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Recent Goodyear tire tests will lead to changes for Richmond, Kentucky races

Goodyear tires

during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Seires 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Jonathan Ferrey

The recent Goodyear tire tests at Richmond International Raceway and Kentucky Speedway have provided data that will lead to changes in the tire compounds for upcoming races at those tracks.

In the Richmond test on April 7, drivers that took part were A.J. Allmendinger, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart.

Goodyear announced Friday that it will use the same left-side tire that was used in last fall’s final race prior to the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

However, the April 7 test results will prompt Goodyear to bring new multi-zone tread right-side tires for next Saturday night’s race at the .750-mile track.

“Even though we were very happy with the way the 2014 tire laid rubber down on the racetrack and with the wear characteristics of the package, input from teams was that a bit more grip was in order,” Goodyear director of racing Greg Stucker said in a media release. “From the results of the test, we feel the new tire combination will deliver that.”

The two-day test at Kentucky earlier this week (April 13-14) featured Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray, Brett Moffitt and Ryan Newman.

As a result of the data collected, the right-side tires in the July 11 race will be a new tire that “incorporated a different mold shape and construction from what we raced there in the past,” Stucker said.

As for left-side tires at the 1.5-mile Kentucky track, Stucker said: “With the lower downforce of the 2015 rules package, we felt a left-side compound adjustment to increase grip was justified. Both those goals were met, and all drivers involved in the test felt like the new combination was a nice improvement over the package raced in 2014 and prior.”

There is still one more test to come this month, April 27-28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Teams scheduled to take part are BK Racing, Furniture Row Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Petty Motorsports.

“The ground track surface at Indy makes it very sensitive to tire set-up,” said Stucker. “The focus of the Indy test will be to make sure we have the correct tire combination to match the new characteristics of the low downforce, low horsepower 2015 rules package.”

Stucker added that, “to date, we’re happy with the way the 2015 season has gone. We feel like those adjustments we have made to tire recommendations from 2014 have been nice improvements, adding back some of the grip in a mechanical fashion to compensate for some of the grip lost through the aerodynamic downforce reduction. That will continue to be our focus in 2015 testing.”

Additional upcoming tests will be at Iowa Speedway on May 5 (Xfinity Series only), Dover International Speedway on May 11-12 and Darlington Raceway on June 9-10.

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