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How Much Money Do NASCAR Teams Spend on Tires?

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What’s Happening?

One of the things that amazes both current and new NASCAR fans is just how many tires NASCAR teams go through. Each of those tires costs money, which means a big bill for the race teams whether they use them or not. Denny Hamlin opened up about this in his “Dear Denny” segment of Actions Detrimental, and he elaborated on how much teams spend on tires in the NASCAR Cup Series.

  • Tires are manufactured and supplied by Goodyear. Teams buy tires before every race weekend, and they buy a lot of them.
  • It can unsurprisingly cost a lot of money, and Denny Hamlin explained that on a recent episode of “Actions Detrimental”. He declared that teams can spend up to 7 figures on tires they do not use.
  • Fans do not know too much about how much money it costs to buy tires since it’s not often discussed. However, fans are always curious about how much money tires cost.

How Much Do Teams Spend?

Hamlin used the example of the recent race at Texas Motor Speedway for how much money it costs. According to Hamlin, each tire cost $2400, and teams were given 8 sets of tires. This means teams spent $19,200 for the Texas race weekend. Multiply that over 36 regular season races, and that’s an estimate of $691,200 for just one car. For teams with multiple cars, this means costs could be well over $1-2 Million.

Sportskeeda estimated a similar figure for how much teams spend on tires. They claim that teams spend as much as $20,000 on tires for a given weekend. The overall estimated budget for tires for a single car is $720,000 according to Sportskeeda, which means multi-car teams budget between $1.4-2.8 Million per year on tires.

Tire sets are often limited, particularly in the lower series, to cut costs. As we see, tires can cost a lot of money, but, perhaps the biggest cost is the tires that teams do not use.

What If They Don’t Use the Tires?

Denny Hamlin also claimed that teams do not get a refund for any tires they do not use. If they buy the tires, they cannot be returned to Goodyear, so, teams are forced to eat the cost of any unused tires. While some tire compounds are used at multiple tracks, Hamlin explained that it is not always practical for teams to save tires for a race months down the line.

We’re not going to want older tires because they do they age. Rubber ages, and it changes compounds. It’s funny, when you get older tires, that can really mess up car um, so it just goes to waste.

Denny Hamlin

How much do teams spent on tired they do not use? Denny Hamlin claims that Joe Gibbs Racing spent $1 million in 2022, the first season of the Next-Gen era, on tires they did not use. This was across a 4 car team, so, that breaks down to $250k per car.

This means that, per race, JGR spent just under $7k per car and just under $28k across the entire race team. This further means about 2-3 sets per race were likely never used per JGR car during an average weekend.

Why would teams buy more tires than they need? Fresh tires are valuable, and give crew chiefs options for strategies should cautions come out later in the race. In 2023 at Richmond, for example, Martin Truex Jr. was forced to put scuff tires on at the final pit stop, and it cost him on the final run.

Tires cost a lot of money, and they often carry a lot of dead weight for race teams due to how many tires go unused. However, there is also an incentive to have as many tires as they can handle.

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