GOODYEAR FAST FACTS FOR THE SUMMITRACING.COM NATIONALS THE STRIP AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY â€” QUARTER-MILE DRAGSTRIP LAS VEGAS, NEV., APRIL 6-9, 2000 NOTES AND QUOTES: * Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the site of the newest event for the ...
GOODYEAR FAST FACTS FOR THE SUMMITRACING.COM NATIONALS THE STRIP AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY — QUARTER-MILE DRAGSTRIP LAS VEGAS, NEV., APRIL 6-9, 2000
NOTES AND QUOTES:
* Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the site of the newest event for the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series, the inaugural SummitRacing.com Nationals. More than 400 racers will compete for 12 titles in a wide variety of racing machinery.
* Goodyear claimed its 150th straight Pro Stock win at the Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., and looks to extend that streak in Las Vegas. Goodyear is also the tire of choice in three other Winston Pro categories: Top Fuel dragster, Funny Car and Pro Stock Truck.
* With 18 event wins in the first three meets, Goodyear is the leading tire manufacturer in NHRA competition. The company takes an average of 500 tires to each NHRA National -- 250 for the Winston Pro competitors and 250 for the Sportsman categories.
* Goodyear will be represented in the two Federal-Mogul and five Sportsman classes competing at Las Vegas. Those include the Federal-Mogul Dragster, Federal-Mogul Funny Car, Competition Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp and Super Gas. The Super Street cars will not compete at Las Vegas.
* The brand-new track has received much praise from NHRA competitors, but no testing was available prior to the event. This presents an interesting challenge for Goodyear engineers. "We look forward to racing on the brand-new Las Vegas drag strip," says Perry Bell, Goodyear's drag racing operations manager. "Fortunately, all of the circuits are very similar in configuration in drag racing. Also, the NHRA specifies dimensions and materials that are used in the construction of a new drag strip. The bottom line is that the grip level and smoothness of the surface are the only two significant factors that change on a drag strip."
* Goodyear Sportsman tires will play a part in the success of the SummitRacing.com Nationals: The NHRA opened the track on Wednesday and Thursday to the Sportsman classes, allowing them to set down several layers of rubber on the new drag strip. The laid-down rubber will be an aid for the Winston Drag racing classes, which will start competition on Friday.
"Because it is a brand new surface with no aging or weathering, the tire tread wear rate may be slightly higher than at other older established drag strips," Bell adds. "We provided information to both Mike Lewis of PRO and the NHRA to "prep" the critical start area of the Las Vegas drag strip.
"Las Vegas has a concrete launchpad, which is standard at many newer facilities. The starting line is "prepped" first with a sealant followed by a thin layer of rubber. The track sealant not only keeps the track from breaking up under the punishment of the NHRA cars, but also acts like a glue to bond the rubber layer to the track. This rubber layer, which has some give to it, allows the tire to operate at a higher slip ratio and protects the tread surface from abrasion. This track preparation process optimizes the grip level of the starting line for both the Professional and Sportsman classes."
* Testing, testing, testing: Goodyear's aggressive testing program will allow several classes to have new competition tires in the near future. Since February's Checker/Schuck's/Kragen Nationals at Phoenix, Goodyear has provided test tires to Federal Mogul Funny Car, Pro Stock and Super Gas competitors. The newest Federal Mogul Funny Car tire, built in Akron, Ohio, will be introduced next week at the O'Reilly Nationals in Houston. Goodyear plans to introduce its new Chilean-built Pro Stock tire later this month at the Virginia Nationals.
Goodyear has also scheduled a test with Winston Funny Car champion John Force following the O'Reilly Nationals to evaluate a new version of the 36.0x17.5-16 Top Fuel/Funny Car tire for a midseason introduction. This tire will be offered as an option to the current D2807 tire.
* DID YOU KNOW?: At the moment of launch, a Goodyear Eagle Top Fuel/Funny Car tire has a contact patch of about 350 square inches per tire, but at the speed traps the contact patch is estimated to be as great as 500 square inches per tire! Conventional wisdom says the footprint should be smaller due to the growth of the tire. However, as the speed increases the aerodynamic load forces the rear tires to "squat" and tends to override tire growth. The load on the tire is about 1,200 pounds per tire at the launch and reaches the neighborhood of 4,000 pounds per tire at the finish line.
One may wonder how a tire with only 6 to 7 psi inflation can handle so much load. In a conventional street tire, air pressure is used to maintain an acceptable amount of sidewall deflection due to load. In a Top Fuel drag tire, the centrifugal force due to the weight of the tire (just under 50 pounds) generates tension in the sidewall equivalent to a 135 psi inflation pressure at finish line speeds. This centrifugal force also increases the size of the tire, adding four inches of radius at the top of the tire.