Tires last up to 18 laps in Indy testing

RICHMOND, Va. -- Ryan Newman described Wednesday's tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a "small gain" in regards to the number of laps he could run on one set of Goodyears.

"The tires [used for racing at Indianapolis] are still not ideal," he said before Friday's NASCAR Sprint Cup practice at Richmond International Raceway. "It's just a tough situation. We spent the first part of the day cording tires, then the last part of the day blistering tires because they weren't wearing."

The test was the fourth since last year's fiasco in which NASCAR had to call a competition caution about every dozen laps in the Brickyard 400 because tires were wearing so fast.

Newman said he got a maximum of 18 laps on a set of tires during Wednesday's test that also included Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers. Goodyear is hoping to get that number to the 32 needed for a full fuel run.

"Last week it was 10 laps," Newman said. "So it was a gain in number of laps."

Goodyear officials said two more tests likely will be held, one likely the week after the Indianapolis 500 later this month and one with 12 to 14 cars on June 15-16.

They remain confident a solution will be found, noting the last two tests have been hampered by rain washing rubber off the track.

Newman said Goodyear may have to consider bringing one set of tires to put rubber on the track during practice for the July race and another to actually race on.

"There are options that Goodyear and NASCAR will have to consider," he said. "Whether we have an extra set of tires or whatever we need to do. The bottom line is last year was an embarrassment for the series and the fans and we need to redeem that. Whatever we have to do needs to be considered."

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.