Saturday, July 26, 2008

Weak Rubber at Indy

The Allstate 400 won’t come close to the infamous U.S. Grand Sham of 2005, but word around the Red Bull Racing Team garage stalls is that Sunday’s race at Indianapolis is going to be “ugly.” (More explicit words were used, but we’ll just leave it at that).

Goodyear’s right-side Eagle tire is wearing down — dangerously fast. The Red Bull Toyotas were able to turn only five or six laps before white cords imbedded in the rubber started to show. That’s not good when you’ve already plowed through eight sets of tires in practice and qualifying and have only 10 remaining for the race. And it’s especially not good when you’re pushing 200 mph with a concrete wall up ahead.

For fear of tire failures, only the six Bridgestone-shod cars competed in the 2005 Formula One U.S. Grand Prix, commonly known as the “tire debacle.”

“We can only go about 12 or 13 laps before they’ll blow,” anticipated Phil Jimenez, the No. 84’s race engineer. “There’s going to be a caution about every 12 laps. It’s not going to be pretty.”

Tire wear will be a serious issue until cars turn a significant number of laps and lay down rubber on the abrasive, grooved surface, and NASCAR is expected to throw a competition yellow around lap 15. Until then, and as AJ Allmendinger said, “We just hope to keep it out of the wall.”

The combination of left- and right-side codes was selected after an April tire test with No. 83 driver Brian Vickers, Kurt Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Speed Update: Scott Speed, after being 10th in practice, qualified sixth for tonight's ARCA race at Michigan’s Berlin Raceway (8:30 p.m. ET).


Blogger Kristin said...

That's one reason why I hate this track. Laying down rubber is SO hard, and tires can explode easily. Makes for one scary afternoon for the drivers, crews, and fans. Hopefully Goodyear comes back with a better tire in '09.

Good luck tomorrow AJ and BV! Be safe. WE BELIEVE!

5:56 PM  
Anonymous JL Bull #82 said...

thats just great... So what was the purpose of the goddamn tire test if we were going to see a horrible race because goodyear has garbage tires

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea.. Goodyear fails again. The tires they used at Pocono were hard to race on and I'm guessing that they didn't want another boring race at Indianapolis so they brought softer tires, too soft. They're going to need a lot of luck tomorrow.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wooo!! Back to back win for Scott Speed!

7:19 PM  
Anonymous tracy said...

Congrats to Scott! Hope he keeps that roll going at Pocono next weekend.

I am not even looking forward to watching this race at Indy. Especially since Brian and AJ both need as many points as they can get. Tire failure just can't be an option for them. Good luck, guys!

7:33 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Congratulations Scott!!!!

8:29 PM  
Anonymous nick b said...

Scott Speed kicks ass!! Vickers will be kissing the bricks Sunday!!!

11:27 PM  
Blogger Bull Rider said...

Apparently, Goodyear brought a truck full of tires overnight. Maybe they'll have enough. Who knows?

5:19 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Goodyear is giving all the teams 10 sets each. If they run out, according to Mark Martin, they will go to Pocono tires. Goodyear doesn't understand how the track isn't letting the cars lay downa a lot of rubber.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Amzy said...

Actually, if the tires they have no keep wearing out after 6 laps, they will bring all the teams down to pit road and they all will have to use the Pocono tires instead, which have a softer right front.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Amyz, where did you see that? Watching the prerace, they haven't mentioned that.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Amzy said...

They had an article on ESPN and on Nascar raceday they also had a segment on it.

As a precaution, Goodyear trucked in 800 additional tires to Indy Saturday night. The extra tires were prepared for the Pocono race next week. Those tires were taken to an impound area for the teams to mount and prepare at noon ET, two hours before the start of the race.
The Pocono tires only will be used if NASCAR determines the tires the teams have now are not acceptable for Sunday's race.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to Vickers? He's way in the back now, good job AJ in second!

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BV's been trying to keep the car under him. He's had the feeling of the left(?) rear going down on him a couple times now. He said he just about lost it when the 17 lost his tire. They (83) are also being very conservative. Kevin's been telling BV at the end of runs to back it down speed wise several seconds to help preserve the car & tires. (Oh, the joys of Trackpass and the horrors of ESPN.)

AJ's running great. He's getting props on TV (lap 57).


12:39 PM  
Blogger Nomar said...

Indeed, thank heavens for Trackpass...Today is all about survival. I don't want to run around in 30th, but with the 17 and 29 having problems, we can really make some strides today. Here's hoping we survive. (sorry for a potential jinx)

12:41 PM  

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