Goodyear to bring modified tires for Eldora Truck race

Leave a comment

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is racing tonight at Iowa Speedway, but tire manufacturer Goodyear has been busy preparing for the series’ upcoming dirt-track debut – the CarCash Mudsummer Classic presented by CNBC Prime’s “The Profit” on Wed., July 24 at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway.

Goodyear has based its tires for Eldora on a dirt modified tire that already exists in its line; however, the Eldora tires will be widened to 11 inches (from 10 inches) in order to give the drivers more grip.

Additionally, the tires will feature bias-ply construction (not as stiff as the radial tires usually found in NASCAR), a tread pattern to get rid of dirt quicker, and a relatively softer compound. The left-side versions will be built about three inches shorter than the right-side versions to provide additional stagger for better handling.

“The Trucks racing at Eldora is a historic event for NASCAR,” said Goodyear director of race tires Greg Stucker in a statement. “Building off our long history of making both dirt tires and NASCAR tires, this process has been both fun and challenging. The Eldora truck race will be a highlight of the 2013 NASCAR season, and Goodyear is proud to be a part of it.”

Goodyear originally tested a 10-inch tire last October at Eldora, with track owner and three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Austin Dillon, and NCWTS driver Ty Dillon handling those duties. Following that test, the manufacturer opted to go for an 11-inch tire, which was cleared for racing at Eldora following a second session with Ty Dillon at North Carolina dirt track 311 Speedway.

The “Mudsummer Classic” will be the first dirt-track event for a NASCAR national series in more than four decades. Anticipation has been strong for the race, which has been sold out since late January.

Neuville wins Rally Australia; Ogier takes FIA WRC title

Sebastien Ogier. Photo: Getty Images
Leave a comment

COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) Belgium’s Thierry Neuville won Rally Australia by 22.5 seconds on Sunday as torrential rain added drama to the last day of the last race of the World Rally Championship season.

Neuville entered the final day with an almost 20 second advantage after inheriting the rally lead Saturday when his Hyundai teammate, defending champion Andreas Mikkelsen crashed and was forced to retire for the day.

His lead was halved by Jari-Matti Latvala early Sunday as monsoon-like rain made conditions treacherous on muddy forest stages on the New South Wales coast. The rain stopped on the short Wedding Bells stage where Neuville was almost 5 seconds quicker than his rivals, stretching his lead to 14.7 seconds entering the last stage.

COFFS HARBOUR, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 17: Thierry Neuville of Belgium and Nicolas Gilsoul of Belgium compete in their Hyundai Motorsport WRT Hyundai i20 coupe WRC during Day One of the WRC Australia on November 17, 2017 in COFFS HARBOUR, Australia. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)

That stage was full of incident. The driver’s door on Neuville’s Hyundai i20 coupe swung open in the middle of the stage and Neuville had to slam it closed as he approached a corner.

Latvala’s Toyota then crashed seconds from the end of the stage, allowing Estonia’s Ott Tanak, in a Ford, to take second place overall and New Zealalnd’s Haydon Paddon, in a Hyundai, to sneak into third.

Sebastian Ogier was fourth after winning the final, power stage but the Frenchman had already clinched his fifth world title before Rally Australia began. Neuville’s win was his fourth of the season, two more than Ogier, and was enough to give him second place in world drivers’ standings for the third time in five years.

Ogier owed his drivers’ title to his consistency: he retired only once and finished no worse than fifth all season.

Neuville admitted the last day was touch and go as the rain made some stages perilous, forcing the cancellation of the second to last stage.

“That was a hell of a ride,” Neuville said. “Really, really tricky conditions.

“I kept the car on the road but it was close sometimes. I knew I could make a difference but I had to be clever. You lose grip, you lose control and the car doesn’t respond to your input.”