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NASCAR using new left-side tire at Kentucky

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All three of NASCAR’s national series will be in action this week at Kentucky Speedway and each will be using the same tire setup.

That includes a new left-side tire. The tire has a construction update and a compound change to give the cars and trucks more grip.

The tire was confirmed by a test in May with Clint Bowyer, William Byron, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.

Teams will have the same right-side tire they used last year at Kentucky.

Here’s the tire info for this weekend.

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

Xfinity: Seven sets for the event

Truck: Six sets for the event

Tire Codes: Left-side — D-4798; Right-side — D-4750

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

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

Like 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.

NASCAR America: Brad Keselowski’s comments about Michigan tires ‘unnecessary’

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Earlier this week Brad Keselowski took to Twitter criticize the tire combination Goodyear had chosen for this weekend’s races at Michigan International Speedway after an April tire test.

“Our team (and several others) tested multiple tire compounds and recommended every one of them but this one,” Keselowski said. “In no way do I wanna be associated with this decision.”

On Thursday, Goodyear’s director of racing said Keselowski didn’t even test the exact tire combination that’s being used this weekend.

On NASCAR America, analyst Jeff Burton expressed disapproval of Keselowski’s comments.

“Brad Keselowski wants to be a leader in this sports,” Burton said. “Brad puts a lot of time into making this sport better. I want to give him credit for that, because some drivers don’t. Some drivers are here, they want to get the most out of it, but they don’t necessarily want to put a lot of time in to help the sport. But this kind of to me is unnecessary. I don’t know what good comes from it.”

Burton said Goodyear took all the data it collected from the test and “made the decision they thought was best, from a safety standpoint as well as from a competition standpoint.”

Burton continued: “There’s times when you have an internal struggle. Just keep it internal. Why are we having a conversation with the fans about what tire Goodyear picked? I just don’t understand that. Now if I bought a ticket for Michigan, am I thinking, ‘Well should I have not bought my ticket?’ That’s not fair.”

Watch the above video for more.

 

Goodyear executive responds to Brad Keselowski’s criticism of Michigan tire package

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A Goodyear Tire executive responded on Thursday to critical comments Brad Keselowski made earlier this week regarding the new tire package for this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

Keselowski, who was part of the April tire test that helped determine the tire setup for Cup and Xfinity teams, said on Twitter, “Our team (and several others) tested multiple tire compounds and recommended every one of them but this one. In no way do I wanna be associated with this decision.”

Involved in the April test with Keselowski were Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, Austin Dillon, and Martin Truex Jr.

Compared to what was run at Michigan last year, the new left-side tire features an updated construction that brings it into line with what is run at other speedways and a new compound to introduce more wear. The new right-side tire is a single tread compound tire (last year was a multi-zone tread tire) with a new compound that will introduce more wear and run cooler.

Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing, appeared on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “Tradin’ Paint” to clarify what package NASCAR will be using at the 2-mile track.

“Brad did not run this exact combination that we’re racing at Michigan,” Stucker said. “He ran the right-side compound by itself with the 2017 compound, the left-side compound. The left-side compound is meant to give a little bit more grip that perhaps we’re taking away with the right side. I hear him. He felt like he was down on grip with that particular run. But he didn’t run the combination as we’re going to have it this weekend at Michigan. I’m hoping once he gets there this weekend he’ll feel that the right side that we ran, combined with that left side, makes for a raceable package. Because all the other guys who ran the right side felt it was at least as good as the tire we raced in 2017 and perhaps even a little bit better.”

Stucker added: “Brad’s involved in a lot of our testing through the Penske organization. He provides a lot of good feedback. He really is a good tester because he’s got a good feel. He’s got good ideas and it is important for us during a tire test to get that feedback from the drivers. It’s a big piece. But that’s not the only thing we look at. We also look at the date that we generate, the data that the team’s generate and you rely on good engineering judgement as well to pull all that together to make the right decision.”

Stucker said the goal of the tire test in April was not “to go faster,” saying the track is the fastest on the circuit, with tops speeds reaching 212 mph and 175 mph in the corners.

“What we were really trying to do is create some differentiation between the top speed and let’s say the mid-corner speed,” Stucker said. “If you find the right balance between the on-throttle and off-throttle time, that’s what creates the opportunity for good racing. If everybody’s just on the throttle hard with very little off-throttle time, it kind of equates the field.

“We’ve been working with NASCAR trying to figure out, ‘What can we do at Michigan to try to create a little bit more differentiation between the on-throttle and off-throttle time?’ Then that kind of puts it in the hand of the team to try to manage that. One way we can do that is through tire wear. As tires wears they tend to lose some grip, which means you can’t run the corners as hard, so you have to manage the car a little bit more at that time. That hopefully creates different opportunities for different guys. That’s why you see guys start searching around for different grooves, move up the race track trying to find some grip … It tends to lead to good racing.”

Goodyear Tire info for Michigan, Texas

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Both Cup and Xfinity Series will race on new tire compounds on all four tires this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

The compounds on both the left and right-side tires are a result of an April tire test at the 2-mile track. The test involved Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, Austin Dillon, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr.

Compared to what was run at Michigan last year, this left-side tire features an updated construction that brings it into line with what is run at other speedways and a new compound to introduce more wear, while this right-side is a single tread compound tire (last year was a multi-zone tread tire) with a new compound that will introduce more wear and run cooler.

Keselowski voiced his disappointment in the choice of tire.

Here’s the tire info for 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-4770; 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

Camping World Truck Series -Texas Motor Speedway

This is the first time Truck Series teams will run this left-side tire code at Texas, though they did run this same right-side code twice at the track last season. Compared to what Truck teams ran at Texas last season, this left-side tire features a construction update to align with what is run at other speedways.

Set limits: Six sets for the event

Tire Codes: Left-side — D-4782; Right-side — D-4718

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

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front — 24 psi; Left Rear — 22 psi; Right Front — 52 psi; Right Rear — 50 psi

Goodyear tire info for Pocono Raceway

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This weekend both Cup and Xfinity teams race at Pocono Raceway, the three turn, 2.5-mile track in Long Pong, Pennsylvania.

Each series will have the same type of tires, including a new left-side tire code. Compared to what was run in 2017, this left-side tire features a construction update to align it with what is run at other speedways.

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

Here’s the tire info for 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-4744; Right-side — D-4710

Tire Circumference: Left-side — 2,227 mm (87.68 in.); Right-side — 2,241 mm (88.23 in.)

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front – 18 psi; Left Rear – 18 psi; Right Front – 41 psi; Right Rear – 37 psi