NASCAR makes its first visit of the season to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, and with it will come a new left side tire in both Cup and Xfinity. Right side tires remain the same from those used in both Cup races and the sole Xfinity race last season at Talladega.
The new tire set-up was recommended for Talladega after a tire test at Daytona on Feb. 18-19 with Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson and Daniel Hemric. As on all NASCAR ovals greater than 1 mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tires at Talladega. Air pressure in those inner liners should be between 12 and 25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
Since its repave in 2010, Talladega has used a different tire than at Daytona.
According to a Goodyear media release, “Talladega exhibits some wear characteristics, though teams are still able to employ some tire strategy – two-tire and fuel-only stops – that leads to chances to trade fresh rubber for track position. Because it is possible to pit at Talladega and not lose a lap to the race leaders, that opens up strategy plays for teams outside the top 10 to short pit and gain track position when the rest of the field pits at the end of a stage.”
Added Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing, “While we actually see some tire wear at Talladega, it still leaves room for some team and pit strategy. When to pit, with whom and how many tires to take all come into the equation for teams to consider this weekend. And adding in a rules package that Cup teams will be running for the first time, should make for some interesting racing.”
Here’s the tire info for this weekend’s races:
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Superspeedway Radials.
Set limits: Cup: 2 sets for practice, 1 set for qualifying and 7 sets for the race (6 race sets plus 1 set transferred from qualifying or practice). Xfinity: 4 sets for the event.
Tire Codes: Cup: Left-side — D-4886; Right-side – D-4752. Xfinity: Left-side — D-4596; Right-side – D-4752.
Tire Circumference: Cup: Left-side — 2,236 mm (88.03 in.); Right-side — 2,249 mm (88.54 in.) Xfinity: Left-side — 2,233 mm (87.91 in.); Right-side — 2,249 mm (88.54 in.).
Minimum Recommended Inflation: Cup: Left Front — 29 psi; Left Rear – 29 psi; Right Front — 50 psi; Right Rear — 48 psi. Xfinity: Left Front — 29 psi; Left Rear – 29 psi; Right Front — 50 psi; Right Rear — 48 psi.