BRISTOL, Tenn. _ During Friday afternoon’s practice sessions for the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series at the Bristol Motor Speedway, the majority of the teams in the garage were experiencing extreme tire wear. With cords showing after 15-25 laps, NASCAR and Goodyear opted to change the compound for the right side tires in both series.
Following NASCAR’s announced change, Nationwide Series teams had another two hours and 50 minutes of practice, plus qualifying on the old compound. In addition, thanks to NASCAR’s impound policy, Nationwide teams will be required to race the first 25 lap of Saturday’s race on the old compound until a competition caution is thrown and teams are allowed to change right side tires.
Even if a caution were to fly prior to the 25-lap competition caution, NASCAR will not allow teams to change to the new compound. In addition, the teams will only be given four sets of the new compound and changing earlier than the 25-lap mark will increase the number of laps on the four sets of the new compound. If teams have unused sticker tires, they could return them to Goodyear for a credit.
Opinions on NASCAR’s decision differed greatly in the Nationwide garage Friday afternoon. Kenny Wallace said there was “some concern” about running the tire for 25 laps.
Brian Scott echoed those concerns. Scott, however, explained it was the crew chiefs that were probably more worried than the drivers.
Fastest in the day’s third practice session, Justin Allgaier explained teams would have to be extremely conservative in those first 25 laps. Standing next to tires showing cords after 27 laps, Allgaier said as the tire went away, the rear end of the car became extremely loose and got progressively worse on corner enter and corner exit.
Teammate Jason Leffler, on the other hand, questioned NASCAR’s decision to run the first 25 laps on the old compound knowing there were issues. Instead, he argued, NASCAR should allow the teams to qualify on the new compound Saturday morning and run the race on the new right side tires. Instead, Leffler indicated he would not mind leaving the current compound on the cars for the entire event, saying it would be like an old race at Darlington or Rockingham.
“The racing would be good, but the owners wouldn’t like,” he said.
What does not make sense is the fact the tires will arrive in Bristol prior to Nationwide Series qualifying, yet teams will still be required to use the old compound during qualifying and the start of the race. In contrast, the Sprint Cup Series teams, which also had the right side tire compound changed, will receive an extra set of tires to practice on during Saturday’s two final practices.
According to Nationwide Series director Joe Balash, the reason NASCAR is requiring teams to qualify and run the first 25 laps on the current compound is due to the fact the teams have had over five hours worth of practice on the current compound and have set their cars up accordingly. NASCAR, therefore, does not want an issue with the new tire compound to cause an issue in qualifying.
With teams practicing all day Friday and qualifying Saturday on the old compound, tomorrow’s race – once on the new compound – will be a bit of an unknown.
“It will be just like when I was running at Holts Summit in Missouri in my dirt car and you’d borrow a set of tires from this guy that were four years old, get one new tire because that’s all the money you’ve got that week,” Carl Edwards said. “You just race. We’ll all be racing on the same thing. It will be different, but it will be kind of fun though to try and figure it out. It’s racing. This is going to be interesting.”
Edwards Beats Stewart It Las Vegas
Gordon Ends Drought After Moving Busch
Edwards The Man To Beat After Second Place Run
Bayne Marks New Chapter In Wood Brothers History
Not A Fan Of Earnhardt, I Became One That Day
Brian Keselowski: The Cinderella Story of Daytona
ESPN Commentators Fire Back At ‘Rigged’ Comments
Give Me The Super Bowl Of Stock Car Racing
Wendell Scott Is a Story Everyone Should Know
NASCAR Alters Point System and Chase
Logano Says Nationwide Rule Will Not Affect Him, Will Affect Keselowski
Kulwicki and Allison Left Lasting Legacies On and Off Track
NASCAR Is A Better Live Viewing Experience Than The NFL
Johnson Wins Historic Fifth Straight Title
Fuel Mileage Race Brings Chase Closer Than Ever
Hamlin Wins Crazy Day In Texas
Wild Finish To The Wild Card Race
Who Said It Was Over?
Kahne Calls Split Mutual, Moves On
McMurray Wins, Title Contenders Narrow
NASCAR Going Green With E15 Fuel
Who Is To Blame For NASCAR’s Decline?
Stewart Back In The Chase With Win
Biffle Comes Up Big In Kansas
Johnson Wins, Other Chasers Falter
Bowyer Hit Hard By Penalty
Bowyer Saves Gas, Earns Chase Win
Hamlin Solidifies Points Lead With Victory
Is A Teammate An Advantage In The Chase?
Stewart Smokes ‘Em On Final Restart
A Favorite Heading Into The Chase?
Chase Clinch Scenarios – Atlanta
Racing For The Love Of The Sport
Busch Quiets Critics With Historic Win
Vickers To Return In 2011
Busch-Johnson Rivalry Could Reignite
Do Bonus Points Matter In The Chase?
Harvick Wins, Locks Chase Berth
Montoya Finally Gets The Win
Allmendinger Signs Multiyear Deal With RPM
Atlanta Loses Cup Date For 2011
Hard Hit Overshadows Race
Gibbs Offers His Thoughts On Fine
Newman Admits To Being Fined
Roush Hospitalized After Plane Crash
McMurray Makes History for Chip Ganassi
Newman’s Thoughts On Brad & Carl
Martin Insists He Will Drive No. 5 In 2011
Edwards and Keselowski Heat Up The Off Weekend
Victory Lane Rain Tastes Much Better
Harvick Wins Wild Coke Zero 400
The View From Kevin Harvick’s Pit Box at Pocono, Where DeLana Wore Her Firesuit
Ambrose’s Mistake Gives Johnson The Win
Hamlin Wins Wild Race at Pocono, Harvick and Logano Feud
Burton and Busch Ready To Move On
Penske, Ganassi Battle From Indy To Charlotte
Brian France Forging His Own Legacy, Often Away From The Track
Busch-Hamlin Feud Ends – For Now
Emotions Rule The Day At Hall of Fame
One Busch Wins, The Other Whines
Vickers Out For Season, Drivers Weigh In
Busch, Gibbs Win The Weekend
NASCAR Hall of Fame Open For Business
Artifact Stolen From NASCAR Hall of Fame
Gordon Still The Guy To Beat
A Sneak Peek at the NASCAR Hall of Fame
New Kyle Shines In Victory Lane In Richmond
Old School Meets New School
Johnson-Gordon Rift Shows Larger Trend
Another Wild Weekend In Talladega
Hornish ‘Fairly Confident’ He’ll Be With Penske Next Year
Hamlin Fights Pain, Beats Competiton
Kahne Goes From the King To The Emperor
Newman Needed Four Laps For Phoenix Win
Hamlin Enjoys Some Goody’s Pain Relief
Mears Tapped As Stand-In For Hamlin
Drivers Adjusting To Spoiler
Johnson and Busch: A Rivalry In The Making
Bristol Legends Crash
Rogers Admits Frustration, Refuses To Be Rattled
Edwards and Keselowski Meet With NASCAR
Harvick, Edwards Feuding
Get Ready For More Action
‘Have At It, Boys’ Put To The Test
Time For NASCAR To Get It Together
Luck Wins Races, Not Championships
An Inspiring Moment With Our Veterans
New Rules Force Teams To Adjust
Danica Finally Races
Biggest Dangers Are Off The Track
Superspeedway Concerns Nothing New
Racing expos connect fans with NASCAR
The next decade of NASCAR
D.J. Richardson’s legacy: Do more for NASCAR’s ‘weekend warriors’
Danica Patrick is all hype
Sprint Cup predictions revisited
Four-timers’ club: Johnson vs. Gordon
Three DNFs doomed Hamlin’s Chase
He came, he drove, he almost won
For sale: One ruined career
Family of girl injured at Talladega will be at race