Optional tire sets enable IndyCar and Formula One crews to get creative with their strategies during races. NASCAR, on the other hand, only allows its teams to use one type of tire during Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races — but that has the potential to change.
Goodyear will provide both a standard tire and a softer, faster option tire for NASCAR’s All-Star Race on May 20 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, according to NASCAR. This essentially will serve as a test for Goodyear and NASCAR to see if tire options are feasible for a full season.
“We haven’t had any serious discussion outside of the All-Star Race,” Goodyear director of sales Greg Stucker said Wednesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, via Autoweek. “But certainly, if the results of this race warrant the conversation extending to the regular season, that’s a conversation we’re open to.”
During the All-Star race, teams will be provided with one set of option tires, according to Autoweek. There are, however, stipulations for when the option set can be used.
All four reportedly must be bolted on the car at the same time. If teams elect to save the options for the race’s final 10-lap sprint, they must start behind drivers using the standard tires. The rules, along with the race’s unique format, could lead to more passing and a close finish.
But even if the faster tires contribute to an exciting race, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’d work over a full season.
“There are a lot of different elements you have to explore, like the rules and the logistics,” Stucker said, via Autoweek. “Are there a set amount of options? Will it be open so teams select them?”
Still, there is some optimism that tire options could work on NASCAR’s premier series.
“Is it doable? It’s absolutely doable,” Stucker said.
Personally, we love what tire options bring to other racing circuits, and think they would be a great addition to NASCAR.
Thumbnail photo via Michael Shroyer/USA TODAY Sports Images
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