Goodyear officials have sent the tires that were on Kyle Busch‘s car when it wrecked in Sunday’s Daytona 500 for further testing. Busch lost control, spun and collected several other cars, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was leading the race at the time.
On Wednesday morning’s “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Goodyear director of racing Greg Stucker said Busch’s tires arrived Tuesday at company headquarters in Akron, Ohio.
“Our engineers went over them very thoroughly, just to make sure we didn’t miss anything at the racetrack,” Stucker said. “We feel we didn’t.
“We sent them down to our research facility, where we have forensic specialists if you will, that can really do a deep dive into all the different components, all the different parts of the tire and look at them in a lot more detail than you can visually with electron microscopes and a lot of other different tools they have at their exposure.
“It’s very impressive some of the detail they can go into and we’ll find out as much as we can. That takes a little bit of time to do, but that’s in the works.”
Goodyear engineers also looked at video of Busch’s accident for any other clues.
“We want to see if we can see anything,” Stucker said. “We can look at the attitude of the car, did we see anything come out from under the car that might have indicated he ran over anything or any contact.
“We didn’t see anything there again. The other thing is the spin itself. We look at the way the skid marks come from the tires themselves. A tire that’s deflated makes a different skid mark than a tire that is inflated.”
Goodyear officials paid extra attention to the right rear tire on Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry, Stucker said.
“It appears as though the right rear tire was still inflated when Kyle spun, and that’s pretty consistent with the way the tire looked itself,” Stucker said. “The tire was flat-spotted, and normally it won’t flat spot through a tire. It’ll just wear through it.
“So that’s pretty consistent. We’ve also stayed in constant communication with the team, if they’ve discovered anything when they got the car back and trying to look through things. We want to make sure they’re very aware of what our analysis is.
“As soon as we know something, then obviously we’ll make sure the team is very well aware of what the findings were.”
Stucker said Goodyear produced between 3,500 and 4,000 tires that it brought to Daytona for all three major NASCAR series teams: Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Trucks.
Busch’s tire issue was one of only a few during Speedweeks, Stucker said.
“We’re very comfortable with overall how Speedweeks went, it kicked the season off and now we’re off to Atlanta this week,” Stucker said.
Goodyear will return to Daytona in April for a tire test. Goodyear will look at a softer tire, which Daytona 500 race winner Kurt Busch has suggested.
“Daytona was one of those we felt like that it’s starting to lose a little bit of its grip from its repave several years ago,” Stucker said. “So we had on our docket to go back there in April and do some testing.
“In conversation with the garage area, the competition group of the teams and with NASCAR, they’d also look at some different aero packages and configurations. We’re going to do that in April, taking some tires back that give a slight increase in grip and is it possible to marry them with some of the aero changes that NASCAR and teams are looking at and see if we can come up with a little bit different package.”
Goodyear has tire tests scheduled April 4-5 at Michigan and April 25-26 at Indianapolis.