KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Goodyear executives have given a thumbs-up review of the two-day Goodyear tire test on the new Charlotte Motor Speedway road course last week.
Drivers Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Daniel Hemric ran laps Oct. 17-18 on the newly introduced 2.42-mile, 18-turn road course at Charlotte.
Stu Grant, Goodyear’s Manager of Worldwide Racing, said Sunday morning before the race at Kansas Speedway that the tire company was in good shape preparing for the inaugural Charlotte road course race set for Sept. 30 next year as the final race in the opening round of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
“Actually we ended up having a very good test and come out of there with a very good tire recommendation,” Grant said. “We started off with a Watkins Glen road course-type setup, thought that would be a good start. That’s what we ran back a year ago with [AJ] Allmendinger (who first tested the road course in January). We built some special tires with different compounds because we weren’t sure where we were going to land with the configuration. The first thing we did was try to figure out what the chicane on the backstretch would look like.
“We worked with NASCAR to fiddle around and try to get the configuration of that right. We went through our test program and ended up on a setup that was the Watkins Glen road course construction on a slightly softer tread compound.”
Grant said although the drivers had some off-course excursions, the feedback was valuable and ultimately positive.
“It was nice and it was unanimous among the drivers in terms of which setup to pick,” Grant said. “It’s always nice to leave a test when everybody agrees on the same tire. That’s where we landed. We were happy from a tire standpoint. Now NASCAR and the race track (may) look at making some changes to the curbing. And unless they make a major change, we’re good to go.”