Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Race No. 34 – AAA Texas 500
NASCAR Xfinity Series, Race No. 31 – O’Reilly Auto Parts 300
Tire Set-up and Track Prep Key for Texas: Texas Motor Speedway went through a repave before its NASCAR event in April, and while that is always a challenge for all competitive stakeholders, the event was a great success.
The reason repaves are a concern in racing is the tremendous amount of grip new asphalt creates. Grip increases speeds, which generates heat in the tires, and extreme heat is the enemy of performance and durability.
Another challenge of a repave is the smoothness of the surface. When a track is that smooth, there is not enough abrasion to wear tires. That leads to two important situations – (1) if a tire does not shed rubber, much of the heat generated stays inside that tire, and (2) with limited wear, the track surface does not take rubber as quickly and that makes it more difficult to have multiple racing grooves. That is where the speedway comes into play – dragging tires on the track before the race weekend even begins to “rubber-in” the surface and help advance the work on those multiple grooves.
“While the timing of Texas’ repave did not leave enough time for us to test there before the spring race, we did have the advantage of knowing what the track surface was going to be like because it was the same asphalt mix that Kentucky used last year,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “While repaves are a challenge, we were able to bring a tire set-up that matched up well with that asphalt. The speedway also did a great job preparing the surface by dragging tires before we arrived for the race. They are working on the surface again in advance of this weekend, even expanding the grooves they developed in April. Everyone’s efforts – Goodyear’s, the speedway’s and NASCAR’s – are all critical in creating the right environment for great racing.”
Notes: While teams in all three NASCAR series in action at Texas this week will run the same right-side tire code (D-4718), teams in the Cup and Xfinity Series will run a different left-side code (D-4688) than those in the Camping World Truck Series.
Cup and Xfinity teams ran the same combination of left- and right-side tires at this track in April and while Texas is the only track at which these teams run this right-side tire, they have run this left-side at Kentucky the last two seasons.
On all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run liners in all four tire positions. For Texas, the air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.