Goodyear Fast Facts: Phoenix International Raceway
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Race No. 35 – Can-Am 500
NASCAR Series, Race No. 32 – Ticket Galaxy 200
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Race No. 22 – Lucas Oil 150
Teams Look to Keep Cool at Phoenix: Phoenix International Raceway is one of the more interesting tracks on the NASCAR circuit, with its unique configuration that features both speedway and short track characteristics. Being just a mile in length, with three distinct corners, braking is a key factor.
That, combined with teams taping up the front end of the car to gain an aerodynamic advantage and the front of the NASCAR Cup cars being so tightly sealed up, brake heat often comes into play. Sustained brake heat over the course of a run can damage the rubber in the bead area of the tire that seats up against the wheel. If that area weakens as a result, the tire will suffer an air loss.
“While it is understandable that teams try to seal up the front of the car to increase front downforce, it is important to remember that Phoenix is still a short track when it comes to braking,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “When teams go to a true short track, like a Martinsville, aerodynamics are not much of a factor. As a result, teams don’t feel the need to tape up the front end as much, thus getting more cooling to the brakes. At Phoenix, which has more speedway characteristics, teams look to gain aero by adding more tape, which, if not done correctly, can come at the expense of brake cooling. That can lead to what we commonly call a ‘melted bead,’ which is really a condition in which the rubber that encases the metal bead wires degrades due to sustained heat, eventually separating and resulting in air loss.”
Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series in action at Phoenix this week will run the same tire set-up, the same combination of left- and right-side tires that NASCAR teams have run at this track since the beginning of last season.
Phoenix is the only track at which these teams run either of these two tire codes, teams will not run liners in their tires at Phoenix.