Tire issues ruin day for five teams at Phoenix

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Melted beads from brake heat led to tire failures for five drivers during Sunday’s race at Phoenix International Raceway, according to Goodyear.

Ryan Newman, Paul Menard, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Brad Keselowski and Kasey Kahne each hit the wall after tire failures. Goodyear stated melted beads were the cause in each incident.

Newman finished last in the 39-car field. Menard was 38th with Stenhouse 37th, Keselowski 29th and Kahne 22nd.

“We were really tight, and I was having to use too much brake and I think we got the tires hot,” Stenhouse said. “Once we did that, the right front gave out from having to use too much brake.”

Said Newman: “I didn’t do anything any different than I’ve ever done here before. Just definitely blew a right-front tire out and that was the end of our day.”

Said Keselowski, who ran in the top 15 much of the race before his issue brought out the caution on Lap 227 of the 313-lap race: “It is hard to say really where we would have been if that hadn’t happened.”

Said Kahne: “We had a right front tire go down. It happened earlier in the race, but a caution came out and I thought it was the engine at the time because of the way it kind of vibrated and changed the tone of the engine. Come to find out it wasn’t the engine and it was the tire. We’ll look at what we are doing since it happened a couple of times.”