Texas Motor Speedway news 2008-03-11

SPRINT CUP TEAMS COMPETING IN SAMSUNG 500 WILL HAVE SAME TIRE COMPOUND AS 2007 EDITION THAT RESULTED IN THRILLING RACING IN BOTH EVENTS AT TMS FORT WORTH, Texas (March 11, 2008) Texas Motor Speedway officials were informed by Goodyear that the...

SPRINT CUP TEAMS COMPETING IN SAMSUNG 500 WILL HAVE SAME TIRE COMPOUND AS 2007 EDITION THAT RESULTED IN THRILLING RACING IN BOTH EVENTS AT TMS

FORT WORTH, Texas (March 11, 2008) Texas Motor Speedway officials were informed by Goodyear that the tire manufacturer will utilize the same tire compound that produced dramatic racing in both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races last season for the upcoming Samsung 500 on April 6.

Following several driver complaints at Sunday's event at Atlanta Motor Speedway where the new Sprint Cup car (formerly the Car of Tomorrow) competed for the first time, Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage reached out to Goodyear because that Speedway Motorsports, Inc. sister track is nearly identical to TMS. Both are 1.5-mile ovals with 24-degree banking in the corners, among the fastest tracks on the circuit and play host to the new car for the first time in competition.

"I called Goodyear and they told us they never planned to use the same tire they used in Atlanta for our upcoming race," Gossage said. "The tire they will use for the Samsung 500 will be effectively the same tire they used in Texas last year, and those two races resulted in a last-lap pass in April and a side-by-side duel for the lead down to the finish in November. Both the left-side and right-side tires will effectively use the same compound as in 2007, but with a slightly different construction for the new car. The engineers feel quite good about their plans."

The left-side tires are designed to provide grip. While the rubber compound is effectively the same as Goodyear used in Texas in 2007, the 2008 tire will utilize a slightly different mold and construction to better suit the new car. The right-side tires are designed to benefit handling, and the rubber compound is basically the same as in 2007 with only a minor processing change to benefit the new car.

Last year showcased arguably some of the best racing and dramatic finishes of the Sprint Cup season. In last year's Samsung 500, Jeff Burton battled Matt Kenseth in the final laps before making a dramatic pass on the final lap to become the first two-time Cup winner at Texas Motor Speedway. He edged Kenseth by .410 of a second for the third-closest Sprint Cup finish in the history of the speedway. The Dickies 500 in November chosen by many media as one of the best races of the year was highlighted by 27 lead changes among 12 drivers and a stunning side-by- side duel between Jimmie Johnson and Kenseth in the closing laps. Johnson finally prevailed, winning by .944 of a second and grabbing the championship lead that he never relinquished.

Once again as Gossage did last week with NASCAR, he will make Texas Motor Speedway available to Goodyear should they be interested in additional testing prior to the Samsung 500. Sprint Cup drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Clint Bowyer participated in a two-day Goodyear test Jan.15-16 at TMS.

"I reiterated to Goodyear, just as I did to NASCAR last week, that while we're glad to hear the news we would prefer another test before the race," Gossage said. "Failing that, we would encourage NASCAR to add practice time to the race weekend schedule to give teams a bit more time to get comfortable with this new car and tire combination. We hope after the Atlanta race that they will see the wisdom behind our suggestion."

-credit: tms

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Jimmie Johnson , Clint Bowyer