HAMPTON,GA – When NASCAR’s biggest stars take to track at Atlanta Motor Speedway tomorrow night for the AdvoCare 500, the Goodyear tires on their cars will have technology that is new to the race track. But instead of being racing technology that may one day show up in street tires, this will be a case of tire technology from street cars being transferred to the race track.
Atlanta Motor Speedway is a favorite of many NASCAR drivers. Though it’s “cookie cutter” 1.5-mile D-shaped oval, well-worn asphalt and high-banked turns combined to make it one of the fastest tracks in NASCAR. But that speed and old surface is rough on racing tires.
“Atlanta is one of our biggest challenges from a tire perspective. The abrasive surface causes extremely high wear, while the length and layout promote very high speeds,” said Stu Grant, Goodyear’s general manager of worldwide racing. “What we’ve done here is take a specific rubber compound and limit the application to the inside shoulder, and then have a more tractive compound across the rest of the tread.”
For its new Atlanta right-side tire, Goodyear has combined one compound (run recently at Michigan) to help control heat on the inner half of the tread with a different tread (run previously at Atlanta) to give the cars more grip. It will be paired with the more traditional left-side tire run at Atlanta last season.
This “Zone Tread” technology was first used in 2004 on the Assurance TripleTred all-weather passenger tire. “That tire combines three distinct tread zones for wet, icy and dry conditions,” explained Justin Fantozzi, Marketing Manager for Goodyear Racing. “Using zone tread technology, this race tire achieves the grip drivers want with durability teams need to handle the heat caused by the extreme camber used by crew chiefs to help the cars turn.”
13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams put the zone tread tires through its paces at few weeks back in a test session at AMS in preparation for tomorrow’s race.
“Teams were able to tune their cars to the tire and get the balance of the car right,” said Grant. “Everybody seemed pleased with the performance. Basically, we were able to run the inside shoulder compound to give us the durability we want, while giving the cars an acceptable level of grip and handling with the rest of the tread.”
This is not first time Goodyear has transferred street technology to its racing tires. In 2009, a wet weather radial for use in the NASCAR Nationwide Series was introduced with a tread pattern based on the “street” Goodyear Eagle F1 All Season tire.
For more information about Goodyear tires, visit www.goodyear.com.