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NASCAR finally gives Goodyear the okay to test that long-proposed larger stock car tire

   By Mike Mulhern

   KANSAS CITY, Kansas
    Goodyear's proposed new 17-inch NASCAR racing tire, larger and fatter than the current 15-inch tire, will get two days of testing October 6th and 7th at Richmond International Raceway, with Matt Kenseth and Travis Kvapil in Jack Roush Fords.
    However NASCAR executives still appear reluctant to go much further in discussing that project other than to let Goodyear test it on a Cup car.
    One question is why NASCAR has been so reluctant to give Goodyear the option to go to a larger tire in this sport.
    It will be Goodyear's first good look at the new tire. But at the moment there is no timetable for its introduction on the Sprint Cup tour…if it is ever approved for racing.
   Goodyear, in response to the new car-of-tomorrow, has been pushing for NASCAR to okay a larger tire, to help the car handle better, but NASCAR has up till now resisted.
   So the 17-inch tire is something of a sensitive topic in the NASCAR garage, since NASCAR okaying it would essentially confirm that the car-of-tomorrow doesn't handle well on the 15-inch tires long used in Cup racing.
   Goodyear's Greg Stucker: "First and foremost, this is a 'normal' tire test for us. We're going to Richmond to work on our short track set-up, looking for some things we might want to evaluate further before next season."
   However crew chief Greg Erwin, who runs Greg Biffle's title contending team for Roush, insists the 17-inch tire couldn't be used in 2010 because it would force teams to make radical changes in their car chassis designs and setups: "No way," Erwin said.
   Biffle and Erwin had been originally scheduled to do the 17-inch test, but Erwin said some championship chase testing of their own would have to take precedence.
   Stucker said "We've been very happy with the lab work on the larger tire and the modeling results we've seen, so the next logical step is
to get this tire on the ground."
   However there are some questions behind the scenes clearly, as NASCAR's Robin Pemberton alluded to: "Both Goodyear and NASCAR work on research and development programs all the time, and that's what we have here. In fact one of the goals of this test is to further enhance the reliability and performance of the current 15-inch tire that we use today.  There is absolutely no timetable whatsoever in regards to the possibility of having a new tire."
   One big question, in light of that: How can testing a 17-inch tire, of such a different design, provide applications to a 15-inch tire?


Robin Pemberton used to be

Robin Pemberton used to be one of the great minds in the garage area with driver Rusty Wallace. Now he's just a typical corporate suck-up. The tire issue was raised even BEFORE the COT was on the track. And now, years later, Goodyear is trying to make racing better, but NASCAR is saying NO?!!! Sounds like a question of whose gonna pay for the R&D of the new tire. Goodyear seems to be cheap with the aspect of tire testing with teams and NASCAR is running a coup on non-testing period.

Sounds bassackwards to me.

This is just a ploy by

This is just a ploy by Goodyear to recoup some lost NASCAR testing dollars. This tire will never be used.

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