We believe that our engineering, research and tire development is second to none. We accept that drivers will have their own opinions about our tires. NASCAR president Mike Helton told us Monday that "NASCAR is very grateful for the commitment Goodyear has made on behalf of building a good and safe product for our competitors, including this past weekend at Atlanta. NASCAR stands by our relationship and is proud to have Goodyear as a partner."
Even though both Goodyear and NASCAR were satisfied with the tire’s performance in Atlanta, if the drivers are not happy, then Goodyear’s not happy. Now that we know how this tire combination performed, we’ll go back and retest for the fall race. We have the same goal as the drivers and NASCAR: to put the safest, best performing tires on these cars.
There will be many instances this year when the new car is on a particular track for the first time, as was the case in Atlanta. That makes it tougher than usual to get a read on how the tires will perform. But if there is ever any doubt about the recommendation, we will always err on the conservative side.
Finally, we would like to correct an erroneous comment made by Tony Stewart. Goodyear decided to leave other racing series only because of the escalating costs of competition in those series. At least one other tire maker has done the same. For Goodyear, the enormous investment required to compete in those other forms of racing far outweighed the benefits derived from our participation. We see tremendous benefits in our 54-year relationship with NASCAR as the organization’s longest continuing supplier. We remain fully committed to, and are proud of, our relationship with NASCAR. Goodyear PR