Goodyear Doesn't Know Why Tire Wear Was So High At Bristol

Gif: NASCAR / YouTube
Gif: NASCAR / YouTube

Extreme tire wear during Sunday’s Food City 500 was so drastic that the NASCAR Cup Series field was dangerously close to not having enough Goodyear tires to complete the race. However, the difficult conditions produced one of NASCAR’s most entertaining short-track races in recent years. Saturday’s 12 Hours of Sebring was just as enthralling and featured a race-winning breakout drive from Louis Delétraz. It’s Monday, March 18, 2024 and this is Racing Recap, your summary of last weekend’s motorsports action.

More Tire Wear, More Fun At Bristol

Goodyear isn’t sure why the tire wear was so high at Bristol Motor Speedway. Both NASCAR and its tire supplier aimed for increased degradation to create more competitive action on-track. The race saw 56 lead changes, a Cup Series record for short tracks. However, there were concerns that the teams would run out of sets before the checkered flag. The tire manufacturer seems at a loss as to why the wear was worse than expected. Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s racing director, told Racer:


“We tested here last year with the intent to come up with a tire package that generated more tire wear — that was the request from NASCAR and the teams. We feel like we had a very successful test. We feel like we had a very successful race in the fall of last year because we did exactly that. We ran a full fuel stop [and] definitely saw wear, but we thought it was spot on. So now we’re trying to understand what’s different — why is the racetrack behaving differently this weekend than what it did a year ago?”

The new Toyota Camry came alive as all four Joe Gibbs Racing cars held the front for a significant number of laps. As time went on, the cream rose to the top. Experienced drivers with good equipment managed their tires better and stayed in contention at the end. Denny Hamlin won the race, taking back-to-back victories at the Last Great Colosseum after winning the Night Race last September.

Race Results

1. - Danny Hamlin (Gibbs)
2. - Martin Truex Jr. (Gibbs) - +1.083 seconds
3. - Brad Keselowski (RFK) - +7.284 seconds
4. - Alex Bowman (Hendrick) - +14.342 seconds
5. - Kyle Larson (Hendrick) - +15.155 seconds

Sebring Never Disappoints

Wayne Taylor Racing ended its year-long win drought with a dramatic finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Louis Delétraz was handed the reins to the No. 40 Acura for the final stint and delivered. The Swiss driver went wheel-to-wheel in the dark against four-time Champ Car champion Sébastien Bourdais and came out on top.

Pipo Derani and the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac that stole last year’s IMSA title from WTR were nowhere to be found at the finish. The No. 31 was the fastest GTP in the race, but Derani took himself out of the race when he turned across the nose of a Ferrari. The Cadillac speared off the racing surface, launched off a tire wall, and landed on its roof. Derani walked away, but the day was done for Action Express.

Race Results

1. - No. 40 WTR Andretti Acura
(J. Taylor / Delétraz / Herta)

2. - No. 01 Cadillac - +0.891 seconds
(Van Der Zande / Bourdais / Dixon)

3. - No. 7 Penske Porsche - +8.898 seconds
(Cameron / Nasr / Campbell)

4. - No. 25 Team RLL BMW - +12.056 seconds
(De Phillippi / Yelloly / Martin)

5. - No. 10 WTR Andretti - +15.155 seconds
(R. Taylor / Albuquerque / Hartley)

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