Drivers of the next-generation NASCAR stock cars will use Goodyear’s newly developed Eagle race tires for the first time in a competitive race at the Daytona 500 on February 20.
Following a development program lasting two years, the latest tire has an 18in diameter and features a shorter sidewall specifically designed for oval racing and a contact patch an inch and a half wider. Having moved away from the 15in tire that was first introduced in 1997, the latest competition tire benefits from a softer compound to deliver improved grip on the circuit.
Prior to making its season debut, the next-generation NASCAR tire has undergone intensive test programs on real-world circuits, through simulations with OEMs and in laboratories under the watchful eye of Goodyear’s racing engineers.
During R&D the tire manufacturer also worked closely with the NASCAR series to ensure the tire delivered the required level of performance on a wide array of racetracks.
“Incorporating an 18in bead diameter tire was an important factor of the NASCAR Next Gen design, performance capabilities and aesthetics,” said Greg Stucker, director, race tire sales and marketing, Goodyear. “Creating a low-profile, street-inspired tire for Cup Series racing was a significant accomplishment that required coordination throughout the entire NASCAR racing community.”
“Goodyear’s NASCAR Next Gen race tire is integral to the vehicle system and is the only component that physically connects the Next Gen car to the racetrack,” said John Probst, NASCAR senior vice president, Racing Innovation. “Goodyear’s endless engineering and collaboration throughout the testing and development process has been absolutely critical and continues to help drive the sport forward.”