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Joey Logano reveals Goodyear's “too good” invention that worsened NASCAR's short track problems

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NASCAR drivers are apparently dissatisfied with tire performance on short tracks. The issue was highlighted immediately after the final Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway. Elton Sawyer, NASCAR's senior vice president of competition, recognized the problem and stated that the organization needed to increase its efforts to improve short track racing. The challenges stem from overtaking difficulties and unresolved tire wear issues since the next-gen car debuted in 2022.

Excessive tire wear was also in the spotlight at Bristol Motor Speedway, forcing drivers to protect their tires in a way not seen in years. The situation also prompted NASCAR and Goodyear to organize a tire test in Bristol to investigate the reasons for increased tire wear at that venue. Two-time Cup Series champion Joey Logano weighs in.

Goodyear tires are good for the road, believes Joey Logano

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Joey Logano had a difficult start to the season, but he bounced back significantly from the Richmond race, where he finished P2 behind Denny Hamlin. Team Penske #22 told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio about the tire issues they have been facing for a long time.

He said, “Bristol was good because the tire was falling apart. And that was good. Richmond and Martinsville, my goodness, we gotta swing the bat. We have to do something big to fix this problem. I hate to say it, but we're not an aero package away. We tried that, we pressed the button a few times. We have to do something to make the tires fall off. I get it. Listen, here's the deal: Goodyear built a tire that is this too good. If you want to buy a tire on the road. This is the tire you want. You want a tire that will last forever. But that’s not what we want as racing drivers.”

It's a fine line. Think about it. If you're Goodyear and the plot is that these tires are falling apart or wearing out quickly, then you would say, “I don't want to put that on my car.” We have to somehow separate our street desires from our race car desires. We had about 180 laps on our left side and it finally started to fall apart at the end.” Joey Logano added.

Joey Logano further explained that during the last 20 laps the left rear tire began to disintegrate, which was not due to wear as the wear pins were still intact. Instead, the tire delaminated and the tread came off. The tire did not wear down to the cord threads and was otherwise in good condition except for the break. Such a situation was unacceptable to him.

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What has changed for No. 22 after a disappointing start?

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Logano crew chief Paul Wolfe noted that the No. 22 team's performance was close to its best since the introduction of the next-gen car in 2022. Wolfe mentioned that Logano's involvement in the Goodyear tire test on March 13 and 14 at North Wilkesboro Speedway led to improvements. Additionally, the crew chief emphasized that boosting team morale after a difficult start to the season contributed to even greater progress.

Team Penske is actively refining strategies and vehicle setups to overcome the tire management challenges faced by Joey Logano. He struggled with significant tire wear at Bristol Motor Speedway and in retrospect it would have been better to pit rather than wait for a caution that didn't materialize.

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It is hoped Goodyear will also focus on tire management to ensure drivers do not face similar issues this season.

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