RCR cars of Paul Menard, Ryan Newman crash at Phoenix
The Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway got off to a bad start for Richard Childress Racing, which lost two of its three cars before the midway point.
Ryan Newman melted a tire bead on his No. 31 RCR Chevrolet, crashing in Turn 3 on Lap 52.
His teammate, Paul Menard, had a front-end problem himself on the No. 27 RCR Chevy, crashing in Turn 4 on Lap 106. A Goodyear spokesman confirmed a melted right-front tire bead was the culprit on Menard’s car, too.
That left only Austin Dillon still on track for RCR with more than 200 laps left in the race.
“We just blew a right-front tire,” said Newman. “It must have melted the bead or something. I don’t know if something failed in the cooling department or what the deal was. I didn’t do anything any different than I’ve ever done here before. Just definitely blew a right-front tire out and that was the end of our day with the Grainger Chevrolet.”
Asked if he knew what happened, Menard said he didn’t. “I’m not really sure. We were okay that last run,” Menard said. We fired off pretty decent and started getting really tight at the end. I don’t know if a left-front tire blew or what going into (Turn) 3. I don’t know if something broke or if a tire blew. We are going to check it out. I’m curious about it.”
Later in the race Ricky Stenhouse Jr. of Roush Fenway Racing suffered a similar issue.
“We were really tight and I was having to use too much break and I think we got the tires hot and once we did that the right front gave out from having to use too much brake,” said Stenhouse. “The cars were a handful. They were fun to drive. We just didn’t quite have the Fastenal Ford dialed in like we needed to today. We were really tight, therefore we had to use too much brake.”