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Goodyear bringing new tire to Kentucky

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NASCAR teams will have a different right-side Goodyear tire this week at Kentucky Speedway. The change was made after the track added a four-inch layer of asphalt after last year’s race. The track had been repaved and reconfigured before the 2016 race.

The new right-side tire, which will be used by Cup, Xfinity and Truck teams this week, features a compound change to provide more grip and wear. The left-side tire remains the same. The combination was confirmed in a test May 9-10 with Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon, Erik Jones and Jamie McMurray.

Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

Set limits:

Cup: 4 sets for practice, 1 set for qualifying and 8 sets for the race

Xfinity: 8 sets for the event

Truck: 7 sets for the event

Tire Codes:

Left-side — D-4688; Right-side — D-4750

Tire Circumference:

Left-side — 87.56 in. (2,224 mm); Right-side — 88.58 in. (2,250 mm)

Minimum Recommended Inflation:

Left Front — 25 psi; Left Rear — 25 psi

Right Front — 54 psi; Right Rear — 50 psi

Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR national series in action at Kentucky this week will run the same tire set-up. … Teams will run the same left-side tire code (D-4688) as last year at Kentucky, but with a new right-side code (D-4750). … Compared to what was run last season, this right-side tire features a compound change to give more grip and introduce more wear. … This tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at Kentucky on May 9-10. … Drivers participating in that test were Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon, Erik Jones and Jamie McMurray. … As on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run liners in all four tire positions at Kentucky. … Air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater  than that of the outer tire. … The goal of that May test was both to tune the grip to the fresh surface as the Cup and Xfinity Series go to lower downforce packages and induce more wear on a new surface that won’t easily wear tires and take on rubber.  The reason why the latter is important is two-fold: (1) when tires wear it often puts a premium on tire management and maintaining the car’s balance over the course of a full fuel run, and (2) when a track takes rubber, it creates multiple racing grooves and creates conditions for better racing.

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Two crew chiefs fined for loose lug nuts at Kentucky

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NASCAR has issued two fines to crew chiefs for loose lug nuts last weekend at Kentucky Speedway.

Brian Wilson, crew chief for Paul Menard in the Xfinity race, was fined $5,000 for a loose lug nut. Menard finished ninth.

Kevin Bellicourt, crew chief for Justin Haley in the Camping World Truck Series, was fined $2,500 for a loose lug nut. Haley finished 10th.

There were no other penalties.

NASCAR America: ‘Big 3’ achieves mark not reached since 1974

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The drivers labelled the “Big 3” keep reaching new milestones as they tear through the 2018 Cup season.

Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. are the only drivers to win on 1.5-mile tracks this season, sweeping all seven so far.

They’ve combined to win 14 of the first 19 races this season, with Truex claiming the latest on Saturday at Kentucky Speedway.

Truex’s win gives him four this season while Busch and Harvick have five each.

With Truex’s victory, the “Big 3” are the first trio of drivers to win four or more races each through 19 races since 1974.

That year, the “Big 3” were Cale Yarborough (eight wins), Richard Petty (six) and David Pearson (four).

On NASCAR America, Steve Letarte said despite their dominance so far, he doesn’t believe all three members of the “Big 3” will make the Championship 4 in November.

“I don’t think the three in any way shape or form are guaranteed to make Miami,” Letarte said. “Everybody’s ready to put the ‘Big 3’ in Miami in the final four, I’m not. There’s way too many challenges along the way. I’m confident that all three won’t be at Homestead.”

Watch the videos above and below for more.

Cup teams to test Charlotte road course today

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The second half of Cup tests on Charlotte’s road course will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET today. It is open to the public.

Testing today are: Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Alex Bowman, William Byron, Austin Dillon, AJ Allmendinger, Trevor Bayne and Ty Dillon. Chris Buescher is in a Chevy wheelforce car.

Last week, several Cup drivers tested on the course for a day. Bubba Wallace crashed early and left the test because his team did not have a backup car.

Jimmie Johnson had the fastest lap in last week’s session, according to NASCAR timing and scoring. Johnson had a lap at 1 minute, 17.4 seconds. Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin each had a lap at 1:17.5 last week.

 

 

 

NASCAR America: Paul Menard, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. among winners, losers at Kentucky

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On Monday’s NASCAR America, Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton discussed the winners and losers among drivers in Saturday’s Cup race at Kentucky Speedway.

Letarte singled out Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as one of the losers after he failed to overtake Alex Bowman in the playoff standings. Bowman entered the race as the last driver above the cutoff line for the 16 driver field in the playoffs.

Bowman earned his first DNF after he crashed from a flat tire and finished last.

Meanwhile, Stenhouse finished 26th, one lap down after he had to pit twice early in Stage 1, the first time for a cut tire. He is now nine points behind Bowman for the final playoff spot.

“To only gain 10 points on a driver who finished last in the field is a huge missed opportunity,” Letarte said. “When you look at drivers scoring 30, 40, 50 points each, Paul Menard picked up over 30. So the chance was there to gain (on) that bigger group and he just didn’t do it. So when I look at what Ricky Stenhouse did, he really missed probably 15 or 20 points. I know it was a flat tire, there’s always a reason. But in the end you have to make the playoffs, you have to go out there and take it from Alex Bowman, who has put him in that position.”

Burton picked Menard as a winner. The Wood Brothers Racing driver placed 11th Saturday after finishing fifth in Stage 1 and 10th in Stage 2.

He is now 18th in the standings, 23 points back from Bowman

“They performed well, got good stage finishes and did what they needed to do,” Burton said. “This team is starting to get a little bit better every single week. I find it very interesting that back there for that 16th spot it’s really a fight of mediocrity, to be honest with you, and who is going to not mess up.”

Watch the above video for more.