- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - Goodyear will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for at least two more tire tests before NASCAR races at the track in July.

Tire troubles turned last year’s race at Indianapolis into a debacle, and NASCAR had to throw a caution every 10 to 12 laps to force teams to pit for fresh tires rather than risking an on-track failure.

Goodyear has already had two tests at Indianapolis, and will return with four teams in late April for additional work. Goodyear will then invite at least 12 teams to the track in June for another test session.

The Allstate 400 is scheduled for July 26.

Greg Stucker, director of race tire sales, said Goodyear was pleased with the tire it used earlier this month at Las Vegas and wants to apply some of the characteristics of that tire compound to the Indianapolis product.

“We feel like we’ve got a real good handle on the range of the compounds that are necessary to give us a tread wear on this car at that race track,” Stucker said Wednesday during a tire test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “When we go back there in April, we’re going to build off that compound work we did in the fall and look at some construction changes. Some of the changes we made for Las Vegas, we’re going to integrate into the Indy design as well and try to look at that.”

Goodyear is also planning a test at Atlanta, where the tiremaker has been plagued with issues in the past. Although driver complaints were down after the race there two weeks ago, Stucker said Goodyear is still working to find the right match for NASCAR’s car.

“We were hoping to have more of an impact than what we did,” he said. “Not to say that it’s better or worse, but we’d like to think we can go back and try to help it a little bit more.”

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