Goodyear Makes Tire Changes for New Hampshire Race

Getty Cup Series drivers race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Goodyear has heard the comments from NASCAR Cup Series drivers about its tires at short tracks. The company has responded by making a change for New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Goodyear Director of Racing Greg Stucker met with media members at North Wilkesboro Speedway ahead of the All-Star Race, and he explained that Denny Hamlin was “spot on” with his comments about the capabilities of making a tire that wears more. He then revealed that Goodyear will bring a softer tire to New Hampshire in mid-July.

“We went to Loudon just a few weeks back at the end of April and tested,” Stucker told media members “We’re going significantly softer on both sides. All the drivers at the test thought it was a big gain, thought it was definitely in the right direction.

“That’s what we’ll race. Is it enough? We’ll see. I think it’s a good step and then we’ll continue to go from there.”

Goodyear Gathered Data Throughout the Next Gen’s First Season

GettyJoey Logano (front) races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

One key point that Stucker made during the media session is that Goodyear went more conservative with the tire compound during the first year of the Next Gen era. The goal has been to provide as much grip as possible while letting teams and drivers manage their tires.

Now that Goodyear and NASCAR have more than one year’s worth of data, they can figure out ways to push further and further with the tire compound. They can bring softer tires that may wear more as drivers battle for position.

Will this softer tire improve the action at short tracks? That answer remains unknown. Goodyear will first test it at the 1.058-mile New Hampshire track and then make decisions about other potential compound changes for the rest of the season.

“The jury is still out,” Stucker added, per “We just feel like Loudon can require something softer. We wanted to go with the new short track package and test there. It may only be a Loudon tire. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll use it later in the year.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Weighed in After Kyle Larson’s Dominant Win

GettyCup Series drivers battle at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

The conversation about the short track package and the tire compound has persisted throughout the Next Gen era of NASCAR. However, it took another turn after the return of North Wilkesboro Speedway.

The historic short track provided a packed week of racing with standout drivers across multiple series battling for the win. The CARS Tour and the Craftsman Truck Series races both drew praise from fans and industry members.

The All-Star Race was something else entirely. This event was not particularly competitive as Kyle Larson delivered a dominant performance and won his third All-Star Race. The atmosphere at the track created excitement among racing enthusiasts, but there were still people left disappointed by the main event.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., the man most notably tied to North Wilkesboro’s return, weighed in on the discussion during the May 23 episode of the “Dale Jr. Download” podcast. He expressed disappointment in the overall action at the race, and he expressed the opinion that NASCAR needs to get its short track product fixed.

“I’m afraid that we’re going to continue to lose opportunities at short tracks,” Earnhardt said. “How many times can we go… North Wilkesboro got brought back. It’s right there in front of us. It’s ready to rock. It’s ready to be an asset to this industry.

“But if we can’t get the racing right there, if we can’t get the tires and the cars right, how long can that place hang on?”

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