Goodyear is facing more questions about the quality of its tires.
At least a dozen drivers were affected by tire problems during Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, stirring up complaints that Goodyear supplied a compound that was good for speed but low on durability at the high-banked track. "When they come here and test, you expect them to build a tire that we can abuse and that we can race hard with," said Jeff Gordon, one of those affected. "That obviously wasn’t the case. There is a good chance we were too aggressive, but until we go back and analyze everything it’s hard to say."
Ryan Newman also chimed in.
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"Goodyear’s got some work to do," he said. "It’s a safety situation. We popped one. There are a lot of guys who popped one."
Race winner Kurt Busch didn’t have any problems. He was conscious of protecting his tires after Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified for the pole with the fastest speed of the Car of Tomorrow era.
"When you have that happen, that means the tires are really grabbing hold of the racetrack," Busch said. "That means you’re going to have speed. And when you have speed on a track that’s very abrasive, yeah, you’re going to be worried about tires, whether it’s blistering of the right front, blistering the right rear. You have to find that right combination."
Goodyear racing chief Stu Grant defended the quality of the tire.
"It’s a tire the guys are happy to run on," he said. "They’re comfortable and they’re fast if the setup is good. The leaders are running great. If you look at (Kasey Kahne) and (Busch), their tires have looked great all day."