Stewart-Haas Racing said teams worked through several compounds and constructions bud "didn't really see anything that is ideal." Red Bull Racing's Brian Vickers said the tires lasted longer than in the 2008 race but not as long enough for a full fuel run. Last season, NASCAR had to throw a caution flag every 10 to 12 laps to avoid blowouts. "It was an embarrassment for the sport, and I commend NASCAR and Goodyear (for) going above and beyond to try to get this problem fixed," Vickers said. "They're looking for perfection. Unfortunately from what I've seen, we're going to have a fast tire. There's just no way around it. When you make these tires slower and harder, they just slide across the pavement and because of that grooving it just turns into a shredder. So we're going to have to have a softer, faster tire that essentially will grip the track instead of sliding across it to make it last."(USA Today)(4-26-2009)

  • Indy tire testing MORE: Richard Petty Motorsports driver #43-Reed Sorenson says that Goodyear officials will extend their Indianapolis Motor Speedway tire test into Wednesday for four drivers because of rain that has continually interrupted their efforts. Sorenson, Roush Fenway Racing's #17-Matt Kenseth [Ford], Stewart-Haas Racing's #39-Ryan Newman [Chevy] and Red Bull Racing's #83-Brian Vickers [Toyota] began testing tires at the track Monday as Goodyear officials work to find a better tire for this season's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the track after a 2008 event in which drivers had to pit regularly because of issues with tire wear.(SceneDaily)(4-21-2009)
    UPDATE: Despite being disrupted by rain for the second day in a row, a NASCAR tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is providing Goodyear engineers with valuable information to help ensure against a repeat of last year's caution-filled Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. "We feel like we're establishing a very good baseline so that we can walk out of here with a good, solid recommendation for what to bring back in June," Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire sales, said Tuesday at the track. "The most important thing is we want to make sure we get everything done we need to get done, and that means getting different opinions on different combinations." Goodyear tested three times last fall and has four Sprint Cup teams in town for the current test, which was extended to today because of the frequent rain. A final shakedown in preparation for the July 26 race is scheduled June 15-16 with about a dozen teams expected to participate. The extra testing is the result of an embarrassing 2008 race in which a record 52 of the 160 laps were run under caution because of rapid and excessive tire wear. NASCAR was forced to throw competition cautions every dozen or so laps out of concerns for driver safety. Stucker said the problem was a tire compound incompatible with the track surface and NASCAR's new, heavier car -- the so-called Car of Tomorrow -- that had not previously run at Indy. Instead of the expended rubber working its way into the track, which is intentionally abrasive to provide more tire grip, the particles were so small that they turned to dust and literally floated away. Tires haven't been a major issue at any of the first eight races this season and Stucker is confident they won't be at Indy, either. "Three tests here last year and two this year certainly demonstrates we're taking it seriously," he said. "Goodyear, the racetrack, NASCAR and all the teams are putting forth the effort to make sure we don't have anything like that again."(Indianapolis Star)(4-23-2009)

  • Tire test at New Hampshire: UPDATE: there is a scheduled Goodyear Tire Test at New Hampshire on Tues. and Wed. this week [April 7-8], with drivers scheduled being: #24-Jeff Gordon (Chevy); #18-Kyle Busch (Toyota), #6-David Ragan (Ford) and #12-David Stremme (Dodge)(4-6-2009)
    UDPATE: Weather has been a real problem during the two-day Goodyear tire test at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Because of rain Tuesday, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, David Stremme and David Ragan got on to the one-mile track for only about an hour. On Wednesday, they were turning laps with winds gusting up to 25 mph and the temperature 41 degrees.(PRN Garage Pass)(4-8-2009)

  • Grooved Tires at Martinsville? many readers noticed grooved tires stacked in the garage area of Martiinsville Speedway and asked if NASCAR was thinig of using rain tires, the answer to that is NO. Goodyear provides the teams a special grooved tire [for easy identification] that is used while the cars are moved around when the actual racing tires are not available to them.(ESPN)(3-30-2009)

  • Tire Tests planned at Indy and AMS: Goodyear is planning additional tests this year at the two tracks where its tires encountered the most criticism last year, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway. Tests are planned for April and June at Indy, the site of one of the most frustrating events in recent NASCAR and Goodyear history last year, when NASCAR had to throw the caution every 12 or 13 laps because the tires wouldn’t last. Four teams will go to the test April 20-21 and then 12 to 15 teams will go in mid-June, Goodyear director of race tire sales Greg Stucker said Wednesday during a test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Goodyear also plans to test again at Atlanta after not being satisfied with the performance there earlier this month. Goodyear is also set with its tire choice for upcoming events at Dover, Pocono, Michigan and Infineon. It has tests planned for New Hampshire and Chicagoland coming up. It also will conduct a test at Iowa Speedway with Camping World Truck Series teams as the Trucks and Nationwide series debut at the track later this year.(SceneDaily)(3-20-2009)

  • Wider tire couple years away: A Goodyear official said that the new wider, taller tire that should be better suited for the Car of Tomorrow and help with the handling of those cars is now "at least'' 2 years away from being used in a race. Greg Stucker made the comment Wednesday during a tire test at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Stucker told me in January that he was hopeful that the new tire could be used in a race in 2010, but the timeline has since changed. Stucker said that Goodyear met with NASCAR officials on Tuesday to update series officials on the progress of the new tire. "We feel like we've still got some work to do,'' Stucker said. "We're certainly seeing some performance advantages, which was one of the goals. There are a few things we're not comfortable with yet as far as the overall footprint shape, the way the tire interacts. We think we've got some thing to improve before we put it on the race track. I'd say there's an outside chance we could be on a race track by the end of this year (for testing) but I'd say it's a litlte more long term than that. There are still a lot of things that have to happen before you put it in the race. We're a couple of years out before we do that. It's going to be some fairly significant changes we think.'' The new tire is 17 inches in diameter. The current tire is 15 inches in diameter. The new tire is 1.5 inches wider. What Goodyear likes about the new tire: "We're able to have a litlte bit more durable package. The tire is going to be wider and with it being taller actaully elongates the footprint, makes it longer. By having a wider footprint that means more cornering power that translates, basically into more grip.(Virginian Pilot)(3-19-2009)
    AND: There are no tests yet planned for a bigger tire, which would be 17 inches in diameter instead of 15 inches. Stucker said Goodyear officials met with NASCAR on Tuesday about the bigger tire. “We feel like we’ve still got some work to do,” Stucker said. “We’re seeing some performance advantages [as far as durability], which was one of the goals. There’s a few things we’re not comfortable with yet as far as the overall footprint shape, the way the tire interacts [with the road surface]. We think we have some things to improve before we put it on the race track. There is an outside chance we could get on the race track [to test] by the end of this year, but I would say it’s probably a little more long-term than that.”(SceneDaily)(3-19-2009)

  • Goodyear Tire Test Concludes at Lowe's Motor Speedway: Goodyear concluded a two-day tire test Wednesday at Lowe's Motor Speedway as the tire manufacturer prepared for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600. Assisting Goodyear in gathering data for the test was a driver from each manufacturer represented in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series-Marcos Ambrose in the #47 Toyota, Jimmie Johnson in the #48 Chevy, Kasey Kahne in the #9 Dodge, and Paul Menard in the #98 Ford. Each of the drivers expressed their approval of the tire compound that Goodyear brought to the famous 1.5-mile quad-oval, the same tire first introduced in competition at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in early March.
    "I'm very encouraged by this tire and talking with (Goodyear's) engineers, they plan to run this tire a lot more and start working it in," said Johnson, a three-time winner of the Coca-Cola 600. "It (the tire) was new in Las Vegas but hopefully this is a tire we can use at a lot of places to bring some stability back. There's a lot of speed out there right now and with comfort comes speed. That's really what it boils down to."
    "Goodyear has done a great job over the past six months to a year in developing a tire you can race side-by-side on," said Kahne, two-time winner and defending champion of the Coca-Cola 600. "This car threw some different things at them at first, but I think Las Vegas was a huge improvement and I think that same tire will be good here."
    Each driver also participated in question-and-answer fan forums during the lunch hour from pit road. Ticket holders for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in May at Lowe's Motor Speedway were allowed to watch today's test session and participate in the fan forums from a special infield viewing area. Tickets for the NASCAR race events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, including the May 16 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24, are on sale now and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com. Convenient payment plan options and affordable multi-day ticket packages are available.(LMS PR)3-19-2009)

  • Goodyear Tire test at LMS March 17-18 UPDATE: Goodyear is scheduled to hold a tire test at Lowe's Motor Speedway with four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams representing each of the series manufacturers next week in preparation for the track's May races, including the 25th NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 16, and the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24. Drivers scheduled to test at #9-Kasey Kahne (Dodge), #48-Jimmie Johnson (Chevy), #47-Marcos Ambrose (Toyota) and #98-Paul Menard. During both days of the Goodyear tire test, Lowe's Motor Speedway's frontstretch grandstand will be open free of charge from 9am - 5pm and fans should enter through Gate 5A, located next to the main ticket office. Additionally, NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 ticket holders will have access to an infield grandstand on Wednesday, March 18, from 10am to 5pm, and can participate in a special fan forum featuring all four drivers from 12 - 1pm. Ticket holders for Lowe's Motor Speedway's May Cup races will need to check in at the speedway's ticket office to receive verification of their ticket purchase before entering the infield at Gate 26.(LMS PR)(3-13/17-2008)
    UPDATE: The tire compound Goodyear brought to Las Vegas Motor Speedway last month got favorable reviews from drivers conducting testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday, increasing the likelihood that the Vegas tire will be used going forward at mile and a half tracks like Lowe's. Goodyear officials said the right-side tires in particular will be the new "control'' tire at most intermediate tracks. Goodyear officials said the only reason the Vegas tire wasn't used at Atlanta was that the tire for Atlanta had already been approved before the Vegas race.(3-18-2009)

  • Goodyear Tire Test at Darlington Raceway UPDATE:: #11-Denny Hamlin (Toyota), #29-Kevin Harvick (Chevy), #96-Bobby Labonte (Ford) and #19-Elliott Sadler (Dodge) are scheduled to be at Darlington Raceway participating in a Goodyear tire test on Wednesday, March 11 in preparation for the Southern 500 on May 9th (Darlington Raceway PR). The testing is NOT open to the public.(3-9-2009)
    UPDATE:Darlington Raceway was the site of the latest Goodyear tire test today with four teams, one from each manufacturer that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, taking to the track. #96-Bobby Labonte, #29-Kevin Harvick, #19-Elliott Sadler and #11-Denny Hamlin began testing Tuesday afternoon with Goodyear engineers on the two-year old surface at Darlington. All four drivers gave the track good reviews and talked about the importance of winning at Darlington Raceway.
    “Well obviously this is a very historic race track that we go to,” said Kevin Harvick. “It still has a lot of the characteristics that it’s had for a number of years so to come here and race as a driver in NASCAR, I think that’s something special to everyone in the garage. This is an exciting place for us to race at and to win would be really cool. We’ve been close a couple of times and it would be nice to finally win one.”
    “This is a place I got to come to as a kid and watch races because it is not far from where I grew up so to come here and have a chance to win this race is a dream come true,” said Elliott Sadler. “I love that we race here, I’m glad it’s a night race, it’s a great event for us and since we only come here once a year we put a lot of effort into running well here because Darlington is still a huge cornerstone in our sport and represents where we’ve been and how far we’ve come.”
    “They repaved the track last year and you hated to see it in one way but they did a great job and it’s still the same Darlington,” said 2000 Southern 500 winner Bobby Labonte. “Speeds have picked up, the surface is smoother but the racing is still great and it still means the same thing to win here.”
    “Darlington is a great racetrack for me, I always run well here,” said Denny Hamlin who has won twice at Darlington in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. “It’s a great race track, I love running here and it’s got so much history. You hated to see it get paved but they did a great job doing it and it still promotes great racing. It’s a great track with great history and you love to win here no matter what car you are in.”
    Darlington Raceway or the track “Too Tough to Tame” as it is known to many, is where the purest of NASCAR competition meets true southern hospitality. A NASCAR staple since 1950, Darlington Raceway has seen some of motorsports most talented drivers thunder to Victory Lane. In 2009 a NASCAR tradition, the Southern 500, will return as Darlington Raceway celebrates 60 Seasons of Racing. Be a part of history when Darlington Raceway celebrates 60 years of racing in 2009. Tickets to the 2009 Southern 500, as well as the NASCAR Nationwide Series Diamond Hill Plywood 200 are on-sale now. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at darlingtonraceway.com/tickets/.(Darlington Raceway PR)(3-12-2009)

  • Drivers a tad concerned about the tires at Atlanta: While none of the drivers for Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 seem particularly satisfied with the tire they’ll be racing, none of them seem eager to point the finger at Goodyear, either. And some of them are really looking for the challenge. "We have our hands full,” Gordon said Friday. “It’s gonna be a white-knuckle survival kind of race. I’m actually kind of excited about it.” That’s probably because Gordon remembers how much fun it was to race last weekend at Las Vegas, where slipping and sliding through the corners was commonplace. Polesitter Mark Martin said the track layout at Atlanta will only exaggerate that feeling. “This thing is so big and so sweeping that when you’re sliding for life from turn 4 to turn 1, you’re sliding for life for a long time,” Martin said. Three-time Atlanta winner Carl Edwards was practical about situation, noting that all 43 drivers were facing the same challenge. “It doesn’t matter to me what the tires were like as long as we all have the same tires,” said Edwards, who was second fastest in the final practice session. “It’s easy to have a positive attitude when you’re fast. We got the car driving pretty well, but it’s still a pretty slippery race track. It’s gonna be pretty fun and a good race.”
    Tony Stewart was extremely outspoken last March at Atlanta Motor Speedway in his criticism of the tire Goodyear brought to the race. Three tire tests (and one race) later, all reports are that this weekend's tire will wear much better and should provide more grip. But not everyone is convinced. "They did these tire tests here in (January) when the track temp was 50 degrees; it's 90 out here today," Gordon said. "There's not much grip at all. It's not wearing crazy or anything, but we've only been making one lap at a time. Thank goodness, that's about all I can handle." Gordon wasn't pointing fingers; in fact, he praised Goodyear for doing its best in what he considers a no-win situation. "I believe this track, and this car, especially with these temperatures, could possibly be the most difficult track in the world to build a tire for; it's almost beyond what they can do," Gordon said. "We have our hands full; it's gonna be a white-knuckle survival kind of race. I'm actually kind of excited about it." Gordon said the track's speed and abrasiveness wears so excessively on the tires that it's hard for the manufacturer to balance wear with grip. Even Stewart was in agreement that this year's tire was a much better - albeit not perfect - compound. "We don't have a ton of grip," Stewart said. "In race trim I think it'll be better, but we don't have quite as much grip as we've had in past."(AMS Pit Notes)(3-8-2009)

  • Goodyear Tire Outlook for Kobalt Tools 500: After experiencing tire issues during the 2008 Kobalt Tools 500, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company will return to Atlanta Motor Speedway with a much-improved tire design for the 2009 edition. Goodyear conducted two tire tests in Atlanta preceding the fall’s Pep Boys Auto 500 and tested once more in January to ensure a better tire for the Kobalt Tools 500. Compared to the tires from last fall provided by Goodyear, the left side tire for the Kobalt Tools 500 will feature a new compound to improve grip. Additionally, construction changes to both the left-side and right-side tires should improve handling during the Kobalt Tools 500. "I am extremely happy with the tire that Goodyear has brought here to test," said Biffle following the January tire test. "They have a new left-side compound that puts a lot of driveability into the car. The old tire [in March of 2008] lost grip running on the bottom after five to eight laps. But this tire really hooks up to the bottom of the track for an extend run and you're not sliding all over the place. It's more like the old Atlanta that all of [the drivers] like."(AMS PR)(3-5-2009)

  • Goodyear takes back tires UPDATE: Goodyear took back eight right-side tires that it had assigned to teams, believing that they came from a possible bad batch that could have resulted in some of the tire problems Sprint Cup teams had Thursday during the Gatorade Duel 150-mile qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway. The tires were replaced Friday, according to a Goodyear spokesman. Goodyear Director of Race Tire Sales Greg Stucker had said earlier in the day that the company was trying to figure out what had happened in a couple of the instances. Overall, Stucker said prior to practice Friday that he was “pretty happy” with the tire wear so far this week.(SceneDaily)
    UPDATE: After Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin had problems in the 150-mile qualifiers, Goodyear noticed that portions of their tires in question were all manufactured on the same day. So Goodyear took back the eight tires that had the same components made on that day as a precautionary measure. Results of any tests won’t be known until next week, said Goodyear general manager of racing tires Stu Grant. No other tires will be mounted for the Daytona 500 on Sunday that came from that batch, Grant said Saturday morning at Daytona International Speedway. “It looked like either a tire that blistered and kept blistering or a tire that was severely worn,” Grant said. “It looked a little more severe than some of the other ones. It looked different enough that it’s why we looked at the sequence numbers and see if there was anything common there. We noticed a common processing date for one of our manufacturing components.” The teams were not doing anything excessive with the setups, Grant said. “Everything we know is circumstantial right now,” Grant said. “You look at it and you say you have the same common processing date for these tires, so let’s get them back and be sure.”(SceneDaily)(2-14-2009)

  • Goodyear developing bigger tire: Goodyear is developing a wider, taller tire that could improve racing in the Sprint Cup series, but the tire won't be ready for competition until sometime next year at the earliest, a company official said. Goodyear officials hope to test the tire at a track in the second half of the season, said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire sales. The tire could make its debut at the short- track events in 2010 if things go well. That would follow how NASCAR phased in the Car of Tomorrow. The main advantage of a taller, wider tire is it could give drivers more grip. That would help the car's handling and could give teams improved tire wear. "We're operating right on the edge of the envelope for our current package," Stucker said. "The new car definitely seems to stress tires differently with the additional right-side weight, it's harder on those right sides. We would like to go taller and wider to... make the tire a little bit more forgiving and a little less sensitive to maybe guys missing the setup or maybe being more aggressive on their setups." Goodyear's current Cup tire is 28.5 inches tall and 11-12 inches wide, depending on the track configuration. Stucker said that Goodyear officials are looking at making the tire 1.5 to 2 inches taller and the same amount wider. That creates issues, though. A taller, wider tire will force teams to alter their cars and that could cause headaches. "When you raise the car up, obviously, you change your suspension pickup points and so on and so forth," Stucker said. "We're trying to be very careful in approaching this. If there are going to be changes necessary, make sure they're the right changes and let's think through it. We're proceeding fairly cautiously." Another issue is that Stucker said that Goodyear would have to alter its equipment to produce a different-sized tire. That will take time. "We've got to make some fairly significant changes, which we are in the process of planning and getting ready to do," Stucker said. "That's going to take some time to upgrade all of that equipment."(Virginian Pilot)(2-5-2009)

  • Indy tire testing in April and June: Goodyear plans to test twice more at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The tire company had three tests at that track last fall after the disastrous race there last year in which tires wore out within a few laps. One test is scheduled for April and will likely have three or four cars. The other test is expected to be held sometime in June and could be open to several more Cup teams. Also, Goodyear is bringing a different tire to Daytona this year. Some of Goodyear's tires blistered last February in its first race at Daytona. The right-side compound has been altered slightly to make it harder. The left-side tires are the same as what Goodyear brought to Daytona in July.(Virginian Pilot)(2-5-2009)

  • More tire testing at Indy planned: NASCAR expects to have at least two more Goodyear tire tests at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before the Allstate 400 there in late July. Last year, NASCAR had to throw the caution every 12 to 13 laps during the race so teams could change tires and reduce the risk of tire failures. The tire rubber, instead of adhering to the track, turned into rubble and dust, causing a grating effect on the tires that eventually would cause them to blow. “Our tentative plan is [for] at least two more tire tests at Indianapolis,” NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said Thursday during the Sprint Media Tour. “We’ve made some great strides. I think they’ve got the tire picked that they need. We’re going to go back, and do, if not a development test, maybe start to do confirmation tests. There will be at least two of those.” Pemberton said the tire tests could include more than just one driver from each of the four manufacturers. “It could be a little bit more than that, give or take, depending on what Goodyear needs to do their tests,” Pemberton said. “It takes a little more track time to rubber in the surface, and it’s a little bit easier to do with a couple of extra cars.”(SceneDaily)(1-26-2009)

  • Tire testing at Atlanta over: Encouraged by the results from a two-day Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company test session at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Greg Biffle expects old-time, side-by-side racing will be the rule of the day at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the March 8 Kobalt Tools 500. Biffle, who was testing at the 1.54-mile oval along with #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #77-Sam Hornish Jr. and #82-Scott Speed, believes Goodyear is in the process of developing a tire for Atlanta’s March race that will allow NASCAR’s top drivers to race in any groove, just like “the old Atlanta.”
    “I am extremely happy with the tire that Goodyear has brought here to test,” said Biffle, who finished third in the points standings in the 2008 season. “They have a new left-side compound that puts a lot of driveability into the car.” While March 2008’s Kobalt Tools 500 was overshadowed by tire concerns, Biffle believes the new tire will allow Atlanta Motor Speedway to again be one of the most driveable, competitive, and thus entertaining, tracks on NASCAR’s 2009 schedule. “The old tire [in March] lost grip running on the bottom after five to eight laps,” said Biffle, whose best time in the test was a lap of 29.64 seconds (187.045 mph) in a fully-logoed 3M #16. “But this tire really hooks up to the bottom of the track for an extend run and you’re not sliding all over the place. It’s more like the old Atlanta that all of [the drivers] like.” In addition to Biffle’s strong endorsement of the tires used in the Goodyear test, the often outspoken Juan Pablo Montoya also had praise for Goodyear. “I think [Goodyear] has brought a lot of different tire possibilites here and each one is different, but they are all improvements in different ways” said the veteran open-wheel driver who is entering his third full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. “It is encouraging that they are doing what they can to help us and it has been really good. What we are running right now is incredibly fast. When you get here in March with the heat, you will be sliding a lot more. We are just trying to find a tire that is more predictable.” Great seats are still available for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and adult tickets start at just $39. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX (877-926-7849), visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS PR)(1-23-2009)

  • Tire testing at Atlanta: In preparation for the upcoming Kobalt Tools 500 on March 6-8 at the 1.54-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is conducting a two-day tire test on Tues-Wed, January 20-21, to ensure the preeminent tire is ready for Atlanta’s Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend. The drivers scheduleed to test: #16-Biffle (Ford), #42-Montoya (Chevy), #77-Hornish Jr. (Dodge) and #82-Speed (Toyota). This session is closed to the public.(AMS PR)(1-17-2009)

  • Goodyear Tire Test at Phoenix: Several NASCAR teams were represented at Phoenix International Raceway Tuesday as the track hosted a Goodyear tire test to help the tire manufacturer gather data for the 2009 season. #20-Joey Logano represented Toyota, #26-Jamie McMurray drove for Ford, and #1-Martin Truex Jr. tested for Chevrolet. A team representing Dodge was also on site for the test, which was closed to the public.(PIR)(1-14-2009)

    2008 News

  • Firestone testing stock car tires: Is there a tire war in NASCAR's future? Despite efforts to remain low key, Firestone was discovered testing stock car tires at Homestead-Miami Speedway this past week. A Chip Ganassi Racing ARCA stock car driven by Scott Pruett tested on the road course. But an executive with Firestone said the test was nothing more than that, a test. "It was not a Firestone test and it was not a NASCAR test, it was a technical exercise to try and develop current stock car technology," Al Speyer, executive director of Firestone/Bridgestone motorsports told SpeedTV.com's Robin Miller. "It was a brandless program. There was no name on the tires or the uniforms or even the tire machines. And the car was painted gray," he added. "We were just trying to be as low key as possible." Goodyear is the current sole supplier of tires to NASCAR and has been since 2000. But competitors criticized them several times during the 2008 season especially after the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which was reduced to 10-12 laps segments due to tire failures. The current contract for Goodyear runs through 2011. "NASCAR did not come to us and ask us to test," said Speyer. "But we're currently talking to a lot of sanctioning bodies, ARCA, USAR and NASCAR and, yes, we're interested in developing a stock car tire. "But we don't have a specific timetable or contract with anybody," he added.(NASCAR Examiner)(12-22-2008)

  • Tire Testing at Las Vegas UPDATE: there is a Goodyear Tire test scheduled at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on December 10-11, 2008, hearing the drivers to test will be #99-Carl Edwards, #5-Mark Martin, #83-Brian Vickers and #12-David Stremme.(12-4-2008)
    UPDATE: #99-Carl Edwards, who won this year's Sprint Cup event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, will be joined by #5-Mark Martin, #83-Brian Vickers and #12-David Stremme for a two-day Goodyear tire test this Wednesday and Thursday at LVMS. For Martin, it will be a chance to get acquainted with Hendrick Motorsports' #5 Chevrolet, which he will pilot in the 2009 season. Vickers will be in the Red Bull Toyota, and Stremme will be in his new Penske Dodge. Stremme has replaced Ryan Newman in the #12 car for next season. "These two days in Vegas are going to be, quite possibly, the two most important days of our 2009 season," said Alan Gustafson, crew chief for Martin. "With NASCAR's new ‘no testing' rule, we are very fortunate to have been invited by Goodyear to this test. This gives us two extra days on an intermediate track that only three other teams are getting. We need to maximize that time all we can." The race teams and Goodyear will be testing in preparation for the March 1 Shelby 427 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The test will be closed to the public.(12-10-2008)

  • More comments by Stewart about Goodyear; NASCAR's Helton responds: Monday night on "Tony Stewart Live" on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, hosts Stewart and Matt Yocum discussed the race this past Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the controversy over the performance of Goodyear's racing tires. NASCAR President Mike Helton was a guest on the show and discussed the issue with Stewart. The transcript below contains highlights from last night's show.

    Tony Stewart: "As much grief as I'm going to give them here in the next 15 minutes about what we had yesterday, they (Goodyear) have done some good things in the sport and they have had sparks of brilliance where we've actually had tires that were actually nice to drive on but I've been a part of the Cup series for 10 years now and problems of blowing tires and getting a bad set of tires, that problem the whole 10 years I've been here has never been resolved and never been fixed."

    Stewart: "I'm not overreacting about Goodyear tires. This was my opinion about what we had. I'm the only driver that is in all this that has raced in Sprint car and Midget racing, Silver Crown racing, modifieds, super modifieds, the IRL with Indy cars and stock cars. I'm one of the few guys that has run enough of this stuff to actually know what it is like to have driven for Firestone, to have driven for Hoosier tires, you name it. We've even drove for Goodyear in some of these series but what we had yesterday at this level of competition was not acceptable."

    Stewart: "We've complained for years on numerous occasions behind closed doors to Goodyear and the problem doesn't get solved. So maybe this was one of these cases where maybe finally something good will come out of this. And if it sounds like we're whining about it it's because we're trying to get their attention."

    Stewart: "For Goodyear to say that they were satisfied with that, if they truly believe that they were satisfied with the way the race went yesterday I'm more disappointed than ever. And I can't believe that NASCAR, at the end of the day, is truly, honestly, happy with the results."

    Stewart: "We invited Goodyear to come on [the show] and state their side of it two different times in the last 24 hours and they graciously declined. I think that basically covers what we're dealing with here. I still say the best thing they do in our sport is the trophy. They give the coolest trophy out every year. I will give them 100% credit for that. The gold car they give to the champion every year is one of the coolest things ever but to me that's where it stops. As this sport has evolved they've fallen further and further behind. I don't know what the solution is for it. I'm not a tire engineer. I'm not a tire specialist but whatever they've got going on there in the program they've got right now isn't sufficient to do what we're doing right now in this series."

    NASCAR President Mike Helton was a guest on last night's show and discussed the tire issue with Stewart.

    NASCAR President Mike Helton: "Tony, we're all well aware of your opinion and you're right to express your opinion, albeit, I think maybe a little bit too strong in this case. What NASCAR asks for Goodyear to do this year as we completely run this new chassis from racetrack to racetrack is, first and foremost, bring a safe tire, a tire that is safe for the competitors to race on. And then bring one that is durable. And certainly bring one that is consistent so that everybody up and down pit road has the same tire as they compete in the events every weekend. I think what we did have in Atlanta was a tire that did not fail and we had a tire that was safe from that aspect and that it delivered in an environment that is a challenge right now because we're going back to a lot of places in '08 with a new chassis, new configurations underneath them by the crew chiefs and the engineers that are throwing challenges at Goodyear. And Goodyear all along the way has stepped up. They have been responsible. They have made a major commitment to put the right tires under NASCAR's national series and we're proud of our relationship with them. That doesn't say we're not going to go into weekends - we have in the past, we will in the future - where there will be challenges and those challenges are what we do and what Goodyear faces and works to fix. And that is nothing unusual in NASCAR. But what we didn't have Sunday was a tire that blew, a tire that failed, a tire that caused a lot of cautions and a lot of incidents that we have had at racetracks, Tony, in your career and certainly in the years that I've been in NASCAR and been a NASCAR fan."

    Helton: "I think it is a little bit too much to blame whatever your opinion on Sunday was completely on Goodyear because we're all in this thing together, every crew member up and down pit road, every car owner, every driver, every supplier like Goodyear in the sport that wants it to do good, wants their product to be right. And I think Goodyear has made a commitment to that for NASCAR and for the competitors. Now that doesn't mean we're going to be exactly right every weekend. Sometimes NASCAR does things wrong. We make mistakes and we go back and we learn from them and we fix them. Goodyear's not perfect but they sure try hard and they're not trying any harder than they are today to put the right package together for us. If it's a hard tire in Atlanta when we come back they'll work on it just like we've done in the past when we've gone to races where you get out and think, 'Man, I wish we had a little bit different tire.' The one thing Goodyear does is they look, they listen and they respond and I don't expect them to do anything different in this case. Everybody that watched and was at that race yesterday in Atlanta, I think, will have to admit that it was a safe event. The tires did not fail and, oh by the way, NASCAR has been on Goodyear to harden them up a little bit so they would be durable and keep the corner speeds down with this new chassis. But we'll sit down with Goodyear and talk to them today. Working, actually this week, tomorrow, on the Darlington tires and that's an ongoing process between Goodyear and NASCAR and that won't stop. We work hard to make all the right decisions for the entire industry. And we're proud and pleased to be related with Goodyear. I think they do take their involvement in building race tires for NASCAR's national series very serious and take it very responsibly."

    Tony Stewart: "For an example for this weekend, we did the tire test - or it wasn't a tire test but it was a NASCAR open test in the fall last year when we ran for two days so we basically were at the track three days and then stayed over two more days to run the COT in Atlanta. And then we come back to the track and the week before we come back we're told as teams that all of a sudden we're going to be on a totally different tire and get the information on the tire a week before. Why do you think that Goodyear waited so long to make that decision when there weren't any problems at the tire test? What do you think made them make the decision to make such a drastic change between the tire that we tested and the tire that we ended up racing yesterday?"
    Helton: "Well, I do know that there was a tire test in Atlanta, that the tire did not wear all the way through a cycle and had some wear problems so they came back and did another test and created the tire that we used yesterday from those tests and from all the engineering they got from all of that, from the open test and from the two tire tests that they did in Atlanta. I don't know the exact flow of information as it might move around in the garage area and from Goodyear to the teams but I do know that this new chassis - we saw this last year [and] we're going to see more of it this year - where the setups that you put under these cars are still somewhat, I think, a work in progress and experiment. And what you can't get out of a tire test, I don't think, I think you can get one team's perception of a setup [and] you get a couple of teams' runs on a test or during a tire test, that doesn't necessarily fit the entire garage area as each driver and crew chief goes to try to build the chemistry underneath these cars setup-wise to make the driver comfortable and, oh by the way, to make the car go faster, because that's the nature of what you guys do. You want this car to go as fast as you can do it. And there's a comfort level that keeps you [from] going any faster sometimes and I think that's what we saw yesterday."
    Stewart: "You can understand from [NASCAR's] standpoint, listening to Mike, what their objective is and what they feel like Goodyear's objective is but I think they would feel totally different about it if we made every one of the high-ranking NASCAR officials ride in the right seat this past Sunday and feel what we felt. I think they might have a little different opinion about it."

    Stewart: "I do respect what Mike says and Mike's opinion is I'm overreacting about it. My opinion of it is I don't feel like I'm overreacting at all. I feel very strongly, not only myself but others voiced their opinions about it. I made mine clearer than everybody else, obviously. I think I've been more disappointed in the past 10 years in Goodyear than most of these guys have. I've dealt with them in different forms of racing and there is a consistent variable there that's disappointment in performance and I think that's what leads me to be a little more vocal and opinionated about it than some of the other drivers. My whole theory is maybe if we bark loud enough and long enough maybe the higher-ups will hear the barking and do something about it."

    "Tony Stewart Live" airs every Monday (8-10pm ET) exclusively on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, channel 128. Monday's show re-airs tonight at 11pm/et and Thursday at 10pm/et.(SIRIUS PR)(3-13-2008)

  • Jarrett backs Stewart's comments about tires: Dale Jarrett on Tuesday called on Goodyear to listen carefully to Tony Stewart's complaints about the tires the company has produced this season. Although some drivers believe Stewart went overboard in his criticism of Goodyear following Sunday's race in Atlanta, Jarrett said the manufacturer needs to start constructing a better tire for Sprint Cup racing. "I have no problem with what Tony Stewart said. I'm a huge supporter of Goodyear and all that they have done over the years, but somebody needs to wake up right now and listen to these guys," said Jarrett, the former series champion who is retiring following Sunday's race in Bristol. "We're talking about race drivers that have a huge amount of talent and very seldom complain about things like that."(see full Associated Press report for more)(3-12-2008)

  • Goodyear to use same tire compound at Texas as last year: Texas Motor Speedway officials were informed by Goodyear that the tire manufacturer will utilize the same tire compound that produced dramatic racing in both Sprint Cup Series races last season for the upcoming Samsung 500 on April 6. Following several driver complaints at Sunday’s event at Atlanta Motor Speedway where the new Sprint Cup car (formerly the Car of Tomorrow) competed for the first time, Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage reached out to Goodyear because that Speedway Motorsports, Inc. sister track is nearly identical to TMS. Both are 1.5-mile ovals with 24-degree banking in the corners, among the fastest tracks on the circuit and play host to the new car for the first time in competition. “I called Goodyear and they told us they never planned to use the same tire they used in Atlanta for our upcoming race,” Gossage said. “The tire they will use for the Samsung 500 will be effectively the same tire they used in Texas last year, and those two races resulted in a last-lap pass in April and a side-by-side duel for the lead down to the finish in November. Both the left-side and right-side tires will effectively use the same compound as in 2007, but with a slightly different construction for the new car. The engineers feel quite good about their plans.” Once again as Gossage did last week with NASCAR, he will make Texas Motor Speedway available to Goodyear should they be interested in additional testing prior to the Samsung 500. Sprint Cup drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Clint Bowyer participated in a two-day Goodyear test Jan. 15-16 at TMS.(TMS PR)(3-12-2008) Comment here

  • Goodyear Statement on Atlanta Race Tires; Based on Goodyear’s tire testing at Atlanta last August, October and December, we provided what we believed were the best possible products for the races this past weekend. We had no tire failures and no problems with heat or wear. We supplied the same tires for both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, and received zero complaints about our tires after the Nationwide race on Saturday.
    We believe that our engineering, research and tire development is second to none. We accept that drivers will have their own opinions about our tires. NASCAR president Mike Helton told us Monday that "NASCAR is very grateful for the commitment Goodyear has made on behalf of building a good and safe product for our competitors, including this past weekend at Atlanta. NASCAR stands by our relationship and is proud to have Goodyear as a partner."
    Even though both Goodyear and NASCAR were satisfied with the tire’s performance in Atlanta, if the drivers are not happy, then Goodyear’s not happy. Now that we know how this tire combination performed, we’ll go back and retest for the fall race. We have the same goal as the drivers and NASCAR: to put the safest, best performing tires on these cars.
    There will be many instances this year when the new car is on a particular track for the first time, as was the case in Atlanta. That makes it tougher than usual to get a read on how the tires will perform. But if there is ever any doubt about the recommendation, we will always err on the conservative side.
    Finally, we would like to correct an erroneous comment made by Tony Stewart. Goodyear decided to leave other racing series only because of the escalating costs of competition in those series. At least one other tiremaker has done the same. For Goodyear, the enormous investment required to compete in those other forms of racing far outweighed the benefits derived from our participation. We see tremendous benefits in our 54-year relationship with NASCAR as the organization’s longest continuing supplier. We remain fully committed to, and are proud of, our relationship with NASCAR.(Goodyear PR)(3-10-2008)

  • Atlanta Motor Speedway Goodyear Tire Comment: Following the Kobalt Tools 500, Ed Clark, president and general manger for Atlanta Motor Speedway, spoke with Stu Grant, General Manager Global Racing Tires for Goodyear. "Following my conversation with Stu Grant, I have pledged to make our track available to Goodyear to come to AMS on an as needed basis to get the proper compound they need before the October 26 Pep Boys Auto 500," said Clark. "We will do everything possible from our end to help make sure that we have the best tire compound available when the Sprint Cup teams return this fall."
    Tire Talk - Drivers Point Fingers at Goodyear for Poor Tire Selection Drivers were still not happy with their Goodyear Eagles after climbing from their Sprint Cup cars following the Kobalt Tools 500, perhaps none were more unhappy than two-time Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. "That was the most pathetic racing tire that I've ever been on in my professional career," Stewart said. "They (Goodyear) exited out of Formula One. They exited out of IRL. They exited out of World of Outlaws and there is a reason for that. Goodyear can't build a tire that is worth a crap. If I were Goodyear, I would be really embarrassed about what they brought here. I guarantee you Hoosier of Firestone or somebody can come in and do a lot better job than what they are doing right now."
    Goodyear marketing manager Justin Fantozzi said Goodyear officials were not disappointed with their selection for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500. "We are tremendously proud of the wear rates we saw here," Fantozzi said. "We have a defined development for this particular tire that started in August with a test here in Atlanta." When asked if there are changes in store for the tire Goodyear will bring back when the Cup Series returns to AMS in October, Fantozzi said they have a defined process that is followed. "We'll do the same thing we do after every race. We have post race data now, so we will go back to Akron, Ohio and sit down with engineers and see where that leaves us for the October race. Driver comments are part of the data set we use when selecting tires, so we will gather input there as well."
    Georgia Power NASCAR Sprint Cup Pole winner Jeff Gordon didn't have rave reviews about Goodyear's tire selection either. "I felt like I was going to crash every single lap," Jeff Gordon said about his run. "I'm exhausted right now. I feel like I've run a thousand miles here. That was the hardest day I have ever had at Atlanta, especially for a top-five finish. This car, this tire, at this track was just terrible."(AMS Pit Notes)(3-9-2008) Comment here

  • Goodyear Satisified with Atlanta tire: Despite some complaints from competitors this weekend, Goodyear marketing manager Justin Fantozzi said he was pleased with the tire his company brought for competition in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “I was not pleased at our open house test last fall, and that’s why we came back in December,” Fantozzi said. “Now what we have is a right-side tire that’s harder for better durability and a left side that has better grip in it.” Tony Stewart was highly critical of the tire Friday after qualifying, and other drivers echoed his concerns Saturday after practice. “We’re on the edge,” Gordon said. “It’s a handful. We’re all sliding all over the place.” Michael Waltrip agreed that the tire was a handful, but he saw that as a positive. “That’s what racing is all about,” Waltrip said. “Before, whatever you could give that car, it could take. But now a driver can give it more than it can take, and you have to finesse it. So, yeah, you’re sideways and slipping all over the place, but it should make for some fun racing.” While the drivers can’t agree how the new tire will affect competition Sunday, it has obviously slowed the cars dramatically. Jeff Gordon’s pole run Friday was 185.251 mph – more than eight mph slower than last spring’s pole run by Ryan Newman. “This tire makes it harder to get a hold of,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said after qualifying second Friday. “You can’t enter the corner nowhere near as fast as you used to.” Fantozzi said Goodyear is continuously looking for a better tire, and that won’t change now. “We’re never stagnant, we’ve got a whole crew of engineers back at the shop that you never see, analyzing data and working on next year’s tire,” Fantozzi said. “But at the end of the day, we always err for safety.” (AMS Pit Notes)(3-8-2008) Comment here

  • Goodyear's Holmer to retire: After 32 years with Goodyear Tire, most spent as field manager for NASCAR racing events, Phil Holmer will retire after today's Daytona 500, his 40th overall. "It'll be my last day with the company," Holmer said. "I guess that's kind of corny, isn't it." Rick Heinrich, who will replace Homer as field manager, said his 65-year-old boss cannot be replaced. "Mighty big shoes to fill," Heinrich said. "He's been the face of Goodyear for NASCAR for 30 years. He's going to be greatly missed."
    "It won't be the same without Phil around," said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications. "If he has an enemy in the industry, I don't know him, because everybody likes him."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-17-2008) Comment here

  • Tire problems not expected: At least two teams that had issues with tires blistering Thursday are still scratching their heads a little bit on whether the tires will be good for Sunday, but NASCAR doesn’t anticipate major problems in the Daytona 500. “Thursday showed us a huge improvement [over earlier practices] and every practice since then, it keeps getting better,” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said Saturday after the final Cup practice. “To make a statement that all the blistering is totally gone, that would be false. … It’s rescinded enough that I think we’re more than fine for the 500 on Sunday.” Darby said he didn’t see a need for a competition caution to check tire wear. A green-flag fuel run lasts about 41-44 laps at Daytona. Tire issues have cropped up for several teams during the week, and at least four teams had problems in the qualifying races Thursday. The temperatures Sunday should be about 10-15 degrees warmer than Thursday, which should result in slower speeds and less blistering. “Hotter temperatures means the driver has got to lift earlier,” Darby said. “It may relate into speed, but what it really means is they’re not charging the corner as hard, they’re not abusing everything as much. When the track starts to lose grip, you can’t.”(SceneDaily.com)(2-17-2008) Comment here

  • Latest on the blistering tires: Some Sprint Cup teams are still reporting blistering of right-side tires after practice Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway. A full fuel run is 41-44 laps, and teams have shown signs of blistering before then. Blistering of tires during the Budweiser Shootout Saturday night affected cars that had about 33 laps on them, and not all of those were under green-flag conditions. “A lot of guys have made some progress and improvements and there are still a few guys still struggling, trying to find answers,” said Goodyear program manager Greg Stucker, who didn’t have an exact number of teams that had trouble with blistering Wednesday. “[The blistering] is a little less severe than what we saw during testing and than they were early in the week. People were trying different things with suspension and setups.” The cool temperatures Wednesday might have contributed to the blistering because speeds were faster than they would be on a hotter, slicker track. “It appears this car doesn’t fall off a lot,” Stucker said. “It’s consistent.”(SceneDaily.com)(2-14-2008) Comment here

  • Tire blistering confirmed: Goodyear Tire and NASCAR officials confirmed there was tire blistering during Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout, but assured competitors the problem is correctable. "We saw some signs, up and down pit road, of excessive heat on the right front and right rear (tires) and some blistering," Goodyear's Rick Heinrich said Sunday before Daytona 500 qualifying at Daytona International Speedway. #38-David Gilliland spun and hit the wall late in the Shootout because of tire blistering. Other accidents were the result of mechanical issues or contact between cars, according to Goodyear engineers. The tire problem, said Sprint Cup Series director John Darby, was a "worse-case scenario" as far as racing conditions for the 70-lap sprint race, won by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Darby said Saturday night produced optimum speed conditions. The more speed, the more heat builds in the Goodyear racing tires. "It was nice, cool air, night time racing, maximum grip in the racetrack, all those things," Darby said. Goodyear tested at DIS in September to find a competitive tire compound and design for the Daytona 500. Heinrich said Sprint Cup lap speeds have improved by more than one second since those fall test sessions. The blistering problem popped up during Preseason Thunder in January. Heinrich said Saturday's fastest cars, including Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Earnhardt, had no issues. "Their tires were very clean," Heinrich said. "They have looked really good." Heinrich said Goodyear engineers are in the process of assisting the teams that showed blistering Saturday night. Darby said NASCAR will monitor the tire situation and doesn't expect blistering issues for next weekend's Daytona 500.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-11-2008) Comment here.

  • Tire issues at Daytona: #99-Carl Edwards told reporters tire blistering appeared to be an issue with the new race car on Tuesday. Edwards said his Ford experienced blistering with its right front Goodyear tire. #5-Casey Mears blew a right front tire before his Hendrick Motorsports Chevy car brushed the wall. #41-Reed Sorenson blew a right rear tire and spun his Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge. "I believe every set we've put on that's (blistering) been the limiting factor in single car runs and in the draft," Edwards said. "I don't think it's a function of the draft. We have worked with the camber a little bit and gotten it better. That's the No. 1 issue right now." Goodyear's Rick Heinrich acknowledged issues with tires. "We have a new car and we have a new tire and what these test sessions are all about is for the teams to experiment and get dailed in and to figure out where they need to be when they come back for Speedweeks," he said. "Right now we've got, some of the teams have got a lot of heat in the right front tires and we have seen some blistering but then what the situation is from there is it's up to the team to make adjustments and improve on that condition." #19 Gillett Evernham Motorsports Dodge driver Elliott Sadler said his team also experienced some blistering but he wasn't concerned. "I think this is a normal issue in winter testing until we get some rubber down on the race track," he told reporters. "By the time we have the 24-hour race and stuff like that, there will be plenty of rubber down, we'll slide around a little bit more and tire problems will take care of themselves."(Florida Today)
    AND Despite a bunch of blistered Goodyear tires Tuesday in Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway and one crash that might have been a result of that issue, NASCAR vice president for competition Robin Pemberton said don't expect any tire changes before Speedweeks 2008. Pemberton said teams were using a different tire at Daytona than was used in the COT's previous outing on a similar racetrack, last October at Talladega Superspeedway. He said the Daytona tire had "more stagger," or more circumference from the right to the left side to aid the cars' turning.(NASCAR.com)(1-9-2008)

    2007 News

  • Goodyear going to slightly softer tire for some 2008 races: While some drivers have said that Goodyear needs to change the tires to help teams with the Car of Tomorrow, a Goodyear official says changes for next season will be slight. Rich Heinrich, product manager for Goodyear, says that tires will be slightly softer to provide more grip at intermediate tracks. The Car of Tomorrow, which ran in 16 races this season, did not run on such tracks this season. Heinrich said that the tire company is likely to keep the same tires that were used at COT races this year for next season.(Roanoke Times)(11-15-2007)

  • Goodyear and NASCAR use RFID tags to track racing tires: When NASCAR cars and trucks hit the racetrack for the 2008 season, they’ll be outfitted with Goodyear tires imbedded with passive UHF RFID tags. The unique ID numbers in the RFID tags will help Goodyear keep track of the thousands of tires it leases to NASCAR racing teams, and they’ll also help NASCAR track down any racers who’ve illegally tampered with their tires.(Modern Materials Handling)(10-19-2007)

  • Softer Tire at LMS: Goodyear likely will bring a softer tire for the October race at Lowe's Motor Speedway and is looking at even softer left-side compounds for when the car of tomorrow [COT] hits that track next May. The track, resurfaced in 2006, has posed problems for Goodyear, which has had to bring a hard tire to keep from having tire failures. "We ran the softer left-side in October, and then with the larger fuel cell, we went a little tougher again in May," said Goodyear engineer Mark Keto. "We're going to go back to last fall's left sides, at least that's what it looks like." Four teams tested at the track last week for next season with the car of tomorrow. "We were trying to see how they react - we were looking to see if we could get them more grip," Keto said. "We tested some left sides but mostly rights. It was just kind of a first look at what the car was going to do. They ran comparable speeds to what the current car ran in May. We're trying to get a better understanding. We haven't seen a lot of track time on the intermediate speedways." Keto said that the next intermediate track COT tire test will be Aug. 21-22 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Tentatively scheduled for that test are #29-Kevin Harvick, #9-Kasey Kahne, #36-Jeremy Mayfield and #7-Robby Gordon, Keto said.(SceneDaily.com)(8-12-2007)

  • Testing changes coming soon? hearing that Goodyear and NASCAR are getting closer to changing the tires/testing policy and will start selling tires to teams to test. Currently teams lease tires from Goodyear at the track for races NASCAR sanctioned tests, but teans must use old Goodyear tires stockpiled or another brand such as Hoosier to test.(7-5-2007)

  • Goodyear officials say tires performed as expected: While several drivers complained about the hard tire that Goodyear brought to Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600, the manufacturer said that the performance of the tire in the race was in line with expectations. Sunday night's race showcased an unusual number of cut tires, an official said, as well as a heat problem causing #16-Greg Biffle's tire to fail. Several drivers complained about various aspects of the tire, raising concerns varying from inconsistency from set to set with the tires to complaining about the hard compound that made it tough to get any grip on the track. Goodyear brought a harder left-side tire than drivers saw at the track in the fall to make sure that the tires held up on the track that was repaved prior to the 2006 season. While drivers understood the safety concession, that didn't stop the comments. Goodyear officials, though, maintained that the race played out as expected. "Tire performance was exactly what we expected from a wear and temperature perspective," Greg Stucker, director of race tire sales said. "In fact, Kurt Busch ran the first 140 laps of the race on a single set of tires. There were an unusually high number of cut tires during the Cup race -- we counted seven. In addition, several tires were damaged by contact and we had one melted bead as a result of excessive brake heat on the #16 [of Biffle]."(SceneDaily.com)(5-28-2007)

  • Tire Companies looking to step up testing tires for NASCAR: Michelin-subsidiary B.F. Goodrich is stepping up its NASCAR testing plans, according to Cup teams, with a new program to test NASCAR-type tires at non-NASCAR big tracks in order to develop better NASCAR-type tires. And Hoosier tire is trying to sign a top Cup team or two to help it develop better NASCAR-type tires too, according to crews.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-25-2007)

  • Goodyear will seek tire-testing changes: NASCAR limits tires for Nextel Cup testing, barring teams from using Goodyears except at the seven major authorized tests. So, teams have made side deals with Hoosier and Michelin subsidiary B. F. Goodrich for test tires. Stu Grant, Goodyear’s racing boss, said he plans to talk with NASCAR about changing the tire-testing rules “to try to find a solution to this thing, because what we’ve got now is not a good situation. “The whole testing thing has to be addressed, because the teams are not happy. They’re asking me for tires, and I cannot supply tires.”(Winston Salem Journal)(5-24-2007)

  • Tires to be watched at Atlanta: The tire story began to develop in the Craftsman Truck race Friday night, when many tires showed signs of blistering and chunking. The problem, if anything, became more pronounced during the Busch race, which puzzled some of the veterans. It rained here [Atlanta Motor Speedway] into Friday afternoon, leaving a green track. Normally, however, a race and a few practice sessions lay rubber in the track, making the asphalt more accommodating to the tires. Not so Saturday, some said. "We'd wear the right rears to the cords, and 10 laps at the end of the race—the tire wear kept getting worse as the race went on, which is unusual because it usually gets better," #17-Matt Kenseth said." Equally odd was that Goodyear beefed up the right-side tires in Trucks and Busch. It also will run a different, presumably harder, set on the Cup side Sunday. NASCAR anticipated the trouble, allowing Busch teams to purchase an extra, seventh set of tires and ordering a caution around lap 35 so teams could have a look. Throughout the race, however, teams pulled off tires worn to the nylon, especially on the outside shoulders. Cup teams, which made final practice before the Busch race, made long runs and noticed serious wear as well. "I'm nervous about tomorrow," #99-Carl Edwards said. "Our tires weren't holding up as well on the Cup car as they were on the Busch car today." Goodyear officials, who took much criticism for their Flintstone [Hard Tires....like rock] tires last week at Las Vegas, were ready with a defense Saturday, noting that Truck and Busch teams lost practice time to the rain Friday. "They has limited practice time, and a few didn't get dialed in," Goodyear rep Carole Swartz said after consulting with company engineers. "[Plus] the track was greener up high, and if they got high on the race track, the wear got higher." It's likely NASCAR will order some kind of stop for tire examination early in Sunday's race.(source: Ford Racing)(3-18-2007)

  • Goodyear waiting for NASCAR's ok to sell test tires: In a casual conversation outside the new Neon Garage at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Stu Grant, General Manager Global Race Tires at Goodyear, revealed there have been talks with NASCAR about selling tires to NASCAR Nextel Cup race teams specifically for testing. "Last year Mike Helton told us they would allow us to sell some tires to race teams for testing sometime in 2007," Grant said. "I am just waiting for them to tell us when." Faced with buying tires from Hoosier, General and yet unnamed manufacturers, teams have been lobbying Goodyear for their help in convincing NASCAR that development of the new COT demands they use Goodyear rubber at test sessions.(CircleTrackPlus.com)(3-9-2007)

  • Goodyear and NASCAR Extend Agreement: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and NASCAR jointly announced on Saturday that they have signed an extended agreement for Goodyear to continue as the exclusive tire used in NASCAR’s top three racing series for the next five years. The agreement through 2012, naming Goodyear the “Exclusive Tire Supplier” of NASCAR’s Nextel Cup Series, the NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, was signed in front of more than 2,000 attendees at the 2007 Goodyear Dealer Conference. Goodyear Chairman and CEO Bob Keegan, Jon Rich, president of the company’s North American Tire business, and Mike Helton, NASCAR president, delivered the news to Goodyear’s customers. “This extension of the more than 50-year relationship of two American icons is one that we are extremely proud to announce,” said Rich. “Nothing says racing like NASCAR, and Goodyear has been recognized as the longest-running sponsor of the sport. We plan to have our Eagle tires in the winner’s circle for another 50 years.”
    “Our longtime relationship with Goodyear is a testament to the company’s consistent high-quality tire it supplies the race teams,” said Helton. “Goodyear has been a vital partner, which has been essential to NASCAR’s side-by-side competition.” Goodyear has had an uninterrupted commitment to NASCAR since becoming a race tire supplier in the 1950s. This relationship has become one of the longest-running supply programs in any sport. Over the last 50 years, Goodyear has worked to bring innovation to its racing products, which, in turn, has helped foster heightened competition on the track. Since it first began supplying tires to NASCAR, Goodyear tires have logged 1,410 NEXTEL Cup (and formerly, Winston Cup) victories, and the number continues to rise. As a further extension, Goodyear takes innovations and cutting-edge technology from the race track, and applies that technology to tires that consumers use on streets and highways. Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. The company manufactures tires, engineered rubber products and chemicals in more than 90 facilities in 28 countries around the world. Goodyear employs more than 75,000 people worldwide. For more tire information on Goodyear tires, go to www.goodyeartires.com.(NASCAR/Goodyear PR)(2-3-2007)

  • Hoosier race tires do not mock Goodyear's models: The Hoosier racing tire that some Nextel Cup teams are using in testing is not being made to specifically mock a Goodyear tire, a Hoosier executive said Saturday. "As far as lateral forces go and spring rates and those kinds of things, I wouldn't have a clue [how they match]," said Dennis Sherman, Hoosier vice president-marketing. "I know they don't match up dimensionally and I also know that they have different staggers." Sherman said he could not estimate how many tires his company has sold to Cup teams. Cup teams cannot purchase Goodyears to test at non-NASCAR-sanctioned sessions. Sherman said Hoosier has had no recent discussions with NASCAR about building tires for Nextel Cup. He said he would still entertain the idea.(SceneDaily.com)(1-28-2007)

    2006 News

  • Goodyear, Strikers Reach Tentative Deal: Thousands of striking workers are preparing to review a tentative deal between Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and the United Steelworkers union to resolve an 11-week dispute over health care and plans to close a tire factory in Texas. About 12,600 union workers in the U.S. and another 1,400 workers considered inactive, including those on layoff, will be able to vote on the contract Thursday at ratification meetings in their communities. The world's third-largest tiremaker and the union reached the deal after both sides resumed talks in Pittsburgh early this week. The strike began Oct. 5. The deal allows Akron-based Goodyear to stick with plans to close the plant in Tyler, Texas, but not immediately. It provides for a one-year transition period during which workers will have the opportunity to take advantage of retirement buyouts. The plant employs 1,100 workers.(Associated Press)(12-24-2006)

  • Goodyear Strike hits NYC Awards Celebration: Striking Goodyear tire workers and their supporters are demonstrating against the company in New York City, in conjunction with NASCAR's Champions Week celebration. The action started on Wednesday and is scheduled to continue through Friday, when the awards ceremony is held at the Waldorf-Astoria, according to a press release. The release asks: "Will defective tires make their way into Goodyear stores or on NASCAR tracks in 2007?" Goodyear workers went on strike on Oct. 5, though the stoppage did not affect any of NASCAR's series this season. The strike by members of the United Steelworkers union has sparked rumors that NASCAR was considering rival manufacturer Hoosier as a tire supplier for next season. Officials from both NASCAR and Goodyear have said that isn't the case.(SceneDaily.com)(11-30-2006)

  • Hoosier back in NASCAR if Goodyear strike continues? UPDATE 2 denied: An Oct. 5 system-wide strike by some 15,000 United Steelworkers union members at 16 Goodyear Tire and Rubber manufacturing plants might have provided Lakeville, Indiana-based Hoosier Tire and Rubber a chance to get rolling again in NASCAR's three top racing divisions, sources close to the situation said. A meeting between Hoosier and NASCAR occurred last week at the latter's Daytona Beach headquarters to establish a contingency plan that likely will kick into action by the end of November so that NASCAR's Nextel Cup, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series will have race tires on which to compete after the sanctioning body's first event of the 2007 season at Daytona International Speedway. Presently, non-striking Goodyear workers -- most of whom normally perform white-collar duties -- are at full-tilt-boogie in producing enough tires to satisfy demand for Daytona Beach's Speed Weeks at NASCAR's 2.5-mile "home" track. But it's Goodyear's inability to meet demand for the rest of the 2007 race schedule that has caused concern at NASCAR. For 2007 Goodyear currently sees itself as producing tires only for Nextel Cups three biggest races held at Daytona, Charlotte and Indianapolis. With roughly a three-month lead time needed for manufacturing lines to ramp-up and complete tire production, such leaves Goodyear needing to settle the dispute with its workers no later than about the end of next week so that tires can be made ready for the February 25, 2007, California Speedway race. "From everything I've heard," said one well-placed Wall Street insider consulted for this story, "Goodyear is looking to outsource the manufacture of its product in the long haul." See full story at Motorsport.com.(11-16-2006)
    UPDATE: Goodyear officials have indicated NASCAR race tire production has not been affected by the strike. 2007 race production is on schedule.(11-17-2006)
    UPDATE 2: While there has been little progress made between tire manufacturer Goodyear and United Steelworkers union members, rumors that NASCAR is looking to Hoosier for tires in 2007 aren't true, officials with both Goodyear and NASCAR said. Approximately 15,000 USW members went on strike at 16 Goodyear plants in the U.S. and Canada, sparking rumors that Goodyear would not be able to provide race tires for NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series next season. Talk that Hoosier officials were having meetings with NASCAR officials at the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., as well as NASCAR's Daytona Beach headquarters did little to quell the rumors. "We talk to someone from Hoosier probably every week," Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president of corporate communications, said Nov. 17. "Hoosier supplies tires for a number of NASCAR's regional series. They supply tires for Grand Am, for ARCA as well." But, he said, such talks have not dealt with Hoosier providing tires for either Cup, Busch or Craftsman truck series teams.(SceneDaily.com)(11-22-2006)

  • Latest on Goodyear Strike: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and the striking United Steelworkers of America are heading back to negotiations. The company and the union on Thursday announced they will meet, possibly as early as next week. Goodyear first announced Thursday morning it was sending its negotiators to Cincinnati, where talks had been taking place up until 15,000 Steelworkers went on strike Oct. 5, and hoped the union would join them. In the afternoon, the USW said it was willing to talk as well. Goodyear has placed its latest contract proposal to the Steelworkers on its negotiations Web site, www.goodyearnegotiations.com. As part of the company's release of its third-quarter earnings report Thursday morning, Goodyear Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Keegan told financial analysts that the company now preferred to directly address its 15,000 striking Steelworker employees. The previous three-year contract expired July 22, but was extended on a day-by-day basis until early October when negotiations broke down. Goodyear is losing $30 million to $35 million a week in operating income because of the strike, Keegan said.(more at Ohio.com)(11-12-2006)

  • Goodyear workers to strike? UPDATE 2 Racing not effected: United Steelworkers of America, which represents about 13,000 hourly Goodyear employees, says that because it sees no progress in the talks [negotiating on a new labor contract] taking place in Cincinnati, it will end a day-to-day contract extension as of 1 p.m. Thursday. Meanwhile, the Akron tire maker and the union say they will continue talking. Sticking points include Goodyear wanting the ability to close what it calls costly, less productive U.S. plants, while the USW has been insisting that union plants remain open and that the company protect pensions and retiree health care.(see more at Ohio.com)(10-4-2006)
    UPDATE: The United Steelworkers of America went on strike at 1:00pm [Thursday] against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., saying the company is not offering a fair and equitable contract. The union, which represents about 13,000 hourly workers at 12 Goodyear plants in the U.S., last went on strike against the Akron tire maker for 19 days in 1997. The union also staged a four-hour walkout in 1994. Also affected are an estimated 2,000 workers at four Goodyear plants in Canada. Pickets were being set up in front of Goodyear's corporate headquarters.(see more at Ohio.com), no word on how or if this would effect Goodyear's Racing tire operations with NASCAR.(10-6-2006)
    UPDATE 2: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company's supply of racing tires -- including tires for NASCAR's three main series -- is unaffected by the recently announced strike by the United Steelworkers. “There is no issue whatsoever with our supply of tires to NASCAR, NHRA, and for the SCCA Runoffs,” said Stu Grant, general manager of global race tires. On Thursday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m., the United Steelworkers declared a strike against Goodyear. It involves production at 12 U.S. plants, including the Akron Technical Center Manufacturing facility, where all of Goodyear’s Eagle race tires are produced. However, with current inventories and contingency production plans in place, race tire supply will not be impacted as the race season winds down.(Goodyear PR)(10-7-2006)

  • Goodyear Cites Strong Performance at Lowe's Test: Comments by Greg Stucker, Goodyear director of race tire sales and marketing: "We saw exactly what we expected from our Goodyear Eagle tires on the first day of NASCAR's open test for Nextel Cup cars at Lowe's Motor Speedway, and we are very pleased with the results. Our choice of tire for this NASCAR-sanctioned open test is the tire picked during our recent tire tests at Lowe's and, based on data and driver input, it also will be used during the two weekends of racing later in May at the newly paved track. Comments by some people at the open test indicate concern that our tire recommendation is conservative. They're right! We were very conservative in our choice and that was intentional. Lowe's is a very fast track with new pavement that will generate a lot of grip and a lot of heat. We felt we had to select a very conservative tire to accommodate that. Lap times, however, are on par with those of last year. On the first day of testing, Jeff Burton, for example, made a 35-lap run and his fastest lap was the 34th. We are very pleased with tire appearance and treadwear. All indications are that going a full gas stop with either the traditional full-size fuel tank, like the Busch cars will use, or the smaller mandated tank for the Coca-Cola 600 would be no problem. Yes, the tire is different and may require adjustment by teams and drivers from what they've run at Lowe's in the most recent past. We came with a completely redesigned right side tire. It utilizes a new mold shape to address the tremendous loads that we measured at our test last fall. This, combined with the harder tread compound, gives the conservative setup. It reduces grip, but it resists heat and treadwear. It is absolutely the right choice."(Goodyear PR)(5-5-2006)

  • Goodyear Tire Update for LMS: A successful second Goodyear race tire test was held Tuesday, April 4, on the new track surface at Lowe's Motor Speedway in preparation for the May NASCAR races, according to Goodyear race tire engineers. Data collection and driver input confirmed the choice of tougher, more durable tire compounds on the right and left sides which reduced grip, slowed lap times, reduced tire temperatures and wear, noted Rick Campbell, team leader for NASCAR tire development. The new tire construction is exclusive to the Lowe's track. Drivers Kevin Harvick and Dale Jarrett both were pleased with the tire performance. Lap times indicated there could be a slower race pace than anticipated, as compared to a week-earlier test held with Harvick, Bobby Labonte, Scott Riggs, Jimmie Johnson and Bobby Hamilton Jr. The tires ran cool and the rate of tire wear indicated by the test is expected to exceed a normal fuel stop, as evidenced by Jarrett's test run of more than 80 laps on one set, which could have gone farther. NASCAR Nextel Cup open team testing with the new tires is scheduled for May 1-3.(Goodyear PR)(4-8-2006)

  • Goodyear to test again at Charlotte UPDATE: Goodyear officials confirmed Thursday that it will conduct another tire test at Lowe's Motor Speedway next Tuesday, a week after a two-day test on the newly resurfaced 1.5-mile oval. Rick Heinrich, project manager for Goodyear, said Wednesday that the tires showed a little more wear than Goodyear would have liked, but that could be expected as Goodyear attempts to create a compound that will work on the track. Lowe's Motor Speedway underwent a $3.5 million repaving job after tire problems plagued races there last season. Track president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler said it is too early to predict whether tire wear will be an issue during the May races. All of the Nextel Cup teams are scheduled to test May 1-3 and then Busch Series teams will test May 8-10. "It's going to be a challenge, and I'm not sure that we really are going to now exactly what we've got as far as the track is concerned until we have all of the cars come in here in early May," Wheeler said. "We have no idea right now about a second groove because everybody is staying down low."(SceneDaily.com)(3-31-2006)
    UPDATE: Goodyear is planning to do a second tire test at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Dale Jarrett and Kevin Harvick will test there Tuesday.(Roanoke Times)(4-1-2006)

  • Tire Problems today at Atlanta? The Golden Corral 500 has a chance to be like other Nextel Cup races in Atlanta, where tires aren't a problem the day following a Busch Series event where tires weren't totally dependable. But the race Sunday afternoon also could turn into a debacle as it did in Charlotte last October. Ryan Newman and Kyle Busch suffered tire blowouts in the Busch Series race Saturday at Atlanta, sparking memories of the tire-plagued races in Charlotte last year. NASCAR Vice President Robin Pemberton said the spring Atlanta weekends traditionally have tire issues early in the weekend but they fade as more rubber gets on the track. But there are two differences this year: Teams were not allowed to test at the track in the months leading up to the race and the chance of rain Sunday could rid the track of any old rubber. Goodyear Director for Race Tire Sales and Marketing Greg Stucker said he did not hear of any major problems during Nextel Cup practice Saturday. Pemberton said teams didn't hit 50 laps on a practice run, so it's hard to predict if there will be issues in the event today. Stucker said the tire this weekend is a new tire for Atlanta, the result of a tire test in January conducted by Newman's Penske Racing South teammate Kurt Busch. Greg Biffle, who had problems on his first run in the Busch Series race with his tires wearing down to the cords, said the tire is not the issue. Pemberton said Saturday night that there had been no decision on whether to throw an early competition caution in the race.(SceneDaily.com)(3-19-2006)

  • Tire War coming? Another Goodyear-Hoosier tire war may be brewing behind the scenes, with reports that Hoosier engineers are testing new tires with Nextel Cup teams and trying to baseline those tires on some specific compounds and designs, to mimic the Goodyears. One test was reported to have been held in the past week or so at Kentucky Motor Speedway, and the next test is reported to be scheduled for Nashville, both apparently with Dodge drivers. It is unclear which NASCAR Cup teams might be running the tests with Hoosier, and Hoosier's Bob Newton could not be reached for comment.(more at the Winston-Salem Journal)(3-13-2006)

  • Tire Leasing deal still questioned: After the first two races of the 2006 Nextel Cup season, questions still abound about NASCAR’s controversial tire-leasing program designed to help level competition. Instituted in conjunction with the rule limiting testing dates at Nextel Cup tracks, the tire-leasing plan is aimed at keeping teams from using Goodyear tires at non-NASCAR designated test sessions. Teams are now forced to lease tires rather than buying them as they have in the past. Supposedly this lessens the advantage multicar teams had enjoyed in testing. Last week at California Speedway, Goodyear leased each race team six sets of tires for practice and qualifying, but did not issue race tires (10 sets per team) until final practice was completed. To further eliminate any potential for unapproved use of Goodyears, the tire manufacturer has installed computer chips in each tire to keep track of inventory. In cutting back on the umpteen number of test sessions in previous years, Cup teams are now permitted to test just six times per season. So far, teams have tested at Daytona Beach and Las Vegas in January [see my Testing News page for other scheduled tests]. Some teams have found a way around the tire-leasing restriction by testing Hoosier tires at non-NASCAR designated testing venues. Hoosier radials aren’t at all similar to the Goodyear component used in Nextel Cup, but could give teams a slight advantage by allowing for additional testing.(in part from the Boston Herald)(3-6-2006)

  • Tire Leasing Problems? UPDATE: NASCAR's new tire-leasing rules could be doomed for early failure, judging from teams' reactions. Car owners aren't happy at getting only a 25 percent billing credit on any unused $400-plus tires, so some are scuffing every set they have, leaving Goodyear with only used tires at the end of a weekend. The tire-leasing rules were designed to limit testing, but Robert Yates' team said it has enough tires stockpiled for at least 20 tests this season.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-16-2006)
    UPDATE: Could it be possible Goodyear has come up with the first true cost saving measure team owners can't circumvent? CircleTrackplus.com has learned the new leasing program actually pays a rebate to car owners at the end of the year. More to the story as it unfolds.(CircleTrackplus)(2-17-2006)

    2005 News

  • Goodyear's 2006 NASCAR Tire Lease Program to Deploy RFID Technology: Goodyear will start the 2006 racing season with a new tire leasing program for NASCAR's top three series and racing's first deployment of Radio Frequency Identification technology (RFID) in the form of an imbedded computer chip in the tires to help manage the leased inventory. The RFID technology will assist in the implementation of NASCAR's new controlled testing procedures which were developed by the sanctioning body to reduce private team testing next year in an effort to level the playing field for all teams. The new tire lease program will get its own test run this weekend at Homestead -Miami Speedway with the Craftsman Truck Series race. The RFID scanning equipment will quickly read the pertinent information imbedded in the sidewall of the tire. Dedicated Goodyear specialists will be on site at all races with a specially equipped transporter to run the program. Goodyear began exploring RFID technology in 1984 and in 1993 began the first field trial with more than 3,000 tires. The Goodyear Racing Division chose to launch that technology to help manage race tire inventories for the 2006 NASCAR season. Some Q&A about Goodyear's NASCAR Tire Lease Program and RFID Technology about Tire leasing:
    Q: How will the leasing program impact race teams for tire supply and cost?
    A: The teams should save money under this tire leasing program, because there will be reduced tire usage-the teams will use fewer test tires. Tire supplies at race events will remain the same.
    Q: Does a team get reimbursed for tires they leased but didn't use during a race event?
    A: Yes. Goodyear will issue a partial credit for unused, but Previously Mounted Tires that teams leased for the race. Used tires will be scrapped with no credit given.
    Q: What happens to the dismounted, unused tires?
    A: The previously mounted tires will be cleaned, identified as PMTs and then made available to NASCAR teams to lease at a discount for either race or test events.
    Q: How was it decided to implement tire leasing in 2006?
    A: Goodyear initially was asked by NASCAR to implement tire leasing for the 2007 race season. However, in mid 2005 NASCAR asked if we could move it up, and Goodyear was able to commit to the earlier date.(Goodyear PR)(11-19-2005)

  • Goodyear to test at Lowe's UPDATE: Goodyear has a tire test scheduled Wednesday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., with a team from Evernham Motorsports. Goodyear officials want to do a test to collect data before work is done on the track to understand why so many teams had tire problems there a couple of weeks ago.(Roanoke Times)(10-29-2005)
    UPDATE: Goodyear booked track time Wednesday evening at Lowe's Motor Speedway to gather data on its tires following what took place in the UAW-GM 500 at the track on Oct. 15. In that race, blown tires led to numerous crashes and caution flags. In the aftermath, track president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler has defended the track's surface that was smoothed using a diamond-grinding machine. Scott Riggs drove an Evernham Motorsports-owned Dodge in the test, which ran from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Riggs will drive for Evernham's team next season. Goodyear officials were hoping to better understand what happened last month and also to collect data that could be used in comparisons after the track is repaved next year. It was testing three tire compounds, including the one used in both races at LMS this year.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-3-2005)

  • Bridgestone/Michelin looking to get into NASCAR? When Goodyear's exclusive contract with NASCAR runs out, apparently at the end of 2007, both Bridgestone and Michelin are expected to bid for the new deal.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-31-2005)

  • Goodyear test at Homestead last week: Goodyear conducted a tire test last week at Homestead in preparation for the season finale November 20. Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte and Jeff Green tested a variety of tires, but it's likely Goodyear will run the same compound the teams use at Texas. Burton says, "It's a challenge for Goodyear to find the perfect tire because the entry of the corners is a lot different from other tracks because of the multiple grooves and the variable banking." Goodyear says it will offer a product that has more grip.(Sporting News)(9-19-2005)

  • New Tire at Pocono: Goodyear officials are reviewing the tire situation at Pocono and likely will decide this week whether to introduce a new tire for the second Pocono race July 24. Problems were not associated with this tire combination during tests or the race at Las Vegas, but there were plenty of problems June 12 during the Pocono 500. Goodyear's Rick Campbell says there still is time to change the tire combination for the next race at Pocono. Ricky Rudd, who had six cut tires at Pocono, says the tunnel turn at Pocono became rough over the winter. "It was like driving over a brick on the highway," he says. Rudd says he expects changes to be made in the track's surface.(Sporting News)(6-20-2005)

  • Not a good week for Goodyear: in light of the numerous tire problems with Goodyear at Pocono, this couldn't had been good news, at least no one was hurt: A Goodyear blimp crash-landed Thursday night in an industrial park, authorities said. The two people on board were not injured. The "Stars & Stripes" blimp went down shortly after taking off from Pompano Beach Air Park [FL], where it is based. Both people onboard were trapped briefly while electrical crews cleared the site, authorities said. The blimp lost most of its helium and was draped across some orange self-storage units in the industrial park. It's nose remained pointed into the air. Bad weather may have forced the blimp down. There were thunderstorms in the area at the time, authorities said. The Federal Aviation Administration was investigating. "It went right over our building and was making really loud noises," said Maryann Clark, general manager of a nearby restaurant. The blimp is one of three Goodyear blimps based in the United States. Goodyear leases about 32 acres at the air park as a blimp base, according to the park's Web site.(and see pic at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(6-17-2005)

  • Goodyear called to the trailer UPDATE: Goodyear officials were called to the NASCAR trailer after 11 drivers blew out a total of 22 left front tires Sunday at Pocono. Goodyear product manager Rick Heinrich said Goodyear engineers noticed several setups that "were very abusive to the left front outside shoulder" of the tires and that low air pressure could have compounded the problem. "It's never the tires' fault, is it?" says crew chief Fatback McSwain, whose driver, Ricky Rudd, was the victim of six cut tires.(Sporting News)
    AND Goodyear field manager Rick Heinrich blamed most of the problems on a combination of overly-aggressive chassis setups and running over the rough rumble-strip curbing at the inside edge of the tunnel turn.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND II see a large story dealing with the tire problem at Speedtv.com: Tire Failures: More Questions Than Answers.(6-13-2005)
    UPDATE: Goodyear officials are scheduled to talk this week with NASCAR officials about the tire problems in Sunday's race at Pocono Raceway. Several teams had flat left front tires during the race. Ricky Rudd said he lost five tires. Kurt Busch blew a left front. Ryan Newman crashed after his left front blew late in the race. Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost two tires. NASCAR officials met with Goodyear officials after the race. "I've been at it a long time and never seen anything like that,'' Rudd said after the race. Greg Stucker, director of race tire sales and marketing for Goodyear, says a combination of issues created the problems. He cited teams not running recommended air pressure, excessive camber (the amount a tire is tilted), and the rumble strips in turn 2. Stucker said Tuesday morning that Goodyear was examining what went wrong and if it needed to build a new tire for the Pocono race July 24. He said a decision would be made soon. "Our biggest concern is that the second Pocono race is not very far away,'' Stucker said. "The last thing we want to do is overreact to something. We certainly had a serious situation, but we don't want to do something that is going to make the situation worse. So, we're trying to get as much information as possible." The tire used at Pocono on Sunday was new to the track. Stucker said the tire had a stiffer sidewall and a different compound. The tire also is scheduled to be run again at Bristol in August.(Roanoke Times)(6-15-2005)

  • No more buying tires? UPDATE: A NASCAR spokesman confirmed Thursday that the sanctioning body could require teams to lease tires instead of buy them during race weekends, with the long-term purpose of limiting testing. NASCAR representatives have been in contact with Indy Racing League officials about a similar policy it uses in the IndyCar Series, spokesman Jim Hunter said. Under current IRL rules, teams are supplied with between seven and nine sets of tires for an event, depending on its distance, and a maximum of 35 sets for Indianapolis 500 activities during May. At the end of each event, teams must return all of those tires. For each of four open tests and three engine test dates allowed under IRL rules, teams can lease tires from Firestone. Again, all tires must be returned at the end of the tests. If NASCAR teams weren't allowed to buy tires from Goodyear specifically for testing and couldn't keep the ones they bought during race weekends, either, that would be one way to restrict testing to limits set by the sanctioning body. Hunter said NASCAR is still only considering such a move and added it would not be something it would adopt in the middle of a season.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-6-2005)
    UPDATE: Goodyear officials confirmed that NASCAR has proposed a "lease" situation under which teams would not buy tires, per se, but would instead lease them from Goodyear. The idea is to limit the number of tires available to teams for testing, and thus to reduce testing, period. Teams still would pay the going price for a set of tires, about $1600, but all tires, used and unused, would be returned to Goodyear after each race. A similar rule is in place in IRL/IndyCar, for similar reasons. Teams often hoard unused tires for future track tests, with testing being a major expense.(Speed Channel)(5-8-2005)

  • Michelin looking to becoming tire supplier: Michelin, through its B.F. Goodrich subsidiary, has expressed official interest in becoming a tire provider for the major NASCAR series, but the ruling body’s chief operating officer, George Pyne, said, “Nothing is imminent.” Pyne said any change in tire providers would not occur within the next two years, stressing that NASCAR was “loyal to Goodyear.” The tire company’s stock was trading at $11.87 per share on Friday, below the $20 at its 2002 high, but better than most of the years since. J.P. Morgan recently upgraded its investment rating for the company, which announced in February it was projecting a 2005 fourth-quarter profit.(Gaston Gazette)(4-30-2005)

  • More Tire Troubles UPDATE fixed: Tire trouble that cropped up in practice for the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway resurfaced again for several drivers in drafting practice Wednesday. Goodyear flew seven tires to its headquarters for further examination after initial assessment showed no common factors among the six tires with problems. In some cases, the tread pulled away from the carcass of the tire, and trouble cropped up as quickly as 15 laps or after as many as 40, said Greg Stucker, a former engineer who now serves as director of race tire sales and marketing. The company's best guess, Stucker said, is that the trouble comes from a combination of a new compound being used this year, which might cause the tires to retain extra heat, and car setups that put extra pressure on either the right front or right rear tire.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(2-17-2005)
    UPDATE: Goodyear seems to be finding a solution to what could have been a tire crisis at Speedweeks. After at least six Goodyear tires blew in practice this week, officials from the tire manufacturer flew samples from several production batches to its facility in Akron, Ohio, on Wednesday, where an overnight examination found a tendency in some tires for the tread to separate from the casing. "There was a slightly lower level of adhesion between the tread and the top fabric ply on the tires that experienced problems," said Goodyear manager Stu Grant. Tire company employees then recalled all the tires from those production runs, but at least 600 of the 900 tires had already been run on the track with no problem, Grant said. Most drivers reported no problems with tires during Thursday's qualifying races.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-18-2005)

  • Tire Problems at Daytona UPDATE 2: A potentially serious tire problem with Goodyear's new Daytona 500 tires developed last night during the first hours of SpeedWeeks practice for tonight's Bud Shootout kickoff, and some drivers, according to crews, are "scared." [this was noted during Speed Channel's coverage of Budweiser Shoot practice when #8-Earnhardt Jr. and #19-Mayfield cut down tires and #01-Nemechek, the fastest, showed heavy tire wear, all were the right rear]. Greg Zipadelli, the crew chief for Stewart, says the problem of delamination includes both right-rear and right-front tires, indicating to him that it's not a chassis problem but a tire production problem. Tommy Baldwin, crew chief for #9-Kasey Kahne, says the problem also apparently included a left-rear tire problem with at least one tire on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car, indicating a more widespread issue. "It looks like a delamination problem," Baldwin said. "But it seems we always have a little problem in practice but never in the race. We'll see Saturday. Hopefully we don't. But it could be a serious problem all week." NASCAR's John Darby said Goodyear engineers were studying the problem. "We've had probably five or six isolated issues," Darby said. "Goodyear is still checking into it, and we'll meet with them in the morning."(Winston Salem Journal), Noticed and mentioned during Speed Channel's coverage of Budweiser Shoot practice, the 'Goodyear' yellow letters are much larger this year on the tire.(2-12-2005)
    UPDATE: Complaints about tire problems during the first two [Bud Shootout] practice sessions led Goodyear to pull about 300 tires from circulation Saturday. The tread from #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s tire split during the first practice session Friday, and #01-Joe Nemechek had nearly the same thing happen in the second session. Goodyear engineers lined up all the serial numbers of the tires it had distributed to teams and discovered the ones that had problems came from the same batch. So the company pulled all the tires from that batch as a precaution. Goodyear said it was investigating why the tread was splitting, and officials stressed to teams that there will not be a tire shortage leading up to the Daytona 500.(ESPN.com/AP)(2-13-2005)
    UPDATE 2: The tire problems encountered by several Nextel Cup teams last week appear to have been remedied. The problem involved treads that were slightly separating from the tires. At high speeds, the slight separations became major. Goodyear engineers determined that all the problem tires were from the same batch. The tires were replaced, and there have been no problems since.(Kansas City Star)(2-14-2005)

  • Goodyear out? Michelin in? Goodyear has been a stalwart on the NASCAR tours for decades, but rumblings are getting stronger that NASCAR is considering a major change in its tire-supplier contract. Michelin is rumored to be in line for the exclusive deal in the next year or two. NASCAR people are still talking about Goodyear running out of tires for last year's 24 Hours of Daytona, a faux pas that was probably a key in the France family's switching to Hoosiers for this year's 24 Hours.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-27-2005)

    2004 and before

  • Firestone in NASCAR? UPDATE 2: on Monday's WInd Tunnel with Dave Despain [Speed Channel 10:00pm/et], Robin Miller reported that Firestone supposedly will test a Truck Series truck or Busch Series car in 2005 with a Toyota engine and Firestone tires, similiar to what Scott Pruett did in the early 1990's, where he tested Firestone tires for a full season. Goodyear has a contract with NASCAR thru the 2007 season, so Firestone couldn't come in the Cup Series until 2008.(10-19-2004)
    AND see the full column by Robin Miller at Speed Channel - Bridgestone/Firestone to begin NASCAR initiative.(10-20-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Goodyear has an exclusive deal with NASCAR to supply tires for its top three professional series through 2007, but there are reports Bridgestone/Firestone and B.F. Goodrich are interested in supplanting Goodyear. Stu Grant, general manager for Goodyear's worldwide racing program, isn't surprised by the interest. "Look at what's going on in racing," he said. "NASCAR is where everybody wants to be." NASCAR officials say that having a single tire supplier makes racing safer and they have no interest in starting another tire war such as the one that raged between Goodyear and Hoosier before the exclusive deal was signed in 1995. As for the possibility of changing tire suppliers, NASCAR spokesman Mike Zizzo said only, "We have a great relationship with Goodyear. It's very satisfying and a continual benefit to the sport."(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(10-22-2004)

  • Some tracks to get new rubber in 2005: Rich Heinrich, Goodyear's product manager for stock cars, says teams can expect new tires in 2005 for all tracks longer than New Hampshire (1.058 miles) to help compensate for the shorter spoiler the Cup cars will have. An open test will be offered to teams in January at Las Vegas and California to test the new tires. "The whole effort is to add mechanical grip to the car, which can be accomplished by changing both the compound and construction of the tires," Heinrich says. Drivers who tested the new tires at Las Vegas, Bristol and Charlotte reported the tires improved the balance of the cars.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(11-1-2004)

  • Key Dates in Goodyear History: Highlighting the accomplishments of Goodyear engineers and Goodyear-equipped racers:
    Nov. 6, 1988 - Alan Kulwicki, racing on Goodyear tires, wins the first race in what is now the NASCAR Nextel Cup ever held at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Nov. 9, 1974 - Gerard Larrousse and Henri Pescarolo co-drive their Goodyear-shod Matra-Simca 670B to victory in the six-hour race at Kyalami, the final race of the World Manufacturers Championship season. Larrousse is crowned the driving champion and Matra wins the manufacturers title.
    Nov. 15, 1965 - Craig Breedlove's rocket-powered car rides tires prepared by Goodyear and becomes the first land-based vehicle to surpass 600 mph. Breedlove's record speed was 600.601 mph.
    Nov. 15, 1987 - Gerhard Berger collects Goodyear's 200th Formula One victory when he wins the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide.(PR)(10-31-2004)

  • Tire Shortage at Atlanta? Teams were grumbling yesterday about Goodyear's tire shortage at Atlanta Motor Speedway, something they say they expected, with the end of the season looming and Goodyear switching to a different Atlanta tire next season. Crews had the Goodyear compound surrounded yesterday afternoon, begging for more tires and trying to make deals with rivals for tires. And the situation was becoming increasingly angry. Some team tire men said things will get better as the weekend goes on, with tire wear improving during the race. Neither NASCAR nor Goodyear had any plans to ration tires. Teams are free to buy and sell tires at will after they've gotten their allotment from Goodyear, so multi-car teams, such as the Rick Hendrick and Jack Roush operations, should be in much better shape than smaller operations.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-31-2004)

  • Goodyear Dusputes Claims: Goodyear's Rick Heinrich disputes suspicions some Cup teams have raised about tires on the Cup tour and said Goodyear has made no design changes to its intermediate track tires all season. Questions about a number of blown right-front tires at Charlotte last weekend and worries about similar problems next weekend at Atlanta have been raised here this weekend by crews and drivers. #9-Kasey Kahne, #17-Matt Kenseth and #77-Brendan Gaughan were among the Charlotte drivers blowing right fronts. Kahne was dominating the race when his right front blew with 100 miles to go. "We may never know exactly what happened with that specific tire, but we've shared some things we've seen with them," Heinrich said of Kahne's tire. "The problem at Charlotte wasn't chronic. We have had talks with those teams that had problems this week, and we've had some good conversations with those teams. The vast majority of teams didn't have problems."(Winston Salem Journal)(10-24-2004)

  • Firestone in NASCAR? UPDATE 2: on Monday's WInd Tunnel with Dave Despain [Speed Channel 10:00pm/et], Robin Miller reported that Firestone supposedly will test a Truck Series truck or Busch Series car in 2005 with a Toyota engine and Firestone tires, similiar to what Scott Pruett did in the early 1990's, where he tested Firestone tires for a full season. Goodyear has a contract with NASCAR thru the 2007 season, so Firestone couldn't come in the Cup Series until 2008.(10-19-2004)
    AND see the full column by Robin Miller at Speed Channel - Bridgestone/Firestone to begin NASCAR initiative.(10-20-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Goodyear has an exclusive deal with NASCAR to supply tires for its top three professional series through 2007, but there are reports Bridgestone/Firestone and B.F. Goodrich are interested in supplanting Goodyear. Stu Grant, general manager for Goodyear's worldwide racing program, isn't surprised by the interest. "Look at what's going on in racing," he said. "NASCAR is where everybody wants to be." NASCAR officials say that having a single tire supplier makes racing safer and they have no interest in starting another tire war such as the one that raged between Goodyear and Hoosier before the exclusive deal was signed in 1995. As for the possibility of changing tire suppliers, NASCAR spokesman Mike Zizzo said only, "We have a great relationship with Goodyear. It's very satisfying and a continual benefit to the sport."(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(10-22-2004)

  • Tire Problems Addressed UPDATE: Tire problems at Indianapolis during the Brickyard 400 drew the wrath of NASCAR's Bill France Jr., who has told Goodyear he plans to enforce minimum tire air-pressure standards. NASCAR inspectors are to roam the pits checking tires, and France is threatening to park for two laps any team found with low air pressure. Crews drop tire pressure to make cars handle better.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-1-2004)
    UPDATE: NASCAR officials have apparently backed off from plans to monitor tire air pressure on pit road. NASCAR's Bill France Jr. and Goodyear executives talked about just such a move, according to NASCAR sources, following major left-side tire problems at Indianapolis that marred the Brickyard 400.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-4-2004)

  • Hoosier back in NASCAR? Hoosier Tire might return to one of NASCAR's top three series [Cup/Busch/Cup]. That was the buzz in the garage after Hoosier successfully outbid Goodyear, by a rumored $1.1 million, to supply tires to the Grand American Series, which NASCAR vice chairman Bill France Jr. has an interest in. One garage source said: "Hoosier may be OK for the ARCA series, but they're far from being ready to make a commitment to Cup." If Hoosier did return to one of NASCAR's top three series, the company would have to to supply tires for the entire garage.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(8-9-2004)

  • Special Goodyear Logo at Indy: Goodyear is showcasing its 50th anniversary of NASCAR racing this weekend at the Brickyard 400 Nextel Cup race with a special one-race, limited edition logo tire in Sunday’s event. On the Eagle tire sidewall, the usual #1 decal designation after the word “Goodyear” will be replaced with a four-color logo designed by popular race artist Sam Bass to commemorate the long-standing, successful relationship between Goodyear and NASCAR. “This is the first time our race tire sidewall has appeared with a commemorative logo in our racng history,” said Stu Grant, general manager of global race tires, “and we felt it was an appropriate way to mark this great milestone.”
    It was in 1954 at Darlington Raceway that Goodyear began unofficially testing its Police Special tires for stock car racing. A couple years later, Petty family patriarch Lee Petty took to a quarter-mile asphalt track in West Palm Beach to officially test the company’s first purpose-built Stock Car Special racing tire.
    In a 1990 interview, Petty recalled, “They (Goodyear) came to us ‘cause we won most of the races. We stayed down there a couple days, and they must have found out something. They were still learning, don’t you know.” Goodyear did know something. Tim and Fonty Flock posted Grand National wins in the mid 1950s, followed by Jim Reed at Darlington in 1959, averaging 111.836 mph. From there, Goodyear slowly rose to the top of the heap with its Blue Streak Specials besting tire competitors and registering wins. Today, the company’s Eagle tires are closing in on 1,300 victories in the premier Nextel Cup series.
    Goodyear’s 50th anniversary is being celebrated with advertising and marketing programs, along with a renewed commitment to the sport where Goodyear has been the official tire since 1997 for NASCAR’s Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck series.(Goodyear PR)(8-8-2004)

  • Tire Test at Daytona AND: Goodyear conducted a tire test last week at Daytona to determine what tire compound NASCAR will use for next year's Daytona 500. "We wanted to improve the wear of the tire for Daytona," says Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager of worldwide racing. "It may be a little softer than what we're using now, but we're going to wait and see what the rules are for 2005, and we'll react after discussing it with NASCAR. A new tire also could be introduced for Darlington and Bristol next year.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(5-31-2004)

  • Goodyear planning no changes UPDATE: Goodyear's Rick Campbell, a veteran NASCAR tire engineer, said that, despite some complaints about less-than-thrilling on-track action with NASCAR's new soft tire-low downforce package this season, Goodyear's plans won't change. In large part, Campbell said, that's because tire production is not something that can be quickly reorganized. "Our year is pretty clearly defined already," Campbell said. "We have to look pretty far ahead. It would be pretty difficult for us in the middle of April to respond to a change in the next month or two. We're pretty pleased with where we are right now. We like our track groupings (of new tires)." The possibility of simply dropping the soft tire and reverting to last year's hard-tire package "hasn't even been brought up as a possibility," Campbell said. After the 500-miler at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4,some teams were asking for quick changes, for more downforce on their cars to improve handling and make for more passing. There has been no passing this season because drivers are reluctant to move their cars close to each other.
    But NASCAR is expected to go the other way, and take another half inch of downforce away from the rear spoiler, cutting perhaps another 100 pounds off the cars for the Auto Club 500 on May 2 at Fontana, Calif.
    Campbell said he would prefer that any announcement on such downforce issues come from NASCAR, but he said such a move wouldn't affect the tire Goodyear plans to run at California Speedway, which is the same tire used at Atlanta and Texas.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-16-2004)
    UPDATE no spoiler changes anytime soon: There’s been some stories of late indicating that Goodyear was ready to change tire compounds and that NASCAR was going to be trimming spoilers, possibly as soon as the upcoming California event in two-weeks time. The stories, however, seem to be based more on garage talk rather than what either named party has planned. Goodyear engineers laugh at the notion that there will be any changes in compound coming from their camp before the end of the year. Goodyear’s Phil Homer reminded those in attendance, today, that the number of tires needed to run a Cup event require a long lead time. “Last week we worked on what we’ll need for Chicago,” said Holmer. “That shows we’re looking further down the road than the next few weeks.” NASCAR’s John Darby shook off the report that he was going to order a round of spoiler trims before the next California event. “Nothing at this point has changed in regards to our plan,” Darby said of his aero-reduction plan that he’s undertaking this year in the Cup garage. There is talk that NASCAR might trim spoilers later in the year, after a cycle through the tracks, but nothing would come sooner than the July 11, Chicago event, if even then, according to Darby.(Ford Racing)(4-17-2004)

  • More Downforce? Now there is talk that Goodyear may be under pressure to let NASCAR add more downforce to these cars and keep the same soft-tire line. That would make any tire engineer very nervous. Goodyear officials won't say just what they're talking about with NASCAR executives right now in discussions of the single-file racing. Could Goodyear OK NASCAR adding more downforce to these cars with this tire package, and not risk the tires blistering or tearing apart? Goodyear calls such a question "premature."(Winston Salem Journal)(4-6-2004)

  • More on Tires: Goodyear officials say increased downforce on the cars and different setups have led to tire problems. Goodyear has altered the tire compound this season for all tracks except Darlington and Rockingham. Goodyear officials say the right-side tires at Daytona are a harder compound than last year. The left-side tires are the same. Some crew chiefs say the tread is peeling during a run. Competitors are concerned what tire wear will be like today since rain Saturday washed the rubber off the track. That will make the track more abrasive early.(Roanoke Times)(2-15-2004)

  • Tires.....Goodyear... Tire wear has emerged as a major concern in the Nextel Cup garage this week as teams prepare for Sunday's Daytona 500. Chad Knaus, crew chief for Jimmie Johnson, said in a Daytona Beach newspaper on Thursday that he wondered if Goodyear might be trying to hurt drivers with the tire construction, but backed off that comment during a television interview during the Gatordade 125s. Scott Riggs did blow a right-front tire in his 125-miler and several other teams said they were worried about tire wear on the right-side tires, especially the right front.
    "We've seen some pretty significant wear in some cases," Goodyear's Greg Stucker said Friday. "Some cars are perfectly fine, others have struggled a little more. Our engineers are working with everybody to make sure we have the setups under the cars that are going to be right for the Daytona 500." Stucker said the tire compound being used here this week is actually harder than it has been in past years, but this year's tire has a more flexible sidewall that makes them feel different. "Some people have gotten pretty well dialed to the setup, others are still struggling with it or still searching for the right combination that's best for them," Stucker said. "There's one tire but there are a lot of drivers and a lot of different setups. More guys struggling with getting the balance than we expected. A lot of guys are very happy out there and they're looking at the rest of these guys who are struggling and saying 'very good.'"(ThatsRacin.com)(2-14-2004)

  • Goody's Re-Ups with NASCAR: Goody's Headache Powder and NASCAR announced the renewal of Goody's status as the "Official Pain Reliever of NASCAR" - a title it has held for the past 27 years. Of NASCAR's current 2004 official sponsor roster, Goody's Headache Powder is the longest serving, non-automotive sponsor of NASCAR. In addition to maintaining its status as the "Official Pain Reliever of NASCAR," Goody's will continue its long-running sponsorship of the the Goody's "Extra Strength Award" presented to the highest-finishing eligible driver in the NASCAR Busch Series as well as the Goody's "Headache Award" presented during MRN race broadcasts to the driver/team who experiences the biggest "headache" as a result of the day's racing activities in the NASCAR Busch Series.
    Beginning this year, Goody's will also present the "Goody's Fast Relief Zone" at selected tracks on the NASCAR circuit, offering fans an interactive and engaging respite. The Goody's Fast Relief Zone will feature free Goody's samples, chilled water, portable misters on hot days, racing-themed activities, and games where fans can win prizes such as a chance to climb in a race car and drive around the track at the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
    The Goody's Relief Zone will be available at ten events this season at the following five venues: Atlanta Motor Speedway (March 13 & 14, October 30 & 31), Bristol Motor Speedway (March 27 & 28, August 27 & 28), Lowe's Motor Speedway (May 21 & 22, May 29 & 30, October 15 & 16), Texas Motor Speedway (April 3 & 4) and Richmond International Raceway (May 14 & 15, September 10 & 11).
    In addition to its 27-year history with NASCAR, Goody's is also the official pain reliever of Petty Enterprises. Goody's announced in October 2003 that Richard Petty had signed on for another two years to continue as the brand's spokesperson. Richard Petty, who personally uses Goody's, has been the face of the product for nearly 25 years. Petty will once again appear in electronic and print advertising, point-of-sale and instore materials and direct mail pieces. He will also sign autographs in the Goody's Fast Relief Zone at selected events.
    In 2004, Goody's will share title sponsorship with NASCAR for the "Fun Walk On Track for Charity" at three Speedway Motorsports tracks, Bristol, Texas and Lowes Motorspeedways. Proceeds from the events will benefit Speedway Children's Charities and the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, NC.(NASCAR PR)(1-28-2004)

  • Tires Changing in 2004: Goodyear plans to produce an entirely new line of tires for the 2004 season, company officials revealed Tuesday, in response to NASCAR's trim of the rear spoilers on the cars. The intent of the new car spec is to reduce reliance on aerodynamic grip and increase the utility of mechanical grip, thus, in theory, putting the racing more in control of drivers and teams. NASCAR and Goodyear have worked closely on the project since early this year. There had been speculation that Goodyear could accommodate most of the change by shuffling some of its current tire codes, but Rick Campbell, Goodyear's lead engineer in NASCAR, said the company will offer a clean sweep of the D-codes, which designate left- and right-side tires at each race. The changes are not major in most cases, Campbell said, with recompounding in most cases to produce a softer, grippier tire. For the past three seasons, in response to immense aerodynamic downforce developed by teams and manufacturers, Goodyear had hardened the tires until they had virtually no give-up at all. The change offered by NASCAR is a 3/4-inch reduction of the rear spoiler height. NASCAR estimates that the change could take away 75 to 100 pounds of rear downforce, which the teams likely will recover in time. NASCAR says it will consider further cuts. The main change for Goodyear will be in its left-side sets. That, Campbell said, will help with the loose feel in the cars as a result of diminished rear downforce. However, he added, "We will not carry over one single code into next year. This is a new construction package that's been under development the last year or so," Campbell explained. "It gives a driver a very progressive, very easy to drive kind of fee, not a knife-edge situation where you're constantly jumping back and forth between loose and tight."
    The first group of the new tires will be tested on the new surface at Homestead, Fla., next Tuesday and Wednesday, likely with teams not involved in the points race. If all goes as planned, the new tires will be used in the Homestead races Nov. 14-16.(Speed Channel)(10-23-2003)

  • Goodyear Explains Tire Flap at Dover: Goodyear Tire officials on Friday blamed a mismatched set of tires for any problems reigning Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart had in the final laps of the Sept. 21 Winston Cup race at Dover, Del. Following the race, in which Stewart finished third but could not make up ground on the race leaders after a late-race pit stop, Stewart lashed out at Goodyear, accusing the tire manufacturer of costing him a chance at victory.(see full story at ThatsRacin.com)(10-4-2003)

  • More on Tires: Last week’s Dover International Speedway tire problems are again the talk in the garage here at Talladega Superspeedway. Dover is traditionally one of the tracks where allegedly inconsistent tires become the post-race issue for the teams that fail to reach Victory Lane. With so much at stake for each team it is not unexpected for those with unattained top-10 hopes to complain, but it is also important to know what’s being discussed.
    Albeit unofficial, the problem, according to several high-profile crew chiefs, deals with the tire vintage uncorked at the abrasive Dover track last week. Specifically, the wide differences in tire build dates left some teams scratching their heads. The tires allegedly carried production tags and codes representing tires three weeks old or nine months old or maybe even 18 months old. And it is generally accepted that a newer tire compound more effectively sticks a car to the track than an older tire.
    The tire specialist from the Motorcraft Ford team countered, however, that reading the codes is not rocket science. “It’s getting a little overblown,” said the tire engineer. “All the information is right on the tires.”
    The tire engineer continued, telling TFR that he could see that there were a number of tires from various tire runs and that he was able to identify and match sets to prevent or minimize any surprises. Other teams found a scapegoat for the weekend performance.
    “Where the problem lies is that an older tire will amplify any problem that you have with a car — or if it’s pushing a little with a new tire it will absolutely plow with an older one,” said one of the Ford crew chiefs. “Same with a loose car — or if it’s a little loose on new tires it’ll want to snap around on the driver in a heartbeat on old tires.”
    Another crew chief told TFR that he’d bought 17 sets of tires trying to find five good sets in the lot. “And we threw away four of those sets. They were totally useless to me or anyone in this sport,” the irritated crew chief said.
    A NASCAR source told TFR today that beginning in 2004, when Goodyear brings out a new softer compound tire, a date code will be stamped onto the tire as part of the production process. The NASCAR source also said that he understood “the good business sense” that Goodyear is using in clearing out their warehouse of the aging tires before they become obsolete.(Ford Racing)(9-29-2003)

  • Tire contract explained: from Speed Mail on Fox Sports by Jeff Hammond, since I been asked, here ya go: "Teams do have a contract with Goodyear, like a Joe Gibbs. I'm sure they are on some kind of bonus program with Goodyear because he has two past champions. Does everybody get in on the deal? No, it doesn't work out that way. And yes, NASCAR does get paid by Goodyear to be the official tire of NASCAR. Are any other companies allowed to be involved? No. NASCAR restricts involvement. A few years ago, we did have another company involved, Hoosier. It didn't work out quite like NASCAR wanted it to so Goodyear is the tire manufacturer for Winston Cup and NASCAR. With that being said, Goodyear works very, very hard to keep what happened at Dover from happening again. They work very hard to fix that problem. It's just a tough part of our game."(FoxSports)(9-29-2003)

  • Goodyear’s NASCAR tire program continues on target: “The overall performance of our Goodyear’s Eagle racing radials in NASCAR’s top three series this season is right on target. The cornerstone of that program is the design and production of a safe, high-quality tire that meets NASCAR’s criteria for demanding racecars and diverse tracks, and provides the broadest possible compatibility with the particular driving styles of all 43 Winston Cup drivers on any given race weekend. To ensure absolute fairness, the tires are distributed at random to teams under strict guidance of NASCAR officials. Goodyear’s reputation for race tire quality is well grounded. Every Winston Cup tire produced in our Akron, Ohio, Technical Center Manufacturing facility undergoes rigorous quality control procedures before it leaves the plant. “Our company takes that responsibility very seriously. For the last year, we have even placed a fulltime race tire engineer at the NASCAR R&D center in Concord, NC, to ensure that Goodyear and NASCAR work together seamlessly as the sport evolves. Last weekend, Dover race winner Ryan Newman described the Goodyear tires as “awesome,” after running the same set through the final 106 laps. However, also at Dover after finishing third, Tony Stewart voiced his displeasure with our product. While we appreciate that he is a dedicated, passionate driver, we don’t take such comments lightly and we fully intend to investigate his concerns. “This week, our engineers will be talking with him and his team to get into the actual data.(Goodyear PR)(9-25-2003)

  • Michelin vs Goodyear? Denied: Michelin is testing NASCAR-type stock car tires in Europe, according to sources familiar with the situation, and that may revive speculation about the future of the French tire maker in NASCAR racing. But Stu Grant, head of Goodyear racing, dismisses any talk about another tire maker infringing on NASCAR turf: 'Absolutely not. We're full-speed ahead on our relationship with NASCAR. We're committed to our involvement to Winston Cup, Busch and Truck. And I don't see anything changing in that at all.'(Winston Salem Journal)(7-14-2003)

  • Goodyear Not Leaving NASCAR: Stu Grant, head of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company's racing program as general manager, global race tires, said this week that Goodyear has no intention of leaving NASCAR. With the parent company struggling financially, reports have been circulating since late March that Goodyear would drop its racing division as a cost cutting measure. Goodyear is involved in several different types of racing and has been the sole supplier of tires for NASCAR's three major series, Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman truck, since 1997. But essentially, Goodyear has been the only tire in stock car racing's top circuit since 1974, when Firestone withdrew from the sport. Hoosier invaded the Winston Cup Series briefly in 1994, but left after one year [Jayski Note: Hoosier also was in Cup 1988-89]. "We have no intention of getting out of NASCAR, in fact, we have a renewed commitment here," Grant said. "We have a five-year contract (through 2007) with NASCAR. Reportedly, Goodyear's corporate leadership has ordered its marketing department to start making better use of the racing program, and a bevy of marketing people were on hand at Charlotte last week. Still, some in the NASCAR garage remain a bit uneasy about Goodyear's situation, and competitors are appearing on the periphery of the sport. In March, Michelin sponsored the spring race at Darlington, which created a furor when Goodyear was never mentioned during the telecast of the event. And Yokohama recently became the official tire of Infineon Raceway (Sears Point). Others point out that while Goodyear does indeed have a long-term contract with NASCAR, it could sell its rights to another company and despite all the talk about a renewed committment to the sport, Goodyear has cut back on its testing. Specifically, Goodyear reportedly will not test at New Hampshire, which is being repaved, or at Homestead, where a major construction project is underway to dramatically change the corners. A source close to NASCAR said it already has a contingency plan in place should Goodyear suddenly drop out. Most likely, that involves Firestone, which has the engineering experience necessary to produce racing tires for ovals.(Lakeland Ledger)(5-29-2003)

  • Goodyear Looking to save $$? Saving money is apparently the goal behind Goodyear's proposed plans to bring its entire race-tire distribution program in-house. Five different distribution companies handle Goodyear's Winston Cup distribution operation.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-28-2003)

  • Goodyear NOT leaving NASCAR: Goodyear Officials say there's nothing to talk about the company looking for a way out of NASCAR, a topic of speculation over the weekend. Adding fuel to the fire was an ad buy by Michelin on the FOX broadcast, making Michelin a presenting sponsor of the event. Goodyear has been in the financial wringer the past few months, with financial losses, layoffs, and a much-publicized reorganization. The last Goodyear was in trouble, during the 1987-88 buyout attempt, [NASCAR's Bill] France reached for the phone and invited Hoosier Tire into the game, setting off two costly tire wars (1988-89 and 1993-94). There was speculation that Michelin's ad play arose, perhaps, from just such an invitation, with NASCAR seeking to ensure a reliable supply of tires. According to Goodyear, not so. Goodyear's contract with NASCAR as exclusive supplier is through 2007 and was renewed last fall. Michelin? "They're a South Carolina company [U.S. operations based in Greeneville, S.C.], and that's just the way they play," marketing director Rick Heinrich said Friday. "They like to jab at us. We'll jab back when the time is right."(Speed Channel)(3-18-2003)

  • Michelin? Goodyear in trouble? UPDATE: Winston Cup tire men are asking why Michelin was suddenly a NASCAR tour sponsor, something unexpected and unexplained. Goodyear has a contract to be the sole supplier of tires for NASCAR racing. But some teams are becoming worried about Goodyear's financial problems and the possible impact that could have. Of all the things it takes to put on a race, tires are the most indispensable. And the last time Goodyear's fate was in question - in the late 1980s when the company was a takeover target - NASCAR made a deal with Hoosier Tires' Bob Newton to provide race tires.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-15-2003)
    UPDATE: the race at Darlington, the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400, will be referred to by Fox TV as the NASCAR Winston Cup race Presented by Michelin - in yet another example of how sharp and bitter the TV advertising debate has gotten. Goodyear, the exclusive tire supplier to NASCAR, isn't buying any TV ads, so Fox sold spots to archrival Michelin. To say that Goodyear men and Michelin men don't get along is understatement. And the mere mention of Michelin in NASCAR has been such a surprise that it has raised speculation about what might lie ahead, given the financial troubles besetting Goodyear. And there has been no word from Dodge officials about the looming Fox snub, coming in front of a predicted TV audience of about 10 million today. It is the latest example of what appears to be an aggressive push by the New York TV network executives to squeeze out more advertising dollars. NASCAR insiders are pointing to that as perhaps one reason the sanctioning body appears to be having trouble signing a new fuel sponsor to replace Unocal. And TV pressure is considered a significant piece of the RJR sponsorship puzzle. If Goodyear, Reynolds and Unocal - three of NASCAR's most loyal and longest running sponsors - all bite the dust; one NASCAR veteran puts it this way: "If we didn't know who ran the sport before, we sure do now - the networks." If NASCAR officials can find a company willing to put up the $40 million to $50 million a year in a long-term sponsorship deal to be the series titlist, replacing R.J. Reynolds, the TV networks are expected to demand at least $1 million a race in advertising fees to use that name in its telecasts. According to one New York advertising official, NASCAR is looking for a series sponsorship of $100 million a year for 15 years.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-16-2003)

  • Goodyear Tire donates $75,000 to give racers a touch of NASCAR: Goodyear tire company is giving the All-American Soap Box Derby derby $75,000, and that includes paying for the fiberglass and nylon wheels used by competitors at the world championship in July. In recognition of Goodyear's gift, the traditionally plain white wheels will be painted black and carry the Goodyear name. It'll also be a visual reminder of Goodyear's efforts to bring NASCAR in as a derby partner this year. ``The idea is for them to look like NASCAR tires,'' derby General Manager Jeff Iula said. Goodyear is the exclusive supplier of tires for NASCAR. The 413 sets of wheels competitors used this year had a retail value of $33,000, Iula said. The wheels are made of fiberglass-reinforced nylon resin, molded by Remington Plastics of Cuyahoga Falls. Derby officials put the same style of wheels on each competitor's car to help even the playing field. For several years, kids who wanted to keep their race day wheels had to pay $70 for them. For the past three years, the derby ate the cost and gave the wheels away. Next year will be the first time a sponsor has paid the entire cost of the wheels.(Beacon Journal)(11-7-2002)

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