Are Some Teams Tampering With Their Goodyear Tires?

Goodyear Tire

(WOMR file photo)

The latest hot topic or rumor to co e out of the garage area is quite interesting!  It appears, on the surface, that NASCAR thinks that there is some hanky-panky going on with some race teams and possibly altering their sets of tires!

The last two weeks NASCAR has taken tires from teams. After Fontana they sent some of those tires off to an independent laboratory. NASCAR said that is a part of a regular tire audit.

Hendrick crew chiefs Alan Gustafson and Chad Knaus talked to the media Friday morning at Martinsville Speedway:

Here is the responses from Knaus and Gustafson to the question posed to them by the media!

GUSTAFSON: “It’s hard to speculate because that is all I could do. In my experience there is a lot of smoke around that. There is a lot of talk, there is a lot of dialogue and there are a lot of rumors in the garage. Yeah, I think it is obvious that some people think something is going on and is NASCAR reacting to that? Or do they feel uncomfortable with what is going on? I don’t know that answer. But I do think that it is something that is on the forefront of a lot of people minds. Obviously NASCAR is trying to make sure that we are all on level playing field and if anybody is violating that they will pay the price, which they reminded us this morning is very stiff. That is all I know. Anything beyond that is speculation besides the fact it is a hot topic.”
So they warned you?
GUSTAFSON: “I don’t want to say warned. Warned may not be the right term, just reminded.”
Do you think something is going on?
GUSTAFSON: “Do I think something is going on? I mean I’m busy on Sunday’s. I don’t really watch what is going on. It’s hard for me to say. I don’t feel that I have enough information that would warrant a comment.”
KNAUS: “I don’t know. I don’t know if there is anything or not. I really don’t. Like Alan said, I’m busy on Sunday and I don’t have a lot of friends in the garage. So, I don’t talk too much. I don’t talk to anybody else either so it’s okay. My friends are outside of racing. So, I don’t know what is going on. I really don’t. I know I sent Richard Buck (Managing Director of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series) a text and said ‘hey man could we poke holes in our tires is that okay?’ He sent me a text back and said ‘absolutely not’. So that is all I know.”(Chevy Racing PR)(3-27-2015)
UPDATE: Alan Gustafson, Jeff Gordon’s crew chief, termed it a “reminder”. But those who may have engaged in alleged unapproved “bleeding” of air pressure from their racing tires-the source of prevalent rumors in the garage-would be well-advised to interpret it as a stern warning. When NASCAR assembled Sprint Cup Series crew chiefs for a Friday morning meeting at Martinsville Speedway one of the topics covered was to “remind” teams of the three primary taboos of NASCAR racing:

” Don’t alter the engines in a manner outside the rule book.
” Don’t do anything to alter the fuel provided by Sunoco.
” Don’t make any unapproved alterations or treatments to the tires provided by Goodyear.

Tires, in particular, have been the center of attention since NASCAR made what it termed a routine “audit” of tires two weeks ago at Phoenix International Raceway. The consensus in the garage is that certain teams have been drilling minute holes in the tires to bleed off air pressure as it builds throughout a tire run. By maintaining consistent air pressure, it’s easier to maintain the balance of the car.

GUSTAFSON: “It’s hard to speculate because that is all I could do. In my experience there is a lot of smoke around that. There is a lot of talk, there is a lot of dialogue and there are a lot of rumors in the garage. Yeah, I think it is obvious that some people think something is going on and is NASCAR reacting to that? Or do they feel uncomfortable with what is going on? I don’t know that answer. But I do think that it is something that is on the forefront of a lot of people minds. Obviously NASCAR is trying to make sure that we are all on level playing field and if anybody is violating that they will pay the price, which they reminded us this morning is very stiff. That is all I know. Anything beyond that is speculation besides the fact it is a hot topic.”
So they warned you?
GUSTAFSON: “I don’t want to say warned. Warned may not be the right term, just reminded.”
Do you think something is going on?
GUSTAFSON: “Do I think something is going on? I mean I’m busy on Sunday’s. I don’t really watch what is going on. It’s hard for me to say. I don’t feel that I have enough information that would warrant a comment.”
KNAUS: “I don’t know. I don’t know if there is anything or not. I really don’t. Like Alan said, I’m busy on Sunday and I don’t have a lot of friends in the garage. So, I don’t talk too much. I don’t talk to anybody else either so it’s okay. My friends are outside of racing. So, I don’t know what is going on. I really don’t. I know I sent Richard Buck (Managing Director of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series) a text and said ‘hey man could we poke holes in our tires is that okay?’ He sent me a text back and said ‘absolutely not’. So that is all I know.”(Chevy Racing PR)(3-27-2015)
UPDATE: Alan Gustafson, Jeff Gordon’s crew chief, termed it a “reminder”. But those who may have engaged in alleged unapproved “bleeding” of air pressure from their racing tires-the source of prevalent rumors in the garage-would be well-advised to interpret it as a stern warning. When NASCAR assembled Sprint Cup Series crew chiefs for a Friday morning meeting at Martinsville Speedway one of the topics covered was to “remind” teams of the three primary taboos of NASCAR racing:
” Don’t alter the engines in a manner outside the rule book.
” Don’t do anything to alter the fuel provided by Sunoco.
” Don’t make any unapproved alterations or treatments to the tires provided by Goodyear.
Tires, in particular, have been the center of attention since NASCAR made what it termed a routine “audit” of tires two weeks ago at Phoenix International Raceway. The consensus in the garage is that certain teams have been drilling minute holes in the tires to bleed off air pressure as it builds throughout a tire run. By maintaining consistent air pressure, it’s easier to maintain the balance of the car.

It appears that the racing teams are, once again, getting creative!  To some this idea of bleeding off air pressure would be creative and to others it would be cheating.  Still to others in the garage it would be termed rule making!

The term rule making seems synonymous with the word cheating, since when getting caught doing whatever the team is caught doing, the sanctioning body makes a new rule to prohibit that particular activity!

So it is going to be very interesting to see if, in fact, any race team has altered the Goodyear tires given to them lately!

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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