The “multi-zone tread” tire that Goodyear debuted in NASCAR competition in the Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September is back for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. Because of the new tire, most Sprint Cup teams took to Kansas Speedway a day early on Thursday for testing/extra practice.
“We didn’t see anything, which is good news,” Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said. “One of the exciting parts of having it here at Kansas is because this is a recently repaved track that’s very smooth. We ran the zone tread at Atlanta without any technical issues or failures and had a good race. But that’s on a very aggressive, coarse track surface. We had that example. This is the other end of the spectrum for the tire. It’s fresh pavement that’s smooth.”
The new right-side tire features two zones of tread, with an outer zone made of a stickier and more grip-oriented compound and an inner zone made of a firmer compound designed to make the tire last longer.
The Atlanta race on the new tire broke a track passing record, with 3748 green-flag passes in the 500-mile race — 190 more than the old record.
Jimmie Johnson turned in the fastest lap during Thursday’s test at a speed of 182.648 mph. Other fast laps were turned in by Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch, Jeff Burton and Paul Menard. Thirty-eight drivers participated in the test.
“The tire seems to drive really well. I think it’s going to be a two or three-groove race track, so that’s good for all of us,” Edwards said. “I believe you’ll see two or three-lane racing.”
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR