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What Do NASCAR Drivers Make of Goodyear’s New Tire Strategy After 2024 All-Star Race Practice?

Gowtham Ramalingam

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Cup Series Drivers got a taste of what’s coming during Sunday’s All-Star race after practicing with the new tire compounds on Friday afternoon. The 50-minute on-track action had teams taking notes about the intricacies of the prime tire and the softer, highly wearable option tire. With the 0.625-mile surface being freshly repaved, the men-behind-the-wheel were all mostly pleased with the experience.

Denny Hamlin said to NASCAR, I think absolutely there’s something to be learned here. We ran a tire that no way they would ever feel comfortable with us running, especially on a new paved track like this, and we ran over 40 laps and we didn’t see any cords or anything. So I’m very happy with what we saw, and certainly, hopefully they can learn something from here to take to a Phoenix or something.”

Teams began their practices with different tire choices. The prime ones that are advertised as those that offer balance and grip were red-lettered. The softer options were yellow-lettered. Drivers reported that both the variants laid rubber well on the fresh pavement. The end verdict was that strategy would make all the difference during the main race. However, that’s easier said than done.

Joey Logano touched upon how both the tires were still unpredictable in regards to the measure of wear off and that it will be hard to create a fail-proof strategy. “A lot of it depends on what place you’re running and all that, but it’s not as clear as you may think when it comes to when you’re going to put the softs on, or the option tire. I don’t know. There’s a lot of question to it,” he said.

Ross Chastain, William Byron, and Ryan Blaney talk about the new tire compounds and the repavement

Trackhouse Racing’s Chastain told the press that it was far easier for him to make laps on the option tire though the primes offered better balance. Noting a character of the option tire, William Byron said, “It would fall-off with heat and then we got them back cooled and they went fast again.” He continued to throw light on the repaved race track and said that it was pretty fun racing on it.

Defending champion Ryan Blaney had more than one positive to take away from the practice too. That’s the best a repave has rubbered in that I’ve ever seen,” he said. “Whatever that was: the tire, the surface of the racetrack, the mixture of asphalt, I don’t know but definitely a good surprise on a repave that it widened out this quick.”

With positive words from most of the stars, NASCAR and Goodyear could be onto something here.

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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