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Goodyear tire info for Michigan (Cup, Xfinity) and Texas (Truck)

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For the second consecutive week, Goodyear rubber will get another high-speed workout in Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 NASCAR Cup race and Saturday’s LTi Printing 250 Xfinity race at the 2-mile Michigan International Speedway.

Meanwhile, the Gander Outdoors Truck Series will visit another high-speed track, the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway, in Friday night’s SpeedyCash.com 400.

Here’s how this weekend’s tire notes shapes up at both tracks:

According to this week’s Goodyear media release about racing at Michigan, “Recent Monster Energy NASCAR Cup races at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway – where passes for the lead and passing in general were up – have the NASCAR world excited about what we might see at Michigan International Speedway this weekend. With this current Cup rules package, corner speeds will be up at Michigan and tight racing throughout the field should be the order of the day. The track is still relatively smooth since it was resurfaced in 2012 so Goodyear’s tire set-up at Michigan is now aligned with what is run at another recent repave in Texas Motor Speedway.”

Added Goodyear director of racing Greg Stucker, With Michigan being a relatively recent repave, combined with the 2019 Cup rules package and drivers expected to be on the throttle all the way through the corners, we always have to be cognizant of tire heat. We combat that with the tread compounds we bring to tracks with smooth surfaces, as well as the gage or thickness of that tread that allows the tire to dissipate heat. Overall, this weekend could be a good show for the fans if it is anything like some other recent events where corner speeds have been up and there has been a lot of tight racing and passing.”

Here’s the Cup and Xfinity tire info for Michigan:

Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials for both Cup and Xfinity.

Set limits: Cup: Three sets for practice, one set for qualifying and seven sets for the race; Xfinity: six sets for the event

Tire Codes: Left-side — D-4798; 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 — 54 psi; Right Rear — 50 psi

Notes for Cup and Xfinity: Teams in both the Cup and Xfinity Series will run the same tire set-up at Michigan this weekend. This is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams ran at Texas in March. Cup and Xfinity teams ran this same right-side tire code at Michigan in 2018. This is a different left-side than what was run on this track last year, featuring a construction change to align with other speedways. Air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.

Here’s the Trucks tire info for Texas:

Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

Set limits: Truck: Six sets for the event

Tire Codes: Left-side — D-4798; 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 — 24 psi; Left Rear — 22 psi; Right Front — 52 psi; Right Rear — 50 psi

Notes for Trucks: This is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Gander Outdoors Trucks teams ran at Texas in March. Truck teams will run this same right-side tire code at Kansas next week and this complete tire set-up at Kentucky in July. As on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run liners in all four tire positions at Texas. Air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.

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Cup starting lineup at New Hampshire has Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch on front row

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Rivals Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch will share the front row for Sunday’s Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (4 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Keselowski won his 15th career pole – and first since August 2017 – on Friday. He will have Busch start next to him.

MORE: Cup starting lineup

The rivals have had numerous run-ins throughout the their career.

Kurt Busch, who won last weekend at Kentucky, qualified third and is followed by Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney.

Three drivers will start at the rear: Denny Hamlin (backup), Alex Bowman (backup) and Ryan Newman (backup).

Brad Keselowski wins Cup pole at New Hampshire

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Brad Keselowski scored his first Cup pole since 2017, taking the top spot Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Keselowski topped the field with a lap of 136.384 mph. This is Keselowski’s 15th career Cup pole and first since Michigan in August 2017, a span of 68 races.

Keselowski’s run denied Toyota its first pole of the season. Keselowski will be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch (136.311 mph).

MORE: Cup qualifying results

Kurt Busch, who won last weekend at Kentucky, will start third after a lap of 136.238 mph. Erik Jones qualified fourth with a lap of 136.189 mph.

Jones’ performance is part of a promising week for him. He stated Friday that he is “close” to signing an extension with Joe Gibbs Racing. Jones’ contract expires after this season.

Ryan Blaney completed the top five with a lap of 136.116 mph. Martin Truex Jr. qualified sixth at 136.082 mph, and Matt DiBenedetto qualified a career-best seventh at 135.990 mph. DiBenedetto’s previous best Cup start was ninth in this year’s Daytona 500.

Alex Bowman had a driveshaft failure on his qualifying run and did not complete a lap. He will start at the rear of the field.

“Just a big boom going down the front straightaway and smoke and oil everywhere,” Bowman told NBCSN.

Bowman will go to a backup car.

Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman also will start at the rear of the field because they both went to backup cars after separate incidents late in Friday’s only Cup practice session.

Andy Seuss (qualified 35th) and Austin Theriault (36th) both will be making their Cup debut Sunday.

Daniel Hemric qualified 19th. HIs car failed inspection twice before qualifying and a crew member was ejected.

 

Erik Jones ‘close’ to re-signing after meeting with Joe Gibbs this week

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LOUDON, N.H. – After meeting with team owner Joe Gibbs this week, Erik Jones believes he finally is “close” to signing an extension with the team after a few months of negotiations.

“We’ve had some good meetings, positive meetings, so we’re moving in the right direction,” Jones said during Friday afternoon’s qualifying session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “I’d love to get it done here soon. We’ve had good meetings between my guys and JGR. I’ve had good meetings with Coach talking about it and moving forward. I know I keep saying it, but I feel like we’re pretty close to getting it done.”

The uncertainty for the 2020 season seemingly has been no distraction in 2019 for Jones, who believes he is close to ending a yearlong winless streak. He has notched six top 10s in the past nine races to move into the 16th and final provisional spot for the playoffs with seven races remaining in the regular season.

The Byron, Michigan, native said he told Gibbs “I want to get (the extension) done. We both want to get it done and move forward and stop worrying about it and stop focusing on it, but we’re close. Hopefully here soon.”

An extension for Jones would mean JGR has a full lineup of four drivers signed for 2020 and shift the focus to what is next for Xfinity driver Christopher Bell, who is under contract to JGR next season.

“I think you know as much as I do,” Bell said Friday morning when asked about what series he will race next year. “Actually, you probably know a little bit more than I do. Ultimately, it’s not up to me. I can’t make the decisions, so I’m just along for the ride.”

Bell indicated his desire to move to Cup last season, and a Leavine Family Racing Toyota could be an option if JGR wants to farm him out for 2020 in NASCAR’s premier series.

“I learned early on in my career that a race car driver is only as good as the equipment,” Bell said. “I definitely want to make sure that I’m in equipment that can win.”

Jeffrey Earnhardt releases his remaining races for 2019

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Jeffrey Earnhardt announced his schedule for the rest of the season Friday.

He is scheduled to run six Xfinity races and one Cup race the rest of this season.

His Xfinity races will be Mid-Ohio (Aug. 10), Bristol (Aug. 16), Road America (Aug. 24), Darlington (Aug. 31), ISM Raceway (Nov. 9) and Miami (Nov. 16). He’ll drive the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Xfinity car at Mid-Ohio, Road America, ISM Raceway and Miami. He’ll drive the No. 81 Xtreme Concepts Racing car at Bristol and Darlington.

He’ll also drive the No. 81 Xtreme Concepts Racing Cup car at Talladega on Oct. 13.