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DATE News (chronologically)
04/03/11
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Drivers fear Goodyear tires could ruin race (again)  For the second time in three weeks, drivers have complained that the track is not “rubbering up.” When that happens, tires wear out quickly and there’s just one groove of racing, both of which could result in a bevy of blown tires, cars sliding into other cars and a plethora of wrecks. In other words, a whole lot of carnage. It’s going to be insane tomorrow,” Kyle Busch said after Saturday’s truck race. “There’s going to be a lot of hurt feelings and a lot of beat-up fenders.”

As Dale Earnhardt Jr. explained, instead of rubber being ground into the track, the shredded marbles from the tires are just sitting on the track. That’s creating swathes of loose rubber that, essentially, are turning tires into roller skates.

“If you got in the marbles, it would ruin you,” he said. “Once you got in the marbles, you ruined that set [of tires]. I mean, there is no way to get them off. We don’t go fast enough here to really grind them off. It was messy. It was just real messy all day.”

There was a similar issue two weeks ago at Bristol when that track wasn’t rubbering up. As a result, Goodyear made the decision to switch the tires midway through Friday practices. The switch helped.

This is where the similarities between Bristol and Martinsville end.

Goodyear did not make a switch this weekend. There was hope the track would begin to take rubber after a practice marathon on Friday coupled with Saturday’s truck race.

That, apparently, didn’t happen, and now the fear is Sunday’s race will be a single-groove affair that will produce very little, if any, side-by-side racing.

“I don’t think so,” Busch said when asked if the track would have rubber on it for Sunday’s Cup race. “I wish it would because it would make for better racing.

“We could actually probably get two grooves going, but right now there’s one groove,” Busch continued. “If you run on the inside down the straightaway, you’re running through marbles. If you run on the outside in the corners, you’re running through marbles. … I don’t see it getting any better tomorrow. Anything could surprise us, but I doubt it.” Yahoo! Sports

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