LONG POND, Pa. (AP) - A bigger tire could be in NASCAR's future.
In the wake of last week's tire controversy at Indianapolis, where some of its tires failed, Goodyear is looking ahead to a tire that could work better with NASCAR's new Car of Tomorrow, a bigger, heavier vehicle than the previous models used in Sprint Cup.
"We had some discussion about a larger tire ... several years ago with NASCAR when we started this whole discussion about the Car of Tomorrow," said Stu Grant, general manager of worldwide racing for Goodyear, the exclusive tire supplier for NASCAR's top three professional series.
"But, obviously, we've been working with the current size on the Car of Tomorrow. This spring, we decided to ramp that (new) program up."
Grant said there would be several differences from the current tire.
"We are working on a larger contain-air volume, a bigger section width, taller tire, larger bead diameter," he said. "Right now, it's all modeling. We're trying to figure out what the right size would be."
Goodyear hopes the bigger tire would be a better match for the CoT, but it will be two years before the new model would be available. Grant said NASCAR has been "totally supportive."
The problems at Indy, where rightside tires, and particularly right rears, were wearing out much too fast, was completely different from Atlanta, where Goodyear also had a disastrous race in March. In that race, drivers complained bitterly about the rubber compound, saying the tire was undriveable.
"That was the most pathetic racing tire I've ever been on in my professional career," an angry Tony Stewart said after the Atlanta race.
Grant said Goodyear was too conservative in its tire choice for Atlanta and will be bettered prepared for the October race in Georgia.
The company held a test at Atlanta two weeks ago, but the temperatures were near 100, much hotter than it will be for the fall race. So Grant said Goodyear will probably go back for one more test before October. - ap