Goodyear: Tire troubles solved

June 1, 2009
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tiresGoodyear officials in town today for a NASCAR tire test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway said they have fixed problems that plagued the company’s tires at last year’s Brickyard 400.

NASCAR officials last year had to throw a yellow flag every nine or so laps to keep the shredding tires from blowing out.

Goodyear officials, who will be in town testing through Wednesday, said they believe they have developed a rubber compound which will hold up to the IMS track for 33 to 35 laps. The track will not be open to the public or press during testing.

“We have a lot to do, and we wanted to keep everyone focused on that,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear director of race tire sales. “We’ll have another test June 15 and 16, which will basically serve as a dress rehearsal to the race, and that will be open to the media.”

Goodyear tested at the Speedway three times last fall and twice in April. “This test we hope will help us determine the final recommendation for the rubber compound we use,” Stucker said. “Our goal is to make a tire that will last a full fuel stop.”

Goodyear officials in a conversation with IBJ said the combination of the track’s condition and new car set up last year contributed to the problems.

“We’ve done a lot to understand that surface,” Stucker said. “Ever since the surface was ground, we’ve seen aggressive wear. What happened last year, is we had a different race car … It created a different wear mechanism, and the wear debris was smaller and never settled in the groove and rubbered in.”

But things are looking much better, Stucker said, adding, “We feel good right now.”

Driver Tony Stewart, a vocal Goodyear critic, asked to be part of this test, and Stucker said that is fine with him.

“This is the first time Tony has tested here since last year’s race, and we welcome his input,” Stucker said. “It’s safe to say, we all want the same thing.”
  • Actually, the museum and the surrounding area are open (south chute stands and turn 2 viewing mound). Stewart, Kahne, and Montoya are out testing.
  • Ahhhh the dwindling days of NASCAR at IMS.
  • And Tracula would like that. He would love to see the demise of the Speedway. I guess it gives him some perverse pleasure. Sad really. Not sure if he was a cart employee or was turned down as a yellow shirt, but his hatred as does some others here goes almost to psychosis.

    On the other hand, this is certainly not the end of NASCAR at the Brickyard. Even the F1 disaster did not kill F1 here, it was Bernies greed. NASCAR will continue to do well here.
  • I will believe they have fixed the problem when TS says it is. If he comes out and says he is satisfied, then I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief. I do think NASCAR and Goodyear should have discounted ticket renewals this year to make up for the problems of last year.

    I do not think lower attendance this year would be attributable to any one cause. I am sure some people will not come until they know there will not be a repeat of last year. I also know that like at most NASCAR tracks attendance will be down because of the economy.
  • I have no hatred for the Speedway. I love the place. But NASCAR is just so yesterday now and people are falling out. The fad has passed as fads do. People just kind of look at it now and go wha da fuh? 3 gear and toy cars stuff are all getting EBayed and yarded out. Oh well, you know? NASCAR had its day and is going back to curiosity status. Landscapes change, man. They had a good run. Mainstream America has just gone back to seeing it as a hick sport is all. No big. They'll still be around just not all that.
  • First I will say I am a fan of both the IRL and NASCAR, so I have no dog in this fight.

    Count makes the argument that NASCAR is so yesterday. Well let's just compare viewership for the 2 premier events. The Daytona and Indy 500's.

    Ratings for this years event.
    Daytona - 8.0 share and 17 million viewers
    Indy - 4.2 share

    Almost double the ratings compared to the IRL for a series that is so yesterday is pretty good.

    Even for the rest of the events other than Daytona, NASCAR is averaging close to 8.7 million viewers.

    Not exactly going away anytime soon.
  • Apples and oranges comparison, Say A, when one is contested on a Sunday night in February and the other is a daytime event on a holiday weekend
  • I'm not much of a NASCAR guy, so forgive me if I'm totally off base. Is 35 laps really something to be excited about? I know it's an improvement over last year, but it seems to me that they should be able to do more than 35.
  • Say Anthing Says,

    Good point about NASCAR having bigger ratings with its Daytona 500. But Bill says makes the better one. Half the country is mired deep in Winter on a late Sunday afternoon/early evening just weeks removed from the weekly football fix. Nothing to do but wait out the snow.

    The 500 goes up against the first unofficial weekend of Summer, college graduations, baseball, and a myriad if outdoor activities folks who were all denned in watching the Daytona 500 can now go out and do.

    NASCAR is yesterday and nosediving back to its normal platform as a solid, second-tier, regionally-inspired niche sport. I don't see what is wrong with that. It was just fine when that is all it was back in the day. NASCAR was never going to be a the fourth major league sport. It was just too Brittney Spears for that to ever happen. Non racing folks came, they saw, the grew bored, they walked away. Nothing France and Friends contrive can change that now. And with the times a-changin' acorss the scope of the entertainment world, NASCAR may well go the way of Network News, music albums, telephone booths, and mailboxes. Still there, but in smaller numbers, kind of nostalgic, and catering to a small corwd of loyalists and real passe.
  • Goodyear officials in a conversation with IBJ said the combination of the track’s condition and new car set up last year contributed to the problems.

    “We’ve done a lot to understand that surface,” Stucker said. “Ever since the surface was ground, we’ve seen aggressive wear. What happened last year, is we had a different race car … It created a different wear mechanism, and the wear debris was smaller and never settled in the groove and rubbered in.”

    As I said it was a combination of the COT, the track and the set up on the cars. The kool aid drinkers refuse to admit that the Speedway, once again, has blame. The track needs to be paved and repaired. And the moronic comments about why isn't Firestone having any problems shows how little the 5 or 6 bleating _TG supporters know....
  • We did not diamond grind the entire track to make it smoother,” Pine stated. “Smoothness was a nonissue at that point. They were very happy with the smoothness; they simply wanted the degree of grip that they had before, and they wanted a consistent amount of grip everywhere.” This increases the drivers’ control on the track and allows for more competitive racing on all parts of the track. Diamond grinding essentially cuts shallow grooves in the pavement surface with a series of what look like saw blades with diamond cutting edges. The diamond grinding cut longitudinal grooves 1?8 in. wide with 1?8 in. between them and 1?16 in. deep all the way around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis oval, which is 50 ft wide in the straights and has about 78,000 sq yd of surface area. The ridges between grooves are not stable, so they need to be worn off a little.
  • The 500 was not a 4.2 it was a 3.9

    iCarly gets better ratings as does How its Made and Sell this house. :lol:

    but to the point: Tony better hope to he!! this gets sorted as his sisters have laid down the law. no more IRL unless it pays for itsself. NASCAR leaving, which could or could not happen, would just kill the family fortune. No series to run the 500, and no cash cow to pay for IMS......Bernie's Circus is looking better all the time, and i'll bet its back sooner rather than later.

    NASCAR: Keeping IMS alive since 94!
  • The “500″ goes up against the first “unofficial” weekend of Summer, college graduations, baseball, and a myriad if outdoor activities

    The earl excuse-o-matic machine is juts pathetic. :lol: The ratings and attendance suck because the product is garbage, and everyone except a few idiotic sycophants hates the effbagger TG. :lol:
  • So, big Stanley, the man with the attitude and all the answers, the nattering nabob of negativity, has just cited that the 300,000 people that attended this year's 500 are all idiotic sycophants and they enjoy garbage and suckiness. For all of you readers that did attend, don't you appreciate Stanley's assessment of you?. Stanley, does this include Anthony who, most likely, attended the race?

    Do you think you can ever make your point without insults and nastiness?
  • I am worried about the damage already done. Goodyear's crappy tire has already had an effect on this years ticket sales. Nascar should join Goodyear and try to give as much good press and promotion for the upcoming Brickyard to compensate for the bit** slap last year. I like racing but I am more worried about the tourism for the Indianpolis area. Good events and good races keep people coming back for more. Also Count Tracula, go jump in the White River, your pond scum. I 'm out.
  • Todd, Thanks! You are alright, man!


  • Brett,

    Just because the Goodyear official says something does not make it so. The track is ground several years ago. NASCAR runs on it with no issues, at least none that are obvious including only running 10 lap runs. Last year NASCAR brings in a totally new car and Goodyear fails to do any tire tests here. This year Goodyear does tire testing and declares the problem fixed. So tell me again how this is IMS's fault?
  • NASCAR is not so yesterday per se, but I think it has peaked and will see a decline to more ordinary numbers. Just like NBA, MBL,PGA, OW etc... All see periods of very high ratings due to players/drivers or economic or social conditions. It feeds on itself and becomes the cool thing to do. Then it cools off and something else is the cool thing to do.

    I stated several years ago that NASCAR was going to alienate its main fan base (southern folk) with the elimination of races like Rockingham, Darlington etc.... and it was going to burn out its hip crowd with way too many races to follow. I think you are seeing some of both. I think NASCAR needs to pull its double races from newer venues and return races back to the tracks that made it.
  • I think NASCAR needs to cut its schedule to about 20 races. Run only Daytona twice. The rest get one date and shorter races. Two hours tops.

    The races need to be shoot-outs, 200 lap, run and gun specials at places like Phoenix and Vegas, Richmond, Chicagoland.

    Also, no guaranteed qualifying. You line them up, run two laps, fastest to lastest. You don't make the show, you go home.

    Then you'll see some racing. And all the controversy, emotion, and intrigue that goes with it.

    France and Friends turned NASCAR into the government jobs of racing.
  • I have to agree with some of that. I have no problem with big tracks and long races, but short tracks should have shorter miles. How many times can a car run around a mile oval before it gets boring as dirt. Some of the best racing is short track sprints.

    I think they should cut the field from 43 to 30 or 35. You make it great, you don't, you go home.
  • I agree with cutting the field down to low 30's. And actually, as for race distance, I think the Daytona 500, Talladega 500, and Southern 500 should be the ONLY 500s. Then NASCAR can have its own Triple Crown.

    I also want to go out on a limb and suggest that Daytona be moved to the season finale as has been offered up by others before.

    October on a Saturday night.

    These are big changes but much less contrived than what NASCAR has offered for years. These are changes to enchance the racing and competition, not fake it to a crowd that never really cared.
  • No where did I say it was only IMS's fault, take your blinders off. Read the article I posted, the diamond grinding was done SPECIFICALLY (I know that's a big word, sound it out) for the crapwagons to give them even more grip. The COT tire test for Indy was not done in the heat they had for last years race and the cars did not have the crab walk set up many teams were using last year on the COT. To say the diamond grinding does not play a role is false.
  • I never said you said it was all IMS's fault. I am saying it is not IMS's fault at all. It is up to Goodyear to bring a tire that can handle the track they are brought to. They failed. This is not the first time, or the only track they have had this problem. Being the sole provider of tires has made them fat and dumb. No competition means they phone it in. If NASCAR cared about racing and safety, they would reach out to other tire manufacturers and offer them a shot at running their races.

    Of course the diamond grinding was to improve grip. Why else do it. But somehow it does not meet your conspiracy theory that it was done for Danica and Ed and whoever else is in your group. Over the decades OW has done many things to improve and decrease grip, diamond grinding is just one. If these tire problems showed up immediately after the grinding, then I may agree the track needs repaved. But NASCAR ran successfully on it for several years.
  • NASCAR successfully ran on it for several years with the old car that had more downforce. Paving the track would solve the problem and might even bring some passing back to the 500 other than just on restarts. _TG had no problem paving the track before the 1996 500* to try and increase speed for his fledgling little series that had about 5 drivers anyone knew. RIP Scott Brayton.
  • So NASCAR changes should force IMS to react? Oh well, this argument has become a dry well.
  • Brett,

    Scott Brayton's death had nothing to do with the track surface, just in case you are implying. If not, then I stand corrected.

    But the facts are: A poorly inflated right rear began to equalize pressure under loading and on Scott's entry into Turn One, simply could not support the weight any longer and the car stepped out due to a small, unstable contact patch. Subsequently, Brayton's helmet edge locked up on the side of the cockpit when he hit the wall and the forces then worked to give him a base skull fracture (as though his neck was in a vise) like Marcelo's at Indy four years before in what was essentially a duplicate accident only much slower.

    The cars were going way too fast back then and the pavement helped mightily, but Scott's death would havce happened on an old surface, a new surface, dirt, bricks, crushed tar and stone, ice, or boards.
  • And there is a good chance he would have survived it if SAFER Barriers had existed then. Yet another innovation TG partnered with that he chose not to license so all tracks could afford it.
  • I was not implying anything other than Scott died in '96 and I was and still am a fan of his.
  • TG and the gang have my respect for that as they should have from everyone in the racing community. And, yes, with today's safety improvements such as the SAFER Barrier, Brayton and Marcelo would have not only survived, there is a good chance they'd have no injuries at all. Conversely, Vitor's wreck at Indy a couple weeks ago would have been somewhere between Stan Fox, Nelson Piquet, and Gordon Smiley or all three. Go back at look at a picture of Steve Krisiloff in Armstrong's last go of it at Indy in '83. Go to photos and take a look at that picture of the Lola with Steve in it, and imagine that one in Vitor's wreck. The cars Turn One entry speeds back then were not too far off from today, slower yes, but....I bag on the IRL, sometimes angrily and immaturely to my own self-admitted shame, but the one thing they do better than ANYBODY at W.16th & Georgetown is SAFETY. They are
  • Except the cars are POS crapwagons. Get over yourself on this, FAIL.

    You put enuf foam around crap and drive into it.....and yeah, go ahead and call it safety you ignorant race fan. how about fix the damn car first, and start from there.

  • Why are they crapwagons? And what do you know about race cars?
  • Funny thing is with all this talk of cr@pwagons and Scott Brayton's death, I guess the posters that hate all things TG and all things IRL fail to remember is Scott Brayton was actually driving a CART formula car from 1995. The IRL designed cars did not come out until the following year.
  • Indycars are safer now then ever in their history. That is fact, you can look it up.

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  1. You are correct that Obamacare requires health insurance policies to include richer benefits and protects patients who get sick. That's what I was getting at when I wrote above, "That’s because Obamacare required insurers to take all customers, regardless of their health status, and also established a floor on how skimpy the benefits paid for by health plans could be." I think it's vital to know exactly how much the essential health benefits are costing over previous policies. Unless we know the cost of the law, we can't do a cost-benefit analysis. Taxes were raised in order to offset a 31% rise in health insurance premiums, an increase that paid for richer benefits. Are those richer benefits worth that much or not? That's the question we need to answer. This study at least gets us started on doing so.

  2. *5 employees per floor. Either way its ridiculous.

  3. Jim, thanks for always ready my stuff and providing thoughtful comments. I am sure that someone more familiar with research design and methods could take issue with Kowalski's study. I thought it was of considerable value, however, because so far we have been crediting Obamacare for all the gains in coverage and all price increases, neither of which is entirely fair. This is at least a rigorous attempt to sort things out. Maybe a quixotic attempt, but it's one of the first ones I've seen try to do it in a sophisticated way.

  4. In addition to rewriting history, the paper (or at least your summary of it) ignores that Obamacare policies now must provide "essential health benefits". Maybe Mr Wall has always been insured in a group plan but even group plans had holes you could drive a truck through, like the Colts defensive line last night. Individual plans were even worse. So, when you come up with a study that factors that in, let me know, otherwise the numbers are garbage.

  5. You guys are absolutely right: Cummins should build a massive 80-story high rise, and give each employee 5 floors. Or, I suppose they could always rent out the top floors if they wanted, since downtown office space is bursting at the seams (