Goodyear officials have sent the tires that were on Kyle Busch's car when it wrecked in Sunday's Daytona 500 for further testing. Busch lost control, spun and collected several other cars, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was leading the race at the time. On Wednesday morning's "The Morning Drive" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Goodyear director of racing Greg Stucker said Busch's tires arrived Tuesday at company headquarters in Akron, Ohio. "Our engineers went over them very thoroughly, just to make sure we didn't miss anything at the racetrack," Stucker said. "We feel we didn't. We sent them down to our research facility, where we have forensic specialists if you will, that can really do a deep dive into all the different components, all the different parts of the tire and look at them in a lot more detail than you can visually with electron microscopes and a lot of other different tools they have at their exposure. It's very impressive some of the detail they can go into and we'll find out as much as we can. That takes a little bit of time to do, but that's in the works."
Goodyear engineers also looked at video of Busch's accident for any other clues. "We want to see if we can see anything," Stucker said. "We can look at the attitude of the car, did we see anything come out from under the car that might have indicated he ran over anything or any contact. We didn't see anything there again. The other thing is the spin itself. We look at the way the skid marks come from the tires themselves. A tire that's deflated makes a different skid mark than a tire that is inflated."
Goodyear officials paid extra attention to the right rear tire on Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry, Stucker said. "It appears as though the right rear tire was still inflated when Kyle spun, and that's pretty consistent with the way the tire looked itself. The tire was flat-spotted, and normally it won't flat spot through a tire. It'll just wear through it. So that's pretty consistent. We've also stayed in constant communication with the team, if they've discovered anything when they got the car back and trying to look through things. We want to make sure they're very aware of what our analysis is. As soon as we know something, then obviously we'll make sure the team is very well aware of what the findings were."
Goodyear will return to Daytona in April for a tire test. Goodyear will look at a softer tire, which Daytona 500 race winner Kurt Busch has suggested.
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Goodyear has refuted Kyle Busch's claim that a flat tire caused his spin in the Daytona 500. Busch blamed the crash on a rear tire that went flat and said, "You know, obviously Goodyear tires just aren't very good at holding air."
Goodyear general manager of worldwide racing Stu Grant said definitive video evidence showed that all four tires on Busch's #18 Toyota were up when it began to spin. Speaking before Sunday's Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Grant said no cuts were found on Busch's tires at the track or at Goodyear's technical center and research facility in Akron, Ohio. Technicians also analyzed broadcast video to determine that Busch's right rear was up when the car spun. Goodyear contacted the NASCAR R&D Center for additional video to verify the left rear was up.
"In fact, their email back to us was it's clear both tires were up when he spun," Grant said of NASCAR's response. Busch's left-rear tire apparently went flat in the crash after contact with Erik Jones. Grant said he met Sunday morning with Busch at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "We had a good discussion," Grant said, adding that things were "good between us and Joe Gibbs Racing. In terms of our analysis of the Daytona tires, (engineer) Rick Campbell was in constant communication with the JGR competition people."
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