Tire options made their Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut Saturday night, and the results decidedly were mixed. Though, they were at the center of perhaps the All-Star Race’s most memorable moment, which came courtesy of Clint Bowyer.
NASCAR used the exhibition race at Charlotte Motor Speedway as a testing ground for drivers and teams to experiment with tire options. In addition to the traditional Goodyear tires, which feature yellow writing, teams also had the option to use softer, faster tires with bright green lettering.
One of the stipulations surrounding the usage of the tires was that teams only had one set, and all four tires in the set had to be put on cars at the same time. But the rule book says nothing about how many “green” tires could be taken off at one time, or how many could be left on a car.
And boy, was Mike Bugarewicz, the No. 14’s crew chief, ever keen on that loophole.
Despite Bugarewicz exploiting the gap in the rule book prior to Stage 3, it didn’t help Bowyer much, as the Stewart-Haas Racing driver slipped back in the standings almost immediately upon the restart.
He, like everyone else at CMS, was forced to watch Kyle Busch earn his first All-Star Race checkered flag.
Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images
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