INDIANAPOLIS -- Tire wear could be a serious issue in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday, based on the problems some of the Sprint Cup teams were having in the two practice sessions Saturday afternoon.
Right-side tires were wearing down to the cords for some teams after only five or six laps on the 2.5-mile quad-oval.
All the teams will receive an extra set of tires for the race -- 10 instead of nine -- as needed. NASCAR officials plan to throw a competition yellow caution flag on Sunday after about 15 laps.
"The track is pretty abrasive and wears down tires pretty fast," Goodyear director of racing Greg Stucker told ESPN. "We've seen this new car is a little tougher on right-side [tires] because it transfers more weight."
Another problem on Saturday was the lack of rubber laid down on the track from the cars making laps. The dust and tiny rubber pieces from the tires were accumulating on the bumper of the cars rather than staying on the track.
More rubber on the track adds grip and makes it easier for the cars to turn.
"It doesn't seem like the cars are putting the rubber down as much as in the past here,'' Stucker said. "That seems to be a factor of the new car and the way the air flows around the splitter and the rear wing."
Goodyear used three Cup teams to conduct a tire test with the new car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in April. Goodyear officials opted to use a similar tire to what the teams used at Indy in 2007.
"We tried a [harder] tire that improved wear," Stucker said. "But there was a handling penalty and the drivers felt it was too much to pay."
A few teams went through four sets of tires in practice on Saturday -- teams are given eight sets of tires for practice and qualifying.
"The teams preferred to have another set or two [Saturday]," Stucker said. "But we talked it over with NASCAR officials and decided to make sure we saved enough tires to get through the race."
Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.