After an unpredictable start to the Eliminator round last week at Martinsville Speedway, the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup continues at Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA Texas 500. And with only two races remaining before the Championship is decided at Homestead-Miami, the pressure is on for teams to bring home a win in the Lone Star state.
Texas Motor Speedway is well known for its speed. In fact, it was once considered one of the fastest non-restrictor plate tracks on the NASCAR schedule. But over the years, the track’s asphalt has aged, leading to a rougher racing surface. Although this has led to a minor reduction in top speed, the biggest impact has been on tire wear.
To handle the grueling demands of Texas Motor Speedway, Goodyear will return with the same tire package it used in the spring race—featuring a Multi-Zone Tread tire on the right side. Goodyear’s Multi-Zone Tread technology, which can trace its roots to consumer tires like the Assurance TripleTred All-Season, combines two different rubber compounds in a single tread to offer both superior traction and endurance. This tire construction has been developed specifically for the types of high speed, loads and tire wear drivers will experience at Texas.
Heading into Sunday’s race, managing tire wear will be a big consideration of teams and drivers. Because of the way the track wears down tires, the performance gap between new “sticker” tires and worn “scuffs” is larger than many other tracks. This means that a car on fresh Goodyear Eagle race tires will turn noticeably faster lap times than those on older tires.
The impact of managing tire wear brings each team’s strategy to the forefront. To end up in victory lane, a team’s crew chief will need to make all the right calls on pit lane—having fresh tires at the right time, and ensuring that their driver has enough fuel to finish the race.
Tensions will be high as each of the eight remaining teams in the Chase battles it out for a spot in the final four. But for Goodyear, the hardest work is complete—developing the right tire to deliver superior performance at Texas Motor Speedway.