WWS: Fontana: Goodyear Racing preview

Winston West Series drivers praise Goodyear consistency. AKRON, Ohio (April 23, 2003) -- One of the great challenges for competitors in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Winston West Series is the wide variety of tracks on the schedule. The...

Winston West Series drivers praise Goodyear consistency.

AKRON, Ohio (April 23, 2003) -- One of the great challenges for competitors in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Winston West Series is the wide variety of tracks on the schedule.

The first three races on the 2003 schedule include the season opener on the mile oval at Phoenix International Raceway, the aptly-named 3/8-mile Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the site of the April 26 Pontiac Widetrack Grand Prix 200, the two-mile tri-oval at California Speedway.

The same variety that challenges the teams and drivers in the series gives the engineers at Goodyear, the exclusive tire provider for the Winston West and five other NASCAR series, plenty of work to do.

And the drivers say the engineers have done their work well.

Jim Inglebright, the Winston West points leader, said after his victory at Las Vegas, "The tire stayed under me pretty well. The car tightened up, but (the tire) could take the abuse. After 100 laps, we still had plenty of tire left."

C.T. Helmund, who finished second at Las Vegas, agreed with Inglebright, saying, "I thought the tires were really good. I think we ran 15.60s (seconds) there at the end (of the race) and the pole was in the 15.50s. It's a good short track tire and they stayed consistent."

The tires Goodyear will provide the Winston West and NASCAR Grand National Busch North Series this season are bias-ply racing tires. Inglebright tested a set of the tires Goodyear will provide for the California race and was pleased by the durability his team found during its test.

"They felt good," Inglebright said. "There's plenty of grip and they didn't fall off. I think my fastest lap was during the fourth cycle."

The California Speedway venue is the longest and fastest oval the Winston West Series will race on in 2003. The event comes during the NASCAR Winston Cup weekend at the track.

The Winston West Series is the oldest stock car racing series on the west coast. Goodyear has been part of the series for virtually all of that time.

Steve Portenga estimated he has raced virtually his entire career on Goodyear tires. His racing resume includes two Featherlite Southwest Series championships and stints in the Craftsman Truck Series. He said the consistency of the tires Goodyear has brought to the series helps the teams plan their chassis setups.

"These Goodyear tires are real consistent after restarts," Portenga said. "They seem to keep their size well."

The California Speedway weekend also features the NASCAR Busch and Winston Cup series. Both those series race exclusively on Goodyear tires.

-goodyear-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Steve Portenga , Jim Inglebright