Goodyear turns to Tony Stewart

May 29, 2009
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stewartHow serious is next week’s NASCAR tire test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway?

Goodyear, who was largely credited for ruining last year’s Brickyard 400 NASCAR race, has called on one of its biggest critics for insight and input.

It is no mistake that NASCAR bad boy and Indiana native Tony Stewart will be one of nine drivers at the test—one of two before the July 26 race.

Stewart has been as vocal as any NASCAR driver in his criticism of the fendered series’ tire provider. NASCAR insiders said Stewart was targeted for the test due to his criticism.

Goodyear is looking to avoid a repeat of last year’s race, when a yellow flag had to be dropped every nine or so laps to keep the shredding tires from blowing out.

After last year’s Brickyard 400, Stewart called Goodyear’s tires junk. In February, after a practice crash involving a blown tire on his teammate Ryan Newman’s car, which then collected Stewart’s car, the driver affectionately known as Smoke said: “Apparently this is [Goodyear’s] marketing strategy, to get press. I'm tired of talking about them, tired of it being an issue. Talking about them now isn't going to change anything; it falls on deaf ears.”

Stewart continued to rant: “If two guys wrecked, that's one thing, but the manufacturer has the sole deal, they don't have any competition, and they can't give us a tire to keep us from having wrecks."

When asked if he wanted to talk to Goodyear executives, Stewart responded, “Don't bring ’em anywhere near me.” Stewart is also on record saying Hoosier and Firestone tires would perform better than Goodyear, and that Goodyear is so bad it was run out of the Indy Racing League and Formula One.

Monday and Tuesday at the IMS, all ears will be waiting to hear what Stewart says next. And that includes Goodyear executives.
  • Great but I doubt Goodyear will be able to have a new tire developed by the time Bricyyard is here if they learn anything from these tests. Still plenty of time to pave the track though...
  • Do you think Goodyear would pave the track? No reason for IMS to pay for it. NASCAR changed the car, and Goodyear has not kept up with the change.

    Smart move for Goodyear to bring in TS. Be interesting to see if he can give them insight. I do agree NASCAR should invite Hoosier and Firestone to produce a tire. Competition breeds innovation.
  • Agree with Indyman. Tires were fine before COT and Goodyear can't adjust. There's no reason for IMS to pick up for Goodyears technical shortfalls.
  • Indyman knows what he is taking about. The last part is so spot on.
  • Jan, IMS paid shill
  • Goodyear hasn't had problems like this at Daytona, California, Michigan etc. F-1 didn't have tire problems anywhere else. It's the track, and the diamond grinding. The former CEO of IMS is too stupid or too cheap to pave the track or he is afraid his step son's car won't stick to the track. Hopefully Humpy will pave it, remove the rumble strips and fix Turn 2.
  • Brett,

    Will try this again. Take off your TG hater glasses and look at this through reality. The track was ground several years ago. NASCAR ran there several times without any kind of problem, or complaint. Then Goodyear changes the compound and NASCAR changes their car design. Then the tire problems begin. So is it the track which was fine for several years, or NASCAR and Goodyear for their changes?

    Many NASCAR drivers have complained about tire problems at a lot of other tracks. There have been more tire failures in the last 2 years then in the previous 5. Is that a IMS problem or a Goodyear problem?

    F1 has two tire providers. One had no problem with the track, the other did. That is after running for a couple of years on the diamond ground track. Experts told Bernie Ecclestone that adding a chicane on the track would slow down the cars and alleviate the tire problems. Bernie refused. Are those IMS problems or a specific tire manufacturer problems and a failure for F1 to listen to their teams?

    IRL runs faster than any other car on that track. They have run on the diamond ground surface for years with no tire problems.

    Not everything that happens in the world is TG's fault, no matter how much you wish it was.
  • Why would Goodyear have any trouble getting the relatively small number of tires (for them, anyway) made by Brickyard weekend? That's almost TWO FULL MONTHS away! Firestone could do it no problem.

    Hilarious that you think there's not enough time for Goodyear to do their job and make a few hundred tires, but there's plenty of time to just decide to repave the track.

    The problem ISN'T the diamond grinding, which has been there for a handful of years, it's that Goodyear didn't run this test a year ago so they could see how their COT tire performed at IMS. Is it part of the issue? Sure, but it's not a's just like a concrete surface at another track. Goodyear is having problems at a LOT of tracks lately. Bring in Hoosier again for some competition. I know the cars are different, but Firestone manages to make tires for the Indycar Series that last 2 full fuel stints without any competition, why can't Goodyear make a tire that lasts more than 10 laps?
  • Take off your TG hater glasses and look at this through reality.

    Once again you are wrong but apparently you never tire of it. Goodyear has admitted it was a combination of the track and the new cars set up, just as I said. Put your kool aid glass down and stop running to the defense of the Inheritor, you are making yourself look even more stupid. The track has been ground more than once. It needs to be paved but _TG is afraid Special Ed and Danicant won't be able to drive a car that is not stuck to the track. I don't recall the track ever being diamond grinded when CART was there but the quality of drivers was much better and so were the cars so it makes sense.
  • Firestone could do it no problem

    So you have spoken with Al Speyer and he has confirmed it? When should we expect an announcement?
  • Brett,

    If the track is doing special favors for Danica, Ed and whoever your conspiracy theories come up with, then why are not all tracks they run on Diamond Ground? I mean for your theory to be correct, then Danica should do worse on tracks that are not diamond ground. This year she is tied for 4th in points with all top 5's, except for St. Petes. Last year, she was 6th in points. So your theory is not holding water.

    And back to the heart of the argument. Track was diamond ground in 2005. So NASCAR ran there in '05, '06, and '07 with no obvious problems. '08, they do not tire test. '08, NASCAR introduces the COT with major changes. '08, IMS surface same as last 3 years. So who caused the problem?
  • You mean special favors like power steering? The track was diamond ground in 2001 and 2002 as well. TG doesn't care about or have any control at any other track than Indy and he is rapidly losing what control he had. If the irl had any sense they would give Danica every advantage they possibly could, at this point it is about the only hope they have. As I said previously it was a combination of the COT and the set up they used last year along with the heat at last years race, a perfect storm if you will. NASCAR and Goodyear were both stupid for not doing tire testing at IMS with a new car.
  • So we are more in agreement. It was ground as far back as '01, and it took how many years for NASCAR to have a problem? If the IRL is smart they would give female drivers as equal a footing as other drivers. You saw the publicity the IRL got when Danica won her first race. It will be nothing like when a woman, Danica or not, wins Indy. NASCAR has tried to manufacture a female success. The last was Shawna Robinson, I think that was her name. And I am sure NASCAR is going to be pushing hard to get Danica over there for next season. I hope Danica looks at what she has in the IRL and stays. But money talks.
  • I think NASCAR is more interested in limiting what little competition they have rather than generally being interested in Danica's abilities. But she would be a marketing bonanza for them.

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