NASCAR & Auto Racing

Goodyear says it's working on tire issues

Goodyear and NASCAR will accelerate discussions about changing the size of tires used on Sprint Cup's new race car as a result of last week's issues at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.

Stu Grant, general manager of global race tires for Goodyear, issued a statement Saturday morning saying that the company's engineers "are working around the clock to completely understand the issues" from last week's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

NASCAR had to throw a series of cautions during the race to keep teams from having to go more than about 10 laps under green because of severe wear issues on right-side tires used on Indy's diamond-ground racing surface.

"No one was more disappointed than we were with the events in Indianapolis," Grant said. "We are the first to admit we missed the mark with the combination for this race. There are many reasons, but they are only important today from the perspective that we learn from those issues and move forward successfully.

"Our responsibility is to provide a tire that works with all of the variables and we take that responsibility very seriously."

Grant said Goodyear will scheduled a tire test this fall at Indianapolis with multiple participants, then add another test in the spring of 2009 to fine-tune a specific set-up for next year's race.

Grant said discussions about a wider and/or taller tire would include drivers, team owners, crew chiefs and officials at the various race tracks. Earlier this week, NASCAR vice president for competition Robin Pemberton also talked about the idea of using bigger tires.

"A tire that is a larger circumference that allows it to have a larger volume of air in there and helps its durability," Pemberton said. "If we come to a place that Goodyear needs to be to help the performance help the tires and help the feel as far as the body goes, and the sheet metal, those type of things can be changed in a matter of days or weeks or months with proper planning."

Grant's statement said Goodyear's plan for going forward includes completing an analysis of the design and manufacture of the tires used at Indy, and engaging research scientists and engineers to develop potential short-term solutions to issues caused by the "car of tomorrow."

BRIEFLY

  High Rock Raceway has secured commitment for a $30 million construction loan from a Vanderbilt Commercial Lending, a hedge fund headquartered in California, to build a 2.15-mile road course and 120 townhomes in the first phase of the raceway project along the Yadkin River near Spencer, N.C. High Rock Raceway will offer memberships to motorsports enthusiasts who will use the track for their own cars - very much like a golf country club with race cars -- and also will offer instructional programs.

  Kasey Kahne's No. 9 Dodge team from Gillett Evernham Motorsports, which won two points races plus the Sprint All-Star Race in a five-week span beginning in May, has won the second-quarter award in the Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew competition. Kyle Busch's No. 18 Toyota team from Joe Gibbs Racing won first-quarter honors. The four quarterly winners are eligible for a $100,000 to be presented at the end of the season.

  Photographer T. Taylor Warren has been named the second-quarter winner of the National Motorsports Press Association's Pocono Spirit Award. Warren has photographed all 50 Daytona 500s, and his photo of Lee Petty winning a close race to the finish of the first of those 500s played a major role in reversing the initial call of Johnny Beauchamp as the winner. The Pocono Spirit Award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.

  Cindy McCain, the wife of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, will be at Pocono Raceway today to participate in pre-race activities.

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