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“Looked Like a Late Model Race”: Kevin Harvick’s Former Crew Chief Praises Goodyear’s New Tire Strategy Ahead of 2024 NASCAR All-Star Race

Nilavro Ghosh

Short-track racing has been a huge issue for the Next-Gen car but the tire performance in the All-Star race weekend so far might suggest a breakthrough. Several people were impressed including Kevin Harvick‘s former crew chief Rodney Childers, who currently works with Josh Berry in the NASCAR Cup Series. Childers hailed the soft compound tires Goodyear has brought to the North Wilkesboro Motor Speedway, even comparing the racing action to that of a Late Model race.

“After what I saw and experienced today, agree 100%. The whole complexity of the race track and groove changed after everyone put the softs on and got that rubber laid down. Looked like a late model race,” the Cup Series winning crew chief posted on X. He is not alone in thinking so as Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin has also been highly impressed.

Hamlin has been one of the most vocal critics of how the short-track races have deteriorated but he was also one of the first to suggest that there was a lot of reason to be positive. After Friday’s practice session, the soft compound tire has been the talk of the shops and Hamlin believes that it could be NASCAR’s answer to its short-track racing woes. One of the things that impressed the JGR star was the heating of the left-side tires which would make passing easier and strategy would play a huge part.

Another driver who was on track and tested the whole thing out was Kevin Harvick. The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion filled in for Kyle Larson in practice and spoke about the amount of grip on the track.

Kevin Harvick explains experience with Goodyear’s potential solution

The North Wilkesboro Motor Speedway has been freshly paved and it’s not always easy to find the right grip when very little rubber has been laid down. Well, Goodyear’s soft compounds did not make that issue seem like anything as the cars gripped comfortably and as more rubber was laid down, things got even better.

“A lot of chatter with the wheel front, the front tires coming to the green, okay in 1 and 2 and okay through 3 and 4 on your timed lap but when you come back out of pit road, a lot of that same chatter. A lot of grip coming to pit road as you guys have been talking about to lose time or gain time right there,” Harvick said.

The track is only 0.625 miles and being a non-points race gives Goodyear a fantastic chance to test out some new tire compounds to improve short-track racing.

About the author

Nilavro Ghosh

Nilavro Ghosh


Nilavro is a NASCAR journalist at The SportsRush. His love for motorsports began at a young age with F1 and spread out to other forms of racing like NASCAR and Moto GP. After earning his post-graduate degree from the Asian College of Journalism in 2020, he has mostly worked as a motorsports journalist. Apart from covering racing, his passion lies in making music primarily as a bass player.

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