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Goodyear tire info for NASCAR at Texas Motor Speedway

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You might say that the Goodyear tires will be smooth operators for this weekend’s racing action at Texas Motor Speedway.

Due to repaving of the 1.5-mile track prior to the 2017 season, Goodyear will distribute the same tire compound to be used by all three racing series in action at the Fort Worth, Texas facility.

In a media release, Goodyear said the reason for all three series using the same tires is TMS’s smooth surface creates several challenges when it comes to tire fall off and grip:

* Fresh asphalt has a lot of grip, which generates a lot of speed and heat in the tires.

* Because the new surface is very smooth it doesn’t allow the opportunity for the tires to shed rubber, which could also cause heat problems.

* Because little rubber gets worked into the track it is harder to create multiple racing grooves.

The smooth track surface at Texas dictates that we bring a tire set-up that runs as cool as possible because tire wear will be at a minimum,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “We tested extensively there last year (January and August 2018) and learned a lot about that new surface.

This being only the fifth race for the Cup cars on this repave, the track has not had a chance to weather in like it will over the next few seasons. While it’s important for us to bring the right tire, it also becomes quite a team effort between Goodyear, NASCAR and the track to make sure that the asphalt is prepared even before teams arrive for race weekend.

We provide the speedway with tires for them to run on their ‘tire monster’ and rubber-in the surface. Doing that goes a long way to creating a second groove, and that has a positive impact on the racing.”

The two tests last year resulted in a new tire setup for last fall’s playoff races at Texas, including a right-side tire that is designed to wear more and run cooler, the media release stated.

This is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Cup and Xfinity teams ran at this track last November, but it is the first time Gander Outdoors Truck teams have run this set-up at Texas.

For the Trucks, both the left-side and right-side feature construction and compound changes, which will add grip for those teams.

As on all NASCAR ovals greater than 1 mile in length, teams are required to run liners in all four tire positions at Auto Club. Air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.

Here’s the tire info for this week:

Set limits: Cup: three sets for practice, one set for qualifying and 9 sets for race; Xfinity: seven sets for the event; Trucks: five sets for the event.

Tire Codes: Left-side – D-4748; Right-side – D-4796.

Tire Circumference: Left-side – 2,227 mm (87.68 in.); Right-side – 2,251 mm (88.62 in.).

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front – 22 psi; Left Rear – 22 psi; Right Front – 52 psi; Right Rear – 50 psi.

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Daniel Hemric fastest in final practice; Kevin Harvick second

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Daniel Hemric turned the fastest lap Friday in the final Cup practice at Kansas Speedway, turning a 177.830 mph lap in his No. 8 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing.

Kevin Harvick was second followed by Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski (who paced the first practice) and Ryan Blaney.

Hemric has yet to announce a ride for 2020 after RCR announced last month that the rookie would be replaced by Tyler Reddick next season.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Suarez and Aric Almirola rounded out the top 10.

Here are the rankings speeds of the other playoff drivers: Denny Hamlin 12th; Alex Bowman 15th; Joey Logano 16th; Clint Bowyer 19th; Chase Elliott 20th; and William Byron 22nd.

Click here to see where things stand in the playoffs standings entering Sunday’s second-round cutoff race at Kansas.

Click here for speeds from the final practice at Kansas.

Click here for the speeds during the first Cup practice of the weekend at Kansas.

Ryan Preece praises team for its work after hauler fire

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Ryan Preece praised his team for converting teammate Chris Buescher’s backup car into Preece’s primary car Friday after the hauler carrying Preece’s cars and equipment caught fire this week en route to Kansas Speedway.

“I know some of the guys haven’t had much sleep, very proud of them,” Preece said.

The team’s hauler pulled over near New Columbia, Illinois, on Thursday after a fire in the rear axle area that spread to the hauler. A team spokesperson told NBC Sports that crew chief Eddie Pardue and a couple of team members flew there to take what could be salvaged before driving to Kansas City.

The team spokesperson said that the lockers and uniforms in the hauler were heavily damaged. Both cars had damage with the backup car suffering smoke damage.

NASCAR allowed JTG Daugherty Racing to enter the garage at 8 a.m. ET Friday — five hours before the garage was scheduled to open — and allowed members from both JTG Daugherty teams to work on the car. Preece said he was there with the team when it arrived and worked on the interior as the crew converted the car.

“We’re in it as a team,” Preece said. “I wasn’t going to show up later in the afternoon. I wanted them to know that I was right there with them. I wanted to help in every way I could.”

Preece said his car was loose in the first practice session Friday at Kansas Speedway. He was 32nd on the speed chart in that session, making it on track about 10 minutes after practice began.

Brad Keselowski fastest in first practice at Kansas; Kyle Busch makes big save

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Brad Keselowski turned the fastest lap with a minute remaining in Friday afternoon’s first Cup practice at Kansas Speedway.

The 176.499-mph lap by the No. 2 Ford of Team Penske nipped a 176.389 mph lap by the No. 10 Ford of Aric Almirola.

Daniel Suarez was third, followed by Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney. Kurt Busch, Paul Menard, Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick and Daniel Hemric rounded out the top 10.

Here’s how other playoff drivers fared during the practice:

Kyle Larson 11th; Joey Logano 13th; Clint Bowyer 15th; William Byron 20th; Alex Bowman 21st; Kyle Busch (who had an impressive save; video below) 22nd; Chase Elliott 23rd.

Click here to see where things stand in the playoffs standings entering Sunday’s second-round cutoff race at Kansas.

Click here for the speeds during the first Cup practice of the weekend at Kansas.

Gray Gaulding out Friday after suspected allergic reaction

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Stewart-Haas Racing plane made an unscheduled stop in St. Louis on Friday after Gray Gaulding had a suspected allergic reaction.

SS Green Light Racing confirmed Gaulding had an issue en route to Kansas City. A Stewart-Haas Racing spokesperson confirmed that its plane made the unscheduled stop, and that emergency personnel came on board after the plane landed. Gaulding remained in St. Louis while the plane continued to Kansas City.

SS Green Light Racing stated that after arriving at the track, Gaulding went to the infield care center and was not cleared to drive Friday. Gaulding will be re-evaluated Saturday. J.J. Yeley drove the car for Gaulding in practice Friday.