Goodyear's D1636 dominates Dwarf car series competition AKRON, Ohio (March 9, 2004) -- Any time you offer racers a superior product, you get their attention. When you can offer racers a superior product at a lower price, you get their ...
Goodyear's D1636 dominates Dwarf car series competition
AKRON, Ohio (March 9, 2004) -- Any time you offer racers a superior product, you get their attention. When you can offer racers a superior product at a lower price, you get their business.
Goodyear has done both for the Dwarf car racers that compete in the Mid West Classic Racers Series. The series races on asphalt tracks around the upper central Midwest. The racers in that series and other series for the same type of car are racing on the Goodyear D1636 tire, a tire that didn't even exist two years ago.
"This tire is cheaper than what we used before, it lasts a couple races longer and it's faster," said Steve Martin, Director of the MWCRA.
The D1636 is a racing slick that measures 22-by-8 and mounts on a 13-inch wheel. It weighs 16 pounds and uses Goodyear's A200 compound. It is a bias-ply tire.
"The final construction and compound were selected from three different development versions," said Cal Lint, Goodyear's marketing manager for contract sales. "They said that they would be happy with a tire that was equal to what they had been using, but I told them that I was not satisfied with 'equal to'. I wanted to be better than."
The Dwarf cars that race in the MWCRA weigh must weigh 950 pounds without the driver. They use motorcycle engines that produce about 165 horsepower. The series competes on short track ovals, usually shorter than half a mile.
Martin's series is open to Goodyear and another brand of tires, but Martin says the teams in his series all use the D1636. "It's cutting their tire bill because the tires are $30 per tire cheaper and they can run longer," Martin said. "You could say in reality that the Goodyear tire lasts twice as long as the others. There are teams that told me they saved over one thousand dollars on their tire bill during the 2003 season."
Prior to the 2002 season, Martin's series had not used Goodyear tires, but the cost of tires was escalating, so Martin contacted Lint. Through the 2002 season, Lint and Goodyear's engineering team developed the program that eventually resulted in the D1636.
Late in the season, Martin convinced former series champion Rob Roney to try a set of D1636s in a race.
"He came in after hot laps were over," Martin recalled. "He said, 'Somebody weld the lug nuts onto this car. Nobody gets those tires from me.'"
Roney set a record in qualifying, won his heat race and won the feature after starting 14th.
Angela Ausmus, another driver who agreed to try the D1636 that first night, had never finished better than 10th in a feature race. She used the new Goodyears to finish third in the Fast Dash and take fourth in the feature.
Roney used the same set of tires in his next eight events, eventually winning the feature race of the Small Car Nationals at Rockford Speedway in Illinois. The race at Rockford was the ninth race for that set of Goodyear Eagles.
After that, the teams were sold on Goodyear's product and the 2003 season was all about Goodyear in the MWCRS. Martin said one of the tire's key characteristics has led to better overall racing.
"We have much better racing," Martin said. "The difference of night and day in the races--We had had a problem in most the races just getting that first lap in. The other tires needed three or four laps to heat up. After we went to these Goodyear tires, we eliminated that by about 70 percent because the tires didn't need the time to warm up."
Martin said Goodyear's association with the series has been enjoyable. "Cal has been a pleasure to work with," Martin said of Lint. "He said, 'We are going to be sure to make you a tire. He was good to his word.'"