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Denny Hamlin Details Tire Wear and Temperature Intricacies Amidst NASCAR & Goodyear’s “Great Experiment”

Gowtham Ramalingam

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Despite them not helping him find a way past Team Penske’s Joey Logano to win the All-Star race on Sunday, Denny Hamlin was left impressed with the option tires that Goodyear tried out. Talking to the press in the aftermath of finishing runner-up, the Joe Gibbs Racing star detailed why it was a great experiment and what it was about the tires that did not live up to his expectations.

He detailed that the option variant did not wear out as well as it did during the 50-minute practice session on Friday. His hopes were that it would go down to the cords and create a lap time fall off that would’ve been the differentiating factor between him and the race-leader Logano. He reiterated, “This certainly was a great experiment that certainly we can learn from for future short tracks.”

The tires provided good speed for Hamlin and helped him post faster numbers surpassing that of the harder prime tires. But not wearing off well enough had been the one issue that he hoped NASCAR and Goodyear will work towards. He continued about the reason for the lack of fall-off, “I’m not sure what it was. I would have never thought they would have lasted as long as it did.”

“We had some pretty good graining on the left rear and a few splashes on the right front after 50 laps in practice. You would think the track being faster now at night it would wear the tires more but it just keeps getting more rubbered in. And as it gets rubbered in the tire stops wearing.” Hamlin finished highest amongst his teammates with the others falling outside the top 10.

Denny Hamlin’s crew chief Chris Gabehart is left impressed with the tire experiment

Gabehart was left questioning the temperature surrounding the track for the reason behind the lack of wear-off on the option tires. He praised the freshly repaved surface of the 0.625-mile track as the best he has ever seen and continued to detail his thoughts on the tires. He said, “I can’t imagine what they’re thinking now. This is literally their rain compound. Softest that they’ve ever made that I know of. And it’s just not enough.”

He continued to advocate taking the tires to more abrasive race tracks and noted that the cars were all still largely the same to create enough difference in speed. “Certain cars and drivers always find their way to the front but it’s not a lot of disparity,” the JGR driver said. 

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

About the author

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham is a NASCAR journalist at The SportsRush. Though his affinity for racing stems from Formula 1, he found himself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement over the years. As a result he has shared his insights and observations by authoring over 350 articles on the sport. An avid fiction writer, you can find him lost in imaginary worlds when he is not immersed in racing. He hopes to continue savoring the thrill of every lap and race together with his readers for as long as he can.

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