IndyCar bringing alternate tire to an oval, using 2 compounds in Gateway race Aug. 27

IndyCar alternate tire oval
IndyCar alternate tire oval

The NTT IndyCar Series will bring an option tire to oval racing for the first time this season, trying alternate compounds for the Aug. 27 race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.

The rules will be the same as for road and street circuits, which require a mandatory use of a new set of the alternate compound (traditionally known as “reds”) during the race. The alternate compound is designed to be softer and faster, but it wears more quickly than the primary compound.

That leads to divergent strategies and often engenders more passing during the race as cars go forward and fall back more quickly depending on their tire degradation.

The alternate tire compound concept has been around for nearly 20 years since Firestone introduced it with the 2004 Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Alternate tires were introduced full time to the IndyCar series with the 2009 season and have been used in street and road courses races since.

Firestone also will be using a new tire constructed from more sustainable materials on street circuits during the 2023 season.

After making its debut last year at Nashville, the tires derived from the guayule desert shrub will make their debut in the March 5 season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Bridgestone, the parent company of Firestone, invested $42 million in establishing a hub for planting and harvesting the guayule shrub, which is found in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States.

“We are driving sustainability in every area of our business, and we’re thrilled to be advancing guayule and other sustainable practices in America’s premier open-wheel racing series,” Paolo Ferrari, CEO of Bridgestone Americas, said in a release. “Firestone has a tremendous legacy of innovation and performance in racing, which we will continue to build upon as we move into this new era of cleaner, safer and more sustainable mobility on and off the track.”

IndyCar bringing alternate tire to an oval, using 2 compounds in Gateway race Aug. 27 originally appeared on