All three NASCAR national series will see a new left-side tire this weekend at Kentucky Speedway.
Teams in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck series will run the same tire set-up this at Kentucky, including a new left-side tire that came about as a result of a tire test May 15-16 at the track.
Compared to what was run last season, the new left-side tire features a construction update and a compound change to give the cars and trucks more grip. Drivers participating in that test were Clint Bowyer, William Byron, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.
All teams will use the same right-side tire as last season.
“We had a great roster of drivers at our Kentucky test in May and we have come back with a grip improvement on the left-side of the car,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “After having a new track surface put down in both 2016 and 2017, we return this year with the track having its first chance to weather for a full year.
“As we move on from the repaves, we always like to keep up with the surface. A tripleheader NASCAR weekend gives us our best look since we have full fields in actual race conditions, but holding tire tests are a critical part of our program.
“Tests give us the opportunity to try different compounds and constructions so we can fine tune our tire recommendation and make for the best racing possible.”
Directly after a repave – Kentucky was repaved in 2016 then had to have additional work done in 2017 – tracks typically have a lot of grip in them from the new asphalt.
As the track weathers, and the surface loses grip over time, Goodyear will often add more mechanical grip to the cars through its tire set-up.