Air pressure is the name of the game in this tire fiasco – Race Review Online
With a stock car with stock parts in a series where there is no real separation between top and bottom teams, any upside to winning can make the difference in winning or not. One area that has been explored is tire pressure.
By fiddling with tire pressure, you’re not doing anything illegal. It’s allowed. However, it is also not advisable to go beyond the limits set by Goodyear on where to run your air pressures.
While many people blamed Goodyear, Texas and even the Next Gen for the tire fiasco in Sunday’s AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500, it’s looking more and more like an air pressure issue right off the bat.
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“It’s been widely documented that the balance of the Next Gen car has shifted to the rear,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s racing director entering the week from Texas. “On a day-to-day basis, optimizing tire performance is key to a successful weekend. Air pressure, suspension geometry and shock settings work in unison to get the most out of the tire set. Being aggressive in any of these areas is certainly a recipe for short-term speed, but the risk versus reward of these choices can often come back and bite you.
“We work closely with the teams throughout the week and on the track, providing as much data as possible to help them make the right tire choices. We understand that teams are constantly looking for speed , but finding the edge of that envelope is key to finishing races.”
He called his shot and did so days before we were to see 16 cautions for 91 laps in a botched NASCAR Cup Series race in Texas.
Early indications returned to the tire problems inflicted on teams operating at lower than normal air pressures.
“We’re getting as much information as we can from the teams, trying to figure out where they are with their set-ups, air pressures, cambers, suspicions,” Goodyear racing director Greg Stucker said on Sunday. . “Of course, I can say without a doubt that air pressure plays into that. We know where a lot of guys are. Some were more aggressive than others. We know that plays a role.
“I’m not saying it’s the only thing, but it’s definitely a factor, so we’re just trying to understand everything that’s going on in terms of specific teams. We know a lot of guys don’t have We’ve had some guys that have fueled the tires, but obviously other guys have had issues, we’ll work with them to try to sort it out.
“Well, I mean obviously we’ve seen a lot of tire issues, and we’ve seen a lot of teams that didn’t have tire issues,” Scott Miller said Sunday night from Texas.
“We are working through this. Goodyear is working on this with the teams, on the configurations, on the air pressures, to try to get to the bottom of things.
“Many teams reported no issues to us after the race, and they admitted to being a little conservative on air pressure and getting closer to the minimums suggested by Goodyear.
“I don’t really know how to comment on tire life.
“The top four have run at least 64 laps at home. If they can do 64 laps, they have plenty of tires to do the job.
“We are learning all the settings, the tyres. Goodyear asks about the construction, the new wheel. It’s part of a learning process – it’s an unfortunate part of a learning process.
Tyler Reddick’s crew chief Randall Burnett agreed that they stayed conservative with their tire setups and it paid off.
“We came into this race a bit conservative,” he said. “We got bitten in Kansas the other week with one. I think we had four flat tires this year when we were leading the race.
“RC spoke to me about it and said: Make sure you keep some air in the tires today. I tried to do that. A little more conservative approach this week. That’s a line Everyone knows about speed, pushing the limits of tires.
“With the low sidewalls, they’re not as forgiving as the 15-inch wheels we had before. It’s a much finer line, I think.
“I mean, there are so many things that come into play, right? It’s tire pressure, it’s tire camber, it’s where you race on the circuit. More often than not you see a guy who’s leading blowing a tire it’s because he’s got the cleanest air, the most air, the most downforce on his car because he’s before. Sometimes this overloads the tire.
“That’s kind of where we are with them.”
Even Chase Elliott, who had a tire, finished his day on lap 183, okay.
“I’m not sure Goodyear is at fault,” he said. “Goodyear always takes the black eye, but they are put in a very difficult position by NASCAR to build a tire that can survive these types of circuits with this car. I wouldn’t blame Goodyear.
So maybe there’s some merit to that after all. However, this needs to be resolved and corrected as we have 30 races in the season and it has not improved.