Goodyear making tire change for Kentucky race

Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will have a different tire next week at Kentucky Speedway after Goodyear saw blistering at a recent test there with the tire it intended to use.

Fourteen teams tested June 13-14 at Kentucky — the first time any teams had been on the repaved track.

Greg Stucker, director of race tire sales for Goodyear, said after seeing some blistering during the second day of the test “we needed to react.’’

The new tire features the hardest compound in Goodyear’s lineup. This compound has been used at Talladega, Michigan and Las Vegas. The tire’s construction remains the same to what was run at the test.

Another change is that teams will receive all their tires for the weekend at the same time. Typically, teams get their practice and qualifying tires separately from their race tires.

At Kentucky, teams will be allowed six sets of tires for practice and qualifying and 10 sets for the race. Teams can carryover a set from practice to the race.

By having all the tires earlier in the weekend, teams can scuff those during practice. Goodyear suggests that teams run four or five laps to properly scuff the tires for the race.

“It just helps to combat the heat a little bit that you would see on a brand new tire,’’ Stucker said of the scuffing.

Teams will have plenty of time to do so. With the repave, NASCAR already granted teams extra practice. Teams will have 4 hours, 10 minutes of track time spread over three practices before qualifying next week.

The Kentucky race is the second race with the proposed 2017 aero changes. The changes were first run earlier this month at Michigan. The rules feature:

— The spoiler shortened from 3.5 inches to 2.5 inches

— Resizing the deck fin to match the spoiler

— Reducing the splitter 2 inches

— A neutral rear toe/skew setting