The Nascar Auto Dealer EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway was marred by quite a few crashes that resulted from failed proper rear tires.
There have been 16 warning durations, a quantity that topped the earlier report of 13, set in 2014. There have been 36 lead modifications, in comparison with the earlier report of 33, which was set in 2010. Many of those modifications resulted from race leaders struggling tire failure.
Naturally, these potential race winners and their followers weren’t pleased with their races ending prematurely attributable to tire failure.
Nonetheless, post-race evaluation means that it was not a coincidence that these automobiles have been quicker than others on the monitor on the time, and that they have been those that suffered blown tires.
“We met with the groups, working by what the setups have been, what the air pressures have been to attempt to resolve it,” stated Nascar senior vp of competitors Scott Miller. “There have been a variety of groups that reported no issues to us post-race,” he stated. “They did admit to being on the conservative facet [in terms of] air strain and being nearer to the advised minimums that Goodyear really useful.”
There was a lot confusion within the hours after the race, as Goodyear engineers sought to learn the way the groups have been using their tires. “We’ve seen a variety of proper rear [tire] points tonight, not dissimilar to what we noticed earlier within the 12 months in Atlanta,” stated Goodyear director of race tire gross sales Greg Stucker in a post-race interview.
“We’re getting as a lot info as we will from the groups, making an attempt to grasp the place they’re with regard to their settings: air strain, camber, suspension, and so forth,” he stated. “I can say unquestionably air strain is enjoying into it. We all know that performs a component. I’m not saying that’s the one factor, however it’s definitely an element and we’re simply making an attempt to grasp all the pieces else that is likely to be occurring.”
However Rodney Childers, crew chief for Stewart-Hass driver Kevin Harvick, stated in an announcement on Twitter that he already is aware of the true root of the issue: Nascar’s limits on suspension journey and the aerodynamic good thing about getting the automotive decrease to the bottom.
“The rationale there are tire points is the shock limiter rule,” Childers said. “The groups wouldn’t be operating the tires [with] decrease [pressure] if you happen to might get the automotive decrease within the again and the diffuser to its optimum downforce level,” he stated. “For those who might run the automotive decrease with the suspension you’ll truly run extra air within the tires to maintain the journey extra constant. Another choice that will assistance is make the rear diffuser the place it makes essentially the most downforce with it a half-inch increased than it’s (kinda inconceivable).”
Crew chiefs would favor to decrease the automobiles by adjusting the suspension to get the diffuser nearer to the bottom so it may create extra downforce, however that isn’t an possibility, Childers stated. “Proper now you may’t actually get the diffuser all the way down to the optimum spot for optimum downforce, since you are locked by the limiters. Your solely strategy to get it decrease and go quicker is to let air out of the tires.”
It may not appear as if decreasing air strain within the tires would decrease the automotive a lot, particularly not with this 12 months’s low-profile tires on 18-inch wheels, which have far shorter sidewalls that the tires Nascar ran till this season. However it seems to not take a lot change to spice up downforce usefully. “For those who get the diffuser 0.100-inch decrease by squishing the tires extra, it’s free pace,” Childers stated. “[It is] such as you added extra spoiler to the automotive.”
In fact, groups have been utilizing the identical tires all season. The issue arose at this race due to distinctive circumstances at Texas Motor Speedway, in response to Childers. “The Texas monitor configuration makes it worse,” he stated. “Much less pace, much less banking, much less load on one finish of the monitor in comparison with the opposite. So to maintain the automotive low sufficient and be quick in [turns] 1 & 2 the place you may move, it’s important to be bumping limiters “some” in [turns] 3 & 4. Hitting stable rods places all of the load by the tires.”
Nascar and Goodyear are left to attempt to stop a recurrence. “Goodyear is working with the groups on their setups to attempt to mitigate the issues that we’re definitely seeing,” stated Miller. “We’re all studying in regards to the setups, the tires, Goodyear is studying in regards to the development, the brand new wheels, so it’s an unlucky a part of the educational course of.”
So the groups might see new limits on their tire strain choices, camber settings, or different setup specs, whereas Goodyear might modify their tires’ development or rubber compounds. However in response to Childers, these are options that chase signs, not the reason for the issue.
“Eliminate the limiter rule,” he stated. “It has brought about nothing however points all the 12 months. It could make each workforce need to run extra air within the tires.”
A bonus to this transformation can be improved wheel-to-wheel racing, Childers stated. “A few of the motive the racing isn’t pretty much as good at some tracks. Drivers aren’t going to race door-to-door when they’re scared to demise by [turns] 3 & 4.”