Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Race No. 30 – Bank of America 500
NASCAR Xfinity Series, Race No. 29 – Drive for the Cure 300
With mile-and-a-half tracks making up 31 percent of the overall NASCAR Cup schedule, and a full 50 percent of this year’s playoff races, Charlotte Motor Speedway takes on an important role in the development of tires for like tracks.
Between Goodyear and NASCAR, there have been four tests held at the Concord, N.C.-based track since the end of the 2014 season. This will also be the ninth NASCAR weekend at the facility in that time, which has been an active period of NASCAR moving toward its current low downforce package.
Goodyear has responded by running along with those changes by incrementally increasing grip as needed through its tread compounds. In addition to that, Charlotte really highlights the construction enhancements that Goodyear has rolled into its tire lineup over the past several seasons. From mold shape adjustments to updating critical elements in the tires’ construction, this current generation of speedway tire is designed to run cooler. And in the race tire business, heat is the enemy of durability and performance.
“Charlotte has really been a proving ground for our speedway tire development throughout the years, not only because it is in the backyard of most NASCAR teams, but also because this type of track represents a big part of the schedule,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “It is well known that NASCAR has been moving to a lower downforce setting over the past several years, but what goes along with that is the fact that the teams continue to develop their race packages to gain most, if not all, of that grip back. That means that we have to keep up with the sport and continually test and assess what we see at every race to keep in front of those developments. Based on what we learn working with the teams every weekend at the track, as well as at our tests, we continue to find and develop new compounds and constructions to tune to the desired performance characteristics.”
Teams in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series will run the same tire set-up at Charlotte this week, the same combination of left- and right-side tires that teams in both of these series ran at Charlotte in May.
While this right-side tire code (D-4732) is unique to Charlotte, teams in these two series also run this left-side code (D-4698) at Kansas.
On all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions, at Charlotte the air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.