Greg Stucker visited the Atlanta Motor Speedway media center during Sunday’s race to tell the media that Goodyear is working to understand if there was a common theme that caused three right-rear tire failures.
Ross Chastain lost a right rear while leading on lap 95. His car broke loose and hit the wall in Turns 1 and 2.
Tyler Reddick lost a right-rear on lap 145, spinning in front of the field from the outside lane. Reddick collected 12 other drivers.
Then on lap 202, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. also spun from the race lead because of a right-rear failure. Stenhouse spun in Turn 4 and collected four other drivers.
“A varying number of laps (before an issue),” said Stucker, the director of racing for Goodyear. “They are all the same manufacturer; we do know that. That’s a little bit suspicious. The fact that it’s the right rear is kind of unique and strange because the right rear is not the most heavily loaded position on the race car. That’s the right front. So, we’re trying to understand what’s going on. We didn’t see anything at all in practice. We had guys put 50 plus laps on tires in practice, and we saw nothing at all, no indication of anyone having any sort of issue whatsoever.
“We’re collecting those tires, and we’ll get them back to Akron (Ohio), and we’ll have a better ability to have a look at them to see if we can find anything and work with the teams to try to understand where they were with suspension, air pressure – always a factor to consider – because the tires all failed in the same fashion. They were all an overloaded, over-deflected type of failure. That could be even if the tire was cut and going down. We haven’t found evidence of that in any of them yet, and that’ll be one of the things we continue to look at.”
With the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 still ongoing, Stucker said it’s hard to determine if it is a camber issue until talking to the teams. A comparison of the camber setup will be made between the teams who had problems and those who did not.
Stucker did say they have not seen tire wear be a factor, and there is plenty of rubber left on the tire. An early examination of the tires is over deflection, which means the carcass has been fatigued.
Goodyear recommends teams run a minimum psi of 20 in the left front, 22 psi in the left rear, 52 psi in the right front, and 50 psi in the right rear. Stucker said they are reminding teams on pit road of those recommendations for the remainder of the race.
“We’re just trying to find out what they felt – what they drivers felt,” Stucker said of early conversations. “It was all pretty short (notice before failure). You could see with Ricky’s that his was going down just briefly before he spun. Just trying to understand anything those guys might have told the team that would help us or helps the team figure out what’s going on.”