NASCAR’s new rules package has taken center stage over the past couple of weeks, especially as fans debate whether it results in a better on track product or not, but this week, it looks like tires will steal the show. In fact, tire supplier, Goodyear, has warned drivers about the tires that will be used for Sunday’s race at Phoenix International Raceway.
“When we tested on this package at Phoenix last fall, teams were considerably faster than we’ve seen in recent years, Stucker claims,” ” With the extra downforce versus the 2018 rules package, much of that speed comes through the corners – which generates higher loading on the tyres.”
With that being said, Stucker warns that teams In The Cup and Xfinity Series should be mindful of the company’s recommended air pressure for the tyres that will be used this week. They warn that not doing so could result in higher wear, fall off and damage to the tire.
“Teams will need to be mindful of our recommended air pressures as they develop their set-ups to optimise grip.Running below our minimums can cause the sidewall of the tyre to flex more and over-deflect, generating more heat, higher wear and fall-off, and even damaging the tyre to the point of air loss.”
Unfortunately for drivers in the Cup Series and The Xfinity Series, this means that teams will now have to make a tough decision that could have big implications during race weekend. Do they run the tire pressure lower in order to gain a speed advantage in the corner and risk a blown tire or do they play it safe and maybe lose the speed that could help them win?
Beyond all that, what are others things that could cause this tire compound to have a problem? Of course this will be very interesting for fans to watch play out on Saturday and Sunday, but it seemingly comes at the expense of drivers and teams that end up on the wrong end of this.
In the end, this could also be a safety problem if a race car were to hit the wall or another car at the wrong angle and NASCAR needs to be mindful of that. Either that or risk another Kyle Busch situation at Daytona, a Denny Hamlin situation at California or a problem like Aric Almirola at Kansas.
According to Autosport.com,” The left-side tyre features a construction update that Goodyear will be rolling out for many tracks this season, while the right-side tyre features a compound change designed to introduce more tyre wear and run cooler.Phoenix is the only track at which these two tyre types will be used together this year.”