Days away from on-track action at Texas Motor Speedway, there has been a consistent chatter online about the racing groove.
Track president Eddie Gossage has been posting on his Twitter page that the speedway has been using the Tire Dragon. Such a practice has become common for a facility that has recently been repaved, and this weekend will be just the third Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series run since Texas was repaved – and Turn 1 reconfigured – before the 2017 season.
The @TXMotorSpeedway crew has been working hard prepping the track for next week’s @NASCAR races. Both the Texas Tire Monster & Tire Dragon have been working in the 2nd groove up, working in rubber. Look at the dark black asphalt! Won’t stop till race time. Will get even better! pic.twitter.com/nqKVE7coEQ
— Eddie Gossage (@eddiegossage) March 30, 2018
For those who haven’t seen or heard of the Tire Dragon, it consists of four Goodyear tires mounted on the back of a tractor. The tires are then dragged around the racing surface to help lay down rubber and create a usable racing groove.
When the Tire Dragon is used drivers often weigh in about it should be run. For Texas, that is higher up the track and Gossage has been assuring fans and drivers that the work being done ahead of Sunday’s race is in those areas.
Because some of you can’t wait for the Texas Tire Monster and the Tire Dragon to get to the top, here it is. The Tire Dragon is about half way up the banking and the Tire Monster is at the top. We’re here to make you happy! Any Cup drivers that want to drive them, COME ON! pic.twitter.com/GxJovHgugK
— Eddie Gossage (@eddiegossage) April 3, 2018
Thank you for listening to the “complainers”…. now keep going higher with it.
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) April 3, 2018
Goodyear is also bringing a new left-side tire this weekend for Xfinity and Cup Series teams. Both series will run the same tire setup, with the left-side tire codes being decided on after a test in January. Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. participated in the test.
“We had a good test at Texas and we were able to address some of the challenges that all repaves present,” said Goodyear’s director of racing Greg Stucker. “This being just the third NASCAR Cup race since the repave, the track surface has not really had the chance to weather in, so to speak.
“This new left-side tire matches up well with this still-smooth surface and will accomplish our goal of increased wear and laying rubber on the track. That should lead to an increased level of fall off over the course of a fuel run and a widened racing groove.”
The right side tire codes remain unchanged from the events run at Texas last season.