Goodyear announces tire changes with NASCAR
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will start the 2006 racing season with a new tire leasing program for NASCAR's top three series, and racing's first deployment of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.
An embedded computer chip in the tires will help Goodyear manage the leased inventory through RFID. It will assist in the implementation of NASCAR's new controlled testing procedures, which were developed by the sanctioning body to reduce private team testing next year in an effort to level the playing field for all teams.
The new tire lease program will get its own test run this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the Craftsman Truck Series race, according to Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire marketing.
"With RFID, we will have the ability to ensure that every tire that comes to the racetrack with us leaves the track with us. While we will no longer sell tires to the teams for private testing, we will continue to supply Goodyear tires for NASCAR-scheduled testing in much the same way we do at race events."
The RFID scanning equipment will quickly read the pertinent information embedded in the sidewall of the tire. Stucker said that tire identification is the first piece of data that will be available through the computer chip. "We are exploring several other data options that will further the technological capability of race tire manufacturing and performance," he added.
Goodyear specialists will be on site at all races with a specially equipped transporter to run the program. "The program is a major undertaking and investment for us in equipment, personnel and warehousing capabilities," Stucker said.
Goodyear began exploring RFID technology in 1984. In 1993, the company began the first field trial with more than 3,000 tires. The Goodyear Racing Division chose to launch that technology to help manage race tire inventories for the 2006 NASCAR season.