FORT WORTH, Texas — Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage says the winner of Sunday's AAA Texas 500, as well as the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, will be determined by Goodyear.
The tire company provides all the tires to NASCAR's teams, but Gossage says the quality of the tire will heavily impact the excitement level of Sunday's race for fans in the grandstands or watching at home.
“I think the tires will really be a key for fans to watch this week,” he said. “If it goes really well, and it's a great race, give Goodyear the credit. If it doesn't go well, and it's not as competitive as you like, you've got to blame Goodyear.
“This tire is so critically important on a fast track. But the tire will determine who wins this race, and for that matter, Goodyear will determine who wins the championship by what they put on the racetrack. I know they're trying to do their best. I just urge fans to pay attention to the tires in the last three races. Everybody gets the same tire, but you've got to make it work.”
Here are some interesting facts about Goodyear tires and NASCAR:
* More than 100,000 tires are made each year for NASCAR's Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck series. Goodyear is also the exclusive tire supplier for the top three divisions of National Hot Rod Association drag racing and for Sports Car Club of America racing.
* Nearly 4,500 tires are used in one weekend of NASCAR racing when all three series are running.
* Each tire is designed to last about 100 miles (roughly equivalent to one tank of fuel). The typical tire for a passenger car is designed for about 60,000 miles.
* The tread on a Goodyear Eagle made for NASCAR is about one-eighth of an inch thick (the width of two stacked pennies).
* During a race, NASCAR drivers and tires can experience up to 3Gs of force in the turns, the same force astronauts felt during the takeoff of a Space Shuttle.
* When cornering, the right-front tire supports about 4,000 pounds of load. That is about four times what the left side experiences.
* Right-side tires are larger in diameter and are typically filled to a higher air pressure than the left.
* At 200 mph, the surface area of one tire touching the track is about equal to half of an 8 1/2-by-11-inch sheet of paper.
* NASCAR teams lease the tires at a cost of $474 each. That works out to $20,856 per team per race for 11 sets in a Sprint Cup race. All tires used are recycled.