Extensive tire wear at Bristol Motor Speedway during Sunday‘s Food City 500 left Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company executives puzzled since the tire used this March was identical to the one used in last September‘s NASCAR Cup race at the high-banked, half-mile track.

“We tested here last year with the intent to come up with a tire package that generated more tire wear,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear‘s director of racing. “That was the request from NASCAR and the teams. We feel like we had a very successful test. We feel like we had a successful race in the fall last year.

“Now, we‘re trying to understand what‘s different. Why is the race track behaving differently this weekend than what it did a year ago. It‘s the same package. It‘s the same power combination.”

However, there was one difference. Resin was put on the low groove after Saturday night‘s NASCAR Craftsman Truck race instead of PJ1. Stucker said that was a track decision and it didn‘t surprise him because everyone was trying to get away from using PJ1. The resin cheese grated the tires during the race, but Stucker said it shouldn‘t have affected how the track‘s middle and high grooves took rubber.

“Last fall, it took rubber immediately during that race,” Stucker said. “Still a bit of an unknown as far as why it‘s (race track) not behaving the same way.

See more at Autoweek.

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