Update on Goodyear Indy Tire testing
Goodyear Tire and NASCAR officials, along with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kasey Kahne and Mark Martin, expressed optimism at the progress made in tire testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
A total of 14 Sprint Cup Series drivers tested Oct. 6-7 at IMS as Goodyear developed a tire for the 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, scheduled for Sunday, July 26, 2009. The final day of the three-day test, Wednesday, Oct. 8, was canceled due to rain.
This was the second Goodyear test at IMS in three weeks and, according to Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager of worldwide racing, the effort is paying dividends.
"We tested with Kyle Petty a couple weeks ago, saw some very, very encouraging results out of that test," he said. "Now, of course, we're here with a lot more cars. We've got what we believe to be a good start toward a 2009 race recommendation. Just look at the racetrack, you can see there's a groove in the racetrack where the cars are going around, just kind of looking normal. We've got rubber debris on the outside of the groove, and we're seeing some significant improvements in wear."
Goodyear also plans to test again with multiple cars in April 2009 at IMS, Grant said.
Detailed laboratory analysis after the 2008 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, which was slowed by frequent competition cautions, identified the causes of excessive tire wear during that event, Grant said. The 2008 event was the first for NASCAR's "Car of Tomorrow" at IMS.
"We saw that the additional load and additional slip that the right rear tire saw was considerably more than it was in 2007," Grant said. "Then we started to do some laboratory analysis to try to figure out, 'OK, why did we see that kind of wear debris, why did the track not rubber in?' To make a long story short, what we found out was that the additional load and slip that the right rear tire saw changed the particle size of the wear debris."
Goodyear brought tires to this test that lasted longer and will produce better racing next year at IMS, Sprint Cup stars Mark Martin and Kasey Kahne said.
"The tire is more drivable than what we had," Martin said. "We certainly didn't have any complaints about the grip level that we had with the other tire, but what they've got for a controlled test tire here is faster, great grip, and it's lasting at least twice, maybe three times, the distance already."
Said Kahne: "I think it's came a long ways. They're much better as far as the grip, as far as turning. I would say you would be able to race better, too, with some of the tires we ran yesterday afternoon behind another car. I think our cars would work a little bit better. So to me everything was good. They lasted.
"It's not an easy project for Goodyear, and they're stepping up and doing the - they're figuring out how to do it the best way they possibly can, and I think that's why we're here these couple days, and we'll be back before the Brickyard 400 next year."