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Goodyear unveils new NASCAR All-Star Softer Race Tire

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The idea behind the newer tire option is to induce more exciting racing for the fans.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s ride with Goodyear’s softer option tire (Image via Times Union.)

The 25th anniversary of The Winston, later dubbed NASCAR’s All-Star Race presents throwbacks and new additions to the racing landscape. Goodyear unveiled a new, softer tire for teams to use in the 70-lap event on May 20th.

The idea behind the newer tire option is to induce more exciting racing for the fans, especially since the All-Star Race format can be tricky to understand, and lack excitement. The softer tire will allow more grip cohesion to the racetrack, allowing for faster speeds and more lane selection availability.

Goodyear’s GM Stu Grant said the tires were setup to endure roughly a 20 lap circuit before giving out.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the № 4 Busch Bucks Ford produced a lap in Charlotte’s practice on Friday at 189.095 mph with the new set of tires. Four laps later, that speed was dropped to 183.511 mph— proving the beneficial short-run speed of the tire that could be used to a team’s advantage.

Goodyear’s softer tire. (Image via Aaron Blake)

“From what I’ve seen so far today, I think NASCAR should be really pleased with what happened this afternoon,” said Grant, “because we ended up delivering, I think, exactly what they wanted, which was a faster tire that gave up more.”

Martin Truex Jr., driver of the №78 added “They’re so much faster, we’re going to have to do this.”

“I’m excited about it” said points leader Kyle Larson, “I hope that the option tire is a good thing, because I think it would be a cool kind of added thing for regular season races in the future.” Larson also added he suspects NASCAR and Goodyear are collaborating to use Saturday’s race as a test for future tire possibilities.

As far as Goodyear is concerned, it said officials have confirmed the softer tire option for future races, but it remains up to NASCAR to implement them.

Strategy remain’s the option’s biggest piece, because of the softer rubber, the tires mixed with the 195 mph speed can cause them to blow out if run too long.

NASCAR’s largest social media presence, Dale Earnhardt Jr. showed skepticism about the new tires with its design, “The track has so much speed at the end of the race there. If I got hard tires and I’m starting on the front row, I feel as confident as anyone else in that little dash for the win. That soft tire will be good for three or four laps before it starts evening out. It will be interesting.”

The guarantee is uncertain, but with drivers anticipating the new tires, and the premise of better racing along with the 25th anniversary of ‘One Hot Night’, the 2017 All-Star Race should prove who wants the $1 million more, and which team can use strategy to their advantage.

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