Goodyear to reassess Charlotte Roval tire after two open tests, chunking issue

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CONCORD, N.C. — Goodyear is reassessing what tire it will bring for the Sept. 29-30 race weekend on the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course following chunking issues with its primary tire during two days of open tests.

Select Cup teams utilized an alternate Goodyear tire, which was used during the final portion of Tuesday’s open test on the road course, Goodyear said in a statement.

The tire had a “slightly tougher compound” than the original tires used for the open tests and had been the control tire during a tire test held in the spring.

The decision to make the tire available was made following the July 10 test on the road course.

NBC Sports confirmed Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer‘s teams used the tire and Aric Almirola‘s did not.

“Drove about the same to me,” Logano told NBC Sports of the alternate tire. “Mainly, the control tire, whatever you want to call it, the normal tire, has some chunking problems, chunks coming out of both front and rears. Some lasted 15 laps, some lasted three laps. Just kind of random how that was. … I don’t know what’s different. I don’t know the technical part of what’s different, I just know it drove pretty similar and we didn’t have any issues with that tire. Good change.”

Goodyear released the following statement from Mark Keto, its project manager for NASCAR.

“Because we saw some of the things we saw during one of NASCAR’s open tests at the Charlotte road course last week, we decided to bring an alternate tire for teams to try at the end of day two, which was the control tire from our spring test here and has a slightly tougher compound than what we brought to our open tests. Bringing the alternate tire gives us an additional data point from which to work. We’ve had some extreme heat and track temperatures that we’ve tested under over these past two sessions, and that could be contributing to this situation, along with the way the cars going over the curbs and rumble strips as they search for the fastest way around this course. As we do after every test or on-track session, we will study all the data we’ve collected and come up with our best race recommendation.”

During his scheduled media availability Tuesday, Logano cited tires when he expressed approval for the removal of rumble strips from Turn 8, which exits on the oval’s Turn 1.

“I think those rumble strips probably weren’t doing any favors to the tire, anyway,” Logano said. “Getting those out is probably good. It probably gives Goodyear a margin to work with, which is a good thing. We’re going to run the same line anyway.”

Turns 3, 4 proves treacherous during Charlotte road course test

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CONCORD, N.C. – A second batch of drivers got to shake down the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course Tuesday, a week after the first open test on the 17-turn, 2.28-mile road course that will host its first Cup race on Sept. 30.

This test was more eventful than the first, with multiple incidents over the course of its eight-hour run.

The session had three incidents in the morning. Alex Bowman spun in Turns 3 and 4 of the infield road course – a sweeping right hander – and hit a tire barrier. His No. 88 Chevrolet received minor damage and the team replaced his splitter.

“It looks fast in a Legend Car but in a Cup car you’re barely on the throttle for most of the infield,” Bowman said. “It’s just different.”

Ryan Blaney went to a backup car after he wrecked in the same turn, damaging his left rear when he hit the tire barrier.

Erik Jones also spun in the same turns, but didn’t hit anything.

Joey Logano described the sequence of turns as “sketchy.”

“It’s an off-camber, downhill entry to Turn 3 and it’s pretty tough,” Logano said. “I was actually here last week doing something for Snap-On and had an old Cobra here running around. I went into Turn 3 and chased it up the race track in that thing. I said, ‘This is pretty loose corner. I wonder if we’re going to fight that in our cars?’ Pretty quickly I realized, ‘Yes, we are going to fight that quite a bit.’ The corner itself, you’re turning right, no banking and you’re going downhill and the car’s super, super loose there.”

Clint Bowyer echoed Logano in calling Turn 3 “sketchy.”

“I think I would use sketchy,” Bowyer told NBC Sports’ Marty Snider. “Scary? I won’t go any further than that. It’s just sketchy. From the time you get on the race track to the time you’re getting off it, you’re just tip-toeing. There’s no room for error at all. The grip level, you get to sliding. Like in (Turn) 3, you get into sliding a little bit getting in there and you’re looking over at them tires and there’s no room.

“If that thing comes out from underneath of you … you’re going to hit hard. It’s not something you’re going to limp away from and finish the race. Your day is done. Game over. It’s the same for everybody. We’re kind of inching on it more and more.  …
“It’s going to wad up a lot of cars. There’s just not a lot of room to get out-of-the-way.”

The biggest wreck of the day came an hour into the afternoon session when William Byron lost brake pressure and plowed into the tire barriers located in Turn 1. Unlike Blaney, Byron did not have a backup car for the test and was done for the day.

The test was briefly stopped in the morning in order to remove a set of rumble strips from Turn 8, which exits from the infield section onto the oval’s Turn 1.

The strip was in place to help define the turn, but drivers ran over them as if there weren’t there, just like last week with the chicane on the backstretch.

“I think those rumble strips probably weren’t doing any favors to the tire, anyway,” Logano said. “Getting those out is probably good. It probably gives Goodyear a margin to work with, which is a good thing. We’re going to run the same line anyway.”

Also part of the test was AJ Allmendinger. The JTG Daugherty Racing driver was the first to experience the Roval in its earliest form in January 2017.

A year-and-a-half later, the former open-wheel and sports car driver said “I have no advantage here” due to every team getting the opportunity to test on the road course.

Allmendinger expects a race filled with contact.

“Through the infield, it’s fairly narrow,” Allmendinger said. “Maybe once you get all the cars here, whether it’s Xfinity, Cup, (it will) kind of clean up both lines through the infield, because right now if you just miss your apex a little bit, you slide all the way through the corners. … But in general, through the infield I think there’s going to be a lot of contact.”

Allmendinger wasn’t the only driver getting a second taste of the road course.

Roush Fenway Racing’s Trevor Bayne took part after being in a test back in March.

“From that test to today they’ve added a lot of high-risk situations to the race track,” Bayne told NASCAR.com. “You’ve got a (tire) barrier back there between the chicane and what’s the oval Turn 3 and 4. That barrier is pretty risky. Used to, when you went through the chicane too fast you kind of just went off the curb, went straight, no big deal and you actually found you could make speed doing that.”

Bayne said the road course “does not provide a lot of opportunity to catch your breath, get your switches right or talk on the radio. Every part of the race track has some kind of a spot that can bite you pretty fast, so you have to be careful.”

TOP TIMES FROM TUESDAY’S TEST

1:16.9 – Kyle Busch

1:17.1 – Joey Logano

1:17.4 – AJ Allmendinger

1:17.4 – Ryan Blaney

1:17.4 – Clint Bowyer

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Scan All Kentucky, Charlotte Roval test

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and continues to look at the big storylines this week in NASCAR, including today’s second open test on the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course.

Carolyn Manno hosts with Parker Kligerman in Stamford, Connecticut. Kyle Petty and Nate Ryan join them from the Big Oak Table in Charlotte.

 On today’s show:

  • With any new track, drivers push the boundaries in order to find the fast way around. But in today’s Roval test session at Charlotte Motor Speedway, several drivers pushed a little too far. Marty Snider will have a full report from the test, as well as interviews with two of NASCAR’s best road racers in AJ Allmendinger and Clint Bowyer.
  • We’ll also take one more look back on Martin Truex Jr.‘s big win last weekend in Scan All: Kentucky! Plus: Where does the dominance of Truex, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick – the Big 3 – stack up historically with other seasons that had three drivers crushing the competition?
  • And as the Camping World Truck Series heads for his Eldora Speedway, Tony Stewart is dreaming big for the future of the ‘Big E.’ What major event does he want at Eldora next?
If can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Track schedule for Camping World Truck Series at Eldora

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The Camping World Truck Series is in the spotlight with a mid-week race on the dirt at Eldora Speedway. Trucks practice Tuesday and race Wednesday.

Here’s the track schedule:

(ALL TIMES EASTERN)

TUESDAY, July 17

5 – 11 p.m. — Truck garage open

7:05 – 7:55 p.m. — Truck practice (No TV)

9:05 – 9:55 p.m. — Final Truck practice (No TV)

WEDNESDAY, July 18

12:30 p.m. — Truck garage opens

4 p.m. — Driver/crew chief meeting

4:35 p.m. — Truck qualifying; single vehicle/two laps (Fox Sports 1)

7 p.m. — First qualifying race – 10 laps (FS1, Motor Racing Network)

7:09 p.m. — Second qualifying race – 10 laps (FS1, MRN)

7:18 p.m. — Third qualifying race – 10 laps (FS1, MRN)

7:27 p.m. — Fourth qualifying race – 10 laps (FS1, MRN)

7:36 p.m. — Fifth qualifying race – 10 laps (FS1, MRN)

8:15 p.m. — Last chance qualifying race – 15 laps (FS1, MRN)

8:40 p.m. — Driver introductions

9 p.m. — Eldora Dirt Derby; 150 laps/40-50-60 stages, 75 miles (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Preliminary entry lists for Cup, Xfinity at New Hampshire

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After Wednesday’s Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway, the spotlight will be back on the Cup and Xfinity Series teams at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The two series will hold their only race weekend of the year at the “Magic Mile.”

Here are the preliminary entry lists for both races.

Cup – Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 (2 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN)

There are 37 entries for the race.

Blake Jones will make his series debut driving BK Racing’s No. 23 Toyota. Jones has made five Xfinity starts since 2016 and four this year.

Justin Marks is entered in Premium Motorsports’ No. 15 Chevrolet. It will be his third start of the year.

Kyle Weatherman is entered in StarCom Racing’s No. 99 Chevrolet.

Last year, Denny Hamlin won this race over Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. after leading 54 laps.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity – Lake Region 200 (4 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN)

There are 40 entries for the race.

Ty Dillon and Brad Keselowski are the only full-time Cup drivers entered.

Johnny Sauter will make his second start of the year in GMS Racing’s No. 23 Chevrolet.

Ryan Preece will make his fifth start of the year in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota.

Last year, Kyle Busch won from the pole over Preece and William Byron.

Click here for the entry list.