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Report: NASCAR to Use Controversial Option Tires at Richmond

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

On Wednesday evening, Matt Weaver of Sportsnaut reported that NASCAR would use multiple tire compounds for the Cup Series weekend at Richmond Raceway in August to improve the short-track racing product. According to Weaver, the compounds will be the same ones used during the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway, which saw mixed results, and while no one knows the exact rules yet, it seems the teams will decide when to utilize which tire compounds, unlike the North Wilkesboro race.

  • This year, NASCAR has shifted its focus from aerodynamics to tires to improve the short-track package. The Bristol race in March saw extreme tire wear, which, while Goodyear quickly apologized during the race for the lack of durability, still produced one of the most well-received short-track races of the Next-Gen era.
  • At North Wilkesboro, NASCAR utilized an “Option” tire, featuring the rain tire rubber compound in a slick construction, alongside the standard “Prime” tire. While the “Option” tires were quicker in practice and wore out much quicker, as NASCAR intended, the effect did not translate as well to the race. It’s worth noting that North Wilkesboro was a repave, meaning there was much less tire wear, while Richmond is a much older, rougher surface notorious for wearing out tires.
  • Fans are unsure if this is the big fix to short-track racing in NASCAR. However, they are appreciative of NASCAR for trying something new.

Option tires were rumored to be on the table for the Richmond race as far back as the Nashville weekend. For more on that story, and why NASCAR might be looking at Richmond for testing these compounds, check out the article below.

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Joshua Lipowski

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