• Mar 12th 2008 at 10:31AM
  • 30
Following this past weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup second place finish, Tony Stewart was not a happy camper. When interviewed after the race, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver sounded off on his great dislike for the series tire sponsor, Goodyear. Many other competitors, from the likes of Dale Earnhart Jr. to Jeff Gordon, also made comments on the difficult tire/track combination experienced during the race, but the hot-headed number 20 was the only one to forgo any sugar coating. He hinted that the tire manufacturer's departure from other prominent race series was a move resulting from incompetency. He claimed, "They (Goodyear) don't have the technology and the people that are smart enough to build a tire. This was pathetic today." He also threw out a comment on how he no longer felt safe in anything equipped with Goodyear tires, including street use. When all was said and done, Mr. Stewart delivered the sponsor a severe verbal beating.

On Monday, Goodyear issued a reply to the heated commentary with a rather text book response. It contended that the company's exit from numerous race series was simply due to the high development costs necessary to compete, not technical inability as implied by Stewart. They also defended their choice of rubber compound by pointing out the lack of issues during numerous test events, along with the absence of complaints after the NASCAR Nationwide Series race. They even mentioned that despite driver grievances, in the eyes of Goodyear and NASCAR, the event was satisfactory. Although, as anyone that received a report card knows, satisfactory should not be the ultimate goal. Goodyear will get a second chance when the series returns to Atlanta in the fall. Hopefully Tony Stewart will have to eat his words once a more extensively tested tire compound is developed for the event.

[Source: Speed TV, Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      1) Goodyear dropped the ball. The tire was too hard for its own good. No grip, everyone said so. They went too cautious with that tire.

      2) The race was boring! (For those of us that like NASCAR) Which is bad for NASCAR and for Goodyear.

      3) Why would Tony eat his words if Goodyear brought a better tire next time? That just means he was RIGHT!

      4) There isn't nothing wrong with the COT. Its not the cars we can drive off the lots on monday, but would they ever really be? When was the last time you could or would feel really comfortable taking out a mom and pop sedan and go 200+ MPH into a corner. Not me. Not even close.

      5) This was the first set back with the car, and it wasn't entirely the cars fault. It was the tire brought. Goodyear will get it right, i have faith in that.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I know they aren't racing tires, but my Wrangler RT/S are horrible. Anyone ever try Avon tyres on a compact or midsize pick-up?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Man, Goodyear didn't sound very confident. Stewart just might be right.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Might be right?! He's dead on. I know because I used to work in Goodyear's textile division. On 1/1/07, Goodyear sold it's textile division to a South Korean outfit. Up to this point, the new owners made yarn, motorcycles and ATM's. This Korean company is concerned about one thing and one thing only-and it ain't driver safety; Nascar or otherwise. It's bottom line $$$$$$$$. In the plant that made the tire cord for Goodyear's Nascar Eagle, I was the one that set up the machinery that wove the fabric for that tire. I had 33 years experience and the new owner didn't want to pay for it so they cut me loose. Who's setting up those machines now? Somebody from Poland? Bosnia? Certainly not someone with 33 years experience in the trade. Tony's got every right to be cranked at Goodyear. Let some Goodyear exec climb aboard a Nascar ride and slap the wall at 180 MPH because his tire was inferior quality. Then we'll see if he's a little more selective about who's making his tire cord. Maybe it's time for a tire change in Nascar. I hope Tony the Tiger reads this. I'd love to e-mail the man himself.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I have to agree with you on this Bubba. I normally wouldn't agree with Stewie, but even Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon had a beef with this tire. It may be a case of putting 150 MPH tires on a 200 MPH car. That is not very comforting. I think Stewart and Jeff G. still remember how hard they hit the wall (hard) last week so they are more vocal about it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The hardest tire in all of racing to build is the right from super speedway NASCAR tire.

      This info came to me from Firestone. The loads and heat generated are out of this world and want to tear the tire apart. Only Top Fuel come as close to be as hard to make and only one company is willing to do that to date.

      Goodyear is in a Catch 22 as if the tires are too soft they are fast but the drivers hit the wall. Divers get hurt or as in the past with Hoosier killed or brain injured. Just ask Buddy Baker and we can ask Neil Bonnet.

      We are going to have to accept single tires in most top series as cost and safety have required it. Technology has gone so far to put these items to the limit and any compromise can be deadly.

      Teams today push beyond the limits of not only the tire but other items on the cars like bearings. Teams do what the MFG say not to and they reach failure. HAve you ever wondered why so many cars hit the wall at Charlotte. The bearing fail with adjustments teams were told not to do. The teams do the same with the tires too.

      Did Goodyear have a too hard of a tire. Yes. This they know in December how cold or warm it was going to be? no! Did they know what 500 Miles of side by side racing would be No! Do they now have a base line to now know how much they can change the tires for long runs and race set up's.

      Computer test and single car test can only do so much.

      I like Tony but he still need to grow up a little. He never has like Goodyear as BOB Newton of Hoosier is like a second father to him. I know he like Bob and supports him. Also Goodyear is what Hoosier considers the enemy.

      Goodyear pulled out of the other series as They were near going bankrupt and has to choose where to spend what they could afford. The most watched series is NASCAR so that is where their money went. They saw the Indy split ans knew where it was going. The F1 was a money pit. and Dirt track already was well supplied by Hoosier.

      Goodyear still does a lot of road racing as all Dunlap Racing tires are Goodyear as well as the Motorcycle tires.

      I live and work in the Akron area in the racing industy> have grown up and work with many people that work for BFG, Kumo, Goodyear, Timken and Firestone. I work with others like Hoosier. These are all good companies and try to do the best they can. Sometimes they may come up short but if the do they do not want anyone to get hurt because of it. Killing drivers is not a good marketing tool.

      Even the F1 race at Indy a few years ago shows even Michelin can make a error. They all have.

      Either way Goodyear will have a better tire at the next Atlanta race and will keep working to make the other races better. This year is going to be a learning one for the team and MFG in NASCAR.

      Besides the COT is never going to be anm easy car to drive. That way we can see who really is the better driver.

      Hell I could have driven the old car with the down force they had!

      • 7 Years Ago
      Since I didn't race at Atlanta, or anywhere in a COT at anytime, so I will have to speculate why Tony is so upset:

      Maybe he was upset we went up two track suit sizes and the tires stayed the same size?

      Maybe Toyota is offering a bonus to get Bridgestone or Yokohama as the official tire of NASCAR?

      Maybe he trying to outdo Daryl Waltripp for the 2008 Toyota A**-Kisser of the Year?

      Maybe he left chicken grease all over the tires while eating lunch?

      Maybe "Smoke" wants to be known as "PMS”?

      Maybe he forgot about all money he is making?

      Maybe he is just upset that a 22 year old kid beat him on the same tires?

      Maybe his belly was rubbing the steering wheel and that was causing the tires to feel greasy?

      Maybe he is just not winning anything so Toyota said, makes some press or you’re fired?

      Feel free to add your own…
      • 7 Years Ago
      Tony Stewart is the biggest whiner in NASCAR!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why can't you have competing tire companies when it comes to NASCAR. It should be the same way for all the parts, as long as they follow whatever guide lines for production set by NASCAR, what's the big deal. Why not just race production vehicles with whatever set rules on modifications........ oh wait, nevermind!!
        • 7 Years Ago
        The last time they di dthat, Hoosier, Goodyear cryed and cryed until NASCAR drove them out. It is not about sport for NASCAR, it is about MONEY.
        Nuff Said
      • 7 Years Ago
      atlanta was just another reason i'm statring to hate nascar. it's boring enough to watch cot cars, then goodyear tires! let they owners run the tire they want-goodyear-firestone-hooser. please just go back to a car we can relate to-please. been a fan for 40yrs-about to change!!!!!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      #1--Just the week before, everyone was complaining about all the tire blowouts they were having at the Vegas track, so NASCAR and Goodyear come back with a harder compound, there are ZERO blowouts and now everyone complains the tire doesn't handle...pick your poison...

      #2--The conflict Stewart has with Goodyear dates back many years to his dirt track days where he felt slighted at somepoint by Goodyear when they did not provide him the support he felt he deserved...

      All that being said...I like Goodyear's and they have been very supportive of the racers I am involved with...and I like Stewart as well, he doesn't shy away from an issue and nearly always tells you how he feels rather than trying to be politically correct...
      • 7 Years Ago
      What Mr. Stewart neglects to admit is that while he may criticize the engineering at Goodyear, he and his team neglect to take heed to the specs advised by Goodyear when they run their tires. So whether or not he likes it, Goodyear manufactures a SAFE tire with advised SAFETY standard - that is their contract with NASCAR. When race teams push the envelope beyond suggest engineered specifics, things go awry. Tires blow, they cut down, they wear with abnormal patterns, all because of the race team’s manipulation of the specs to obtain the “competitive edge”. While the tire may not have performed to some of the NASCAR driver’s preference, the safety of the produce was of most importance per the request of NASCAR. If you want to complain, talk to NASCAR, not deface Goodyear. The outspoken behavior of Mr. Stewart may be applauded by some, but his integrity has sunk to an all time low for Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing and himself. The people at Goodyear will continue to defend their produce, position on safety and their good name. A monopoly - I think not. NASCAR puts the tires out to bid on a contract basis. If they are unhappy with the product and how it performs, I am sure they will talk to Goodyear. NASCAR mandates the testing schedule and the tire preference. Goodyear provides what is requested of their customer - NASCAR. Mr. Stewart, you need to take your issue to who pays your check Gibbs Racking and NASCAR, not Goodyear. There are no financial benefits or kickbacks coming to Goodyear. They are self financed in their providing tires to NASCAR – even though they charge the teams for their tires, none of the Goodyear staff or support personnel get paid by NASCAR, nor does NASCAR provide them with travel expenses, etc. What Goodyear does gain is the R&D benefits as it equates to the consumer products they manufacture. Those of you on the Stewart for president campaign need to brush up on your facts – look at the car specs as it relates to the tire; look at the bump stops, look at the track surface, take into consideration the track temp and weather conditions, feedback given to Goodyear during tire tests, etc. While the band wagon may suggest Goodyear holds all the cards to Mr. Stewart’s disappointment, Mr. Stewart needs to be more global in his thinking. Maybe he should spend more time in the engineering department to learn how many factors affect the outcome of the car’s performance on the track and less time trashing a company he knows very little about in regards to their product or people. As for their life risking job – let’s compare that with our soldiers and law enforcement personnel – hard to find his driving a race car dangerous unless he makes a mistake. Remember folks, he gets paid plenty to be a professional driver with the skills of such. Making his job safe is one thing; making it easy makes him no professional at all.
      • 7 Years Ago

      The solution.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Like him or hate him, Stewart is good for the sport, you can't argue with his success and sounding off on issues like this make for good articles.

      I'm actually surprised with the amount of fans that don't like him - he's not a pretty boy, he drives hard, not afraid to bang it up and verbally doesn't hold back.
      I would think any grassroots racer would appreciate these qualities.

      And the only reason he spouted off against goodyear is he felt the tires wern't safe and didn't allow for good racing.
      How is that not good for the sport and the competition aspect?
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