By admin | October 19, 2008
By Richard Allen
The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company has taken plenty of criticism this year, with much of that criticism being fairly placed. Drivers, crew chiefs, fans, media and even NASCAR have blamed the corporate giant for failures at various tracks throughout the season.
In Martinsville, there were numerous tire issues. This time, however, it does not appear as though the Akron, Ohio company was wholly, if even partially, to blame.
As a race plays out I keep notes on an old fashioned notepad. The Tums QuickPak 500 notes had the words blown right front tire scribbled in several times. Unlike races in Indianapolis or Atlanta, the tire problems did not seem widespread throughout the entire field. Certain teams seemed to experience problems while others did not.
The Joe Gibbs Racing teams of Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch experienced failure after failure while their teammate, Denny Hamlin, drove to a solid 5th place finish.
The entire Penske Racing South team had trouble with tires at one time or another. Driver Kurt Busch became so frustrated that he even asked if he could park his Dodge.
Other select teams suffered the same problems time after time.
The fact that the tire troubles were limited would seem to indicate the problem was with the set up of those particular cars. Perhaps the camber of the front wheels was not set right. The drivers may have been abusing their brakes, and thus, generating heat the tires could not withstand. Or, the teams may not have allowed for enough air to have been blown on the brakes, which created the heat condition.
Whatever the case, it appears as though Goodyear will not have to shoulder all of the blame this time. While they never want tire failures for any reason, the tire maker must have at least been relieved to not have found themselves the recipient of all the blame.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
Topics: Articles |