Sanctioning body ups the ante by taking tires from four teams on Sunday.
FONTANA, Calif. – That self-policing Sprint Cup garage is at it again.
Last year, rumors persisted that teams were drilling holes in tires in an effort to bleed air, relieve build up and increase grip during a run. Following the race at Phoenix, NASCAR officials confiscated tires from the winning car of Kevin Harvick and eighth-place Joey Logano.
Prior to the Auto Club 400, NASCAR Sprint Cup director Richard Buck told Motorsport.com that his inspectors found nothing improper with those tires and “released them to the teams as soon as we got here”.
We work with Goodyear very closely and their engineers and then they have an outside laboratory that if we need to take it further we will.
“I know in the past, NASCAR laid down the law that you don’t mess with the engines, you don’t mess with the fuel and you don’t mess with tires. So from our perspective, we have to police that – and that’s part of it. Last year we probably took six to eight sets throughout the year just to do our audit and check on it to make sure nothing was abnormal.
"We work with Goodyear very closely and their engineers and then they have an outside laboratory that if we need to take it further we will.’
Not letting up
Buck added that on a regular basis, NASCAR will take pieces from the cars back to the research and development center as “part of our process”.
“As we are the governing body of the sport, our job is to keep up,” Buck said. “We have competitors that confide in us, we have people – the rumor mill if you will – and we try to sort out and weed down to the bottom of that and get to what is fact.
"But we are also diligent about making sure the race cars stay compliant and that’s whether it’s the side skirts or the tires or whatever it may be."
Following the race on Sunday, officials took tires from four of the top five finishers – Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman. If NASCAR finds anything inappropriate with the tires, the sanctioning body will release the information prior to this weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway.
NASCAR has become more liberal with teams and air pressures. For Fontana, Goodyear brought a new left side tire and problems that plagued teams in 2014 were non-existent. One suggestion to regulate the situation could be allowing teams to incorporate bleeders on the Cup tires similar to what is used in dirt track racing.
NOTE: Goodyear’s Greg Stucker says upcoming tire tests are scheduled for Dover, Kentucky, Indianapolis and Richmond.