Tire-wear issue at Bristol forces change in compound

Crew members work on pit road during Friday's Sprint Cup Series
practice at Bristol Motor Speedway. (
Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Excessive wear on the right-side tires during Friday's practices at Bristol Motor Speedway has lead NASCAR and Goodyear officials to switch out the tire for a different compound for Saturday's Nationwide race and Sunday's Sprint Cup race.

Goodyear developed the new compound after the teams had asked for more grip following last summer's race at Bristol. But the right-side tire used in the practices failed to rubber up the track and instead broke down into a powder, accumulating on the high side of the corners and wearing down to the cords in only 30 laps.

To prevent a situation similar to that of the 2008 Brickyard 400, when unusually high tire wear turned the race into a series of 30-lap sprints, Goodyear will bring in 1,300 new right-side tires from its Charlotte, N.C., warehouse for the races Saturday and Sunday.

Nationwide teams will use the tire from Friday's practices during qualifying Saturday, and will change to the new tire during a competition caution around lap 25 during Saturday's race. The Sprint Cup teams will also use the new tire during Sunday's race. However, due to a limited supply, the Cup teams will be allotted one set of the new tires to practice on Saturday.

The Cup right-side tire Goodyear is bringing in is the same compound used at Bristol last August and was run at Kansas and Auto Club Speedway last year. The Nationwide right-sides are the same ones used last summer at Bristol.

The new tires should last about 135 laps, enough for a fuel run at Bristol, according to Goodyear NASCAR Project Manager Rick Campbell.

NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton speculated the compound brought to Bristol may have sacrificed tire wear for the grip the teams had requested after the summer race.

"When we came off of Bristol in August, even though the tires were perfect, the teams didn't like that the track rubbered in too much. The race track got hot, greasy and slick," Pemberton said. "They lobbied for us to have more grip and maybe the potential of more tire wear and falloff."

Update: NASCAR announced Sunday morning there will be a competition caution during the Sprint Cup race at or around lap 50 to check tires. No fuel can be taken until this time.
Tire-wear issue at Bristol forces change in compound Tire-wear issue at Bristol forces change in compound Reviewed by Rebecca Kivak on Saturday, March 19, 2011 Rating: 5