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Goodyear looking for answers at Indy

Saturday, September 27, 2008

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) -- The answers are yet to come, but Goodyear has begun the process of figuring out what caused the tire debacle in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in July at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The manufacturer, the sole supplier of tires for NASCAR's top three professional series, was criticized after tires it brought to the track in July wore out so quickly that NASCAR had to wave the caution flag every 10 to 12 laps for tire changes in the Allstate 400. The longest run under the green flag was 13 laps.

The first of two scheduled tests to address the problem took place Monday and Tuesday, with Kyle Petty's Dodge establishing a baseline for the tire maker's next test session Oct. 6-8.

"We had two very successful days of testing at Indy," Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager of worldwide racing, said Friday. "We ran a wide variety of tread compounds in an effort to understand how each interacts with this car on this track. With NASCAR's involvement, we evaluated several different aerodynamic packages to quantify what impact downforce has on tire performance. And with the help of Goodyear's research scientists, we've begun processes to accurately characterize the track surface and monitor how it may change."

Grant said the first test was meant to lay groundwork for the October test, which will include 17 Cup cars.

"The information gathered at the first test will enable us to evaluate, in more detail, those types of combinations that have the greatest potential. The second test will involve many more cars in an effort to more closely simulate the track conditions of a race weekend."

The tire problem in July became apparent during a practice session the day before the Brickyard race, when some cars couldn't make it three laps without the tire wearing down to the cords. A second practice session was only slightly better, when the runs stretched to about 10 laps.

The 2009 Brickyard race is scheduled for July 26.



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