NASCAR confirmed it found nothing out of the ordinary with the tires used by Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.
The tires were seized during Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500 in what was described as a “regularly scheduled audit” by NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell.
“We’ve done it in the past,” O’Donnell told SiriusXM’s “The Morning Drive” during a Monday interview. “It’s something we check working with Goodyear, making sure the tires supplied are where we want them to be. It’s just another area of the car. We don’t expect to find anything; it’s just something we like to do every once in a while.”
NASCAR normally examines tires at its R&D Center in Concord, N.C., but those from Logano and Harvick were checked at a remote site with NASCAR haulers on the road in the midst of a three-race swing through Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Phoenix and Auto Club Speedway.
The decision to confiscate the tires for examination was made independent of Goodyear and unrelated to durability. The tire supplier occasionally keeps tires for further examination (such as with tire failures on the cars of Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. last October at Kansas Speedway).
NASCAR has a history of confiscating tires from dominant teams in its premier series. When Jeff Gordon notched 13 victories on the way to his third championship in 1998, the No. 24 Chevrolet’s tires were examined (and determined to be fine) by NASCAR after cries of foul play by rival team owner Jack Roush.
Harvick won Sunday at Phoenix, extending a streak of seven consecutive top-two finishes that dates to his first championship last season.