The NASCAR Cup and NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs move into high gear this weekend at Dover International Speedway.
The Cup Series moves into its second round, the Round of 12, after last Sunday’s elimination race at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval.
The Xfinity Series, meanwhile, wraps up its first round of its own playoffs this Saturday.
As for the Goodyear tires that will be used this weekend, here’s the main storyline:
Before the current Cup season, two tracks posed the greatest concern for Goodyear from a tire perspective: Bristol Motor Speedway and Dover International Speedway. The main reason is NASCAR’s new, higher downforce aero package, coupled with 750 horsepower engines used on those tracks that have steep banking, create higher loads – most notably on the right-front tire.
That’s why Goodyear will work with teams this weekend to emphasize the importance of set-ups, particularly air pressures in the right-front tires.
“Right-front durability at Dover is always on our radar because of the speeds and loads generated by these cars in the high-banked corners,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “Our recommended air pressure on the right-front is 49 psi, and we will be talking to teams on the lead-up to this race and all weekend to impress upon them the importance of that.
“We certainly understand that in the teams’ efforts to gain as much grip as possible, being aggressive on air pressures is one of the tools they use. To that end, we performed some additional simulation work based upon estimates of car performance now versus earlier in the year, and how that impacts both tire performance and durability. Our goal is to provide as much information as possible to make key set-up decisions, and tire pressures are an important part of those decisions.”
NOTES: Teams in both the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series will run the same tire set-up at Dover this weekend. This is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams ran at this track in May. … Goodyear held a test (April 9) at Dover before the spring race. … Dover is unique among NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, in that inner liners are required on all four tire positions. … Air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
Here is the information for this weekend’s tires at Dover:
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
Set limits: Cup: 3 sets for practice, 1 set for qualifying and 10 sets for the race (9 race sets plus 1 set transferred from qualifying or practice); Xfinity: 6 sets for the event
Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-4868; Right-side – D-4872
Tire Circumference: Left-side -- 2,227 mm (87.68 in.); Right-side -- 2,251 mm (88.62 in.)
Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front -- 19 psi; Left Rear -- 19 psi; Right Front -- 49 psi; Right Rear -- 45 psi