Goodyear has been working with NASCAR on plans to introduce a new tire in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2021. Instead of the 15-inch tires currently used, the targeted size of the new tire is 18 inches and the change would coincide with the introduction of the Generation-7 vehicle.
The impetus behind the change, according to Goodyear’s Director or Racing Greg Stucker, is to help make the cars look more like the ones a customer would drive off the showroom floor.
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“There are not a lot of vehicles out there that run 15-inch wheels,” Stucker said. “Everything is from 17 (inches) on up, so that’s really the driving factor to try to make it a bit more relevant to what‘s on the street today.”
As far as how the tires will perform in competition, Stucker says it’s too early to tell. Until track tests can be run with the Generation-7 vehicle and the new tires, he said it‘s hard to say what the overall performance implications will be — plus the project is in the early stages.
Goodyear and NASCAR are currently looking at a possible timeline for when those tests will take place, but Stucker said nothing has been nailed down yet.
“NASCAR is the driver behind the new Gen-7,” Stucker said. “That was one of the goals to update the tire and wheel package and that’s what we’re working through now to plan exactly where we’re going to be.”
For now, Stucker said the goal is to outfit the Monster Energy Series cars with the new tires, and no plans are being made yet for NASCAR’s other national series.