NASCAR faces questions about tires, track amid driver frustration in Texas

by Bob Bocras
NASCAR FOX Sports writer

Fort Worth, Texas – NASCAR Enjoy, to have fun, when the playoffs plunge into chaos.

But was the chaos at Texas Motor Speedway too much?

Cars spin in resin. Three drivers inflate tires as they drive to the race, ending their hopes of winning. Some drivers see a potential championship coming out of their hands.

Was it a tire problem? Vehicle traction problem? Track problem? Problem with the next generation car?

Maybe it was a bit of all of those things, because they’re all connected to each other. The new car produces different loads, which punishes the right rear tires. With the extra horsepower on the 1.5-mile tracks this year, the cars needed the traction compound to produce more stability and hopefully the extra racing grooves, especially in Texas, where the 2017 reconfigure created a different width and different banking in turns 1 -2 and 3-4.

“We are all learning about fittings and tires, Goodyear is learning more about [new tire] new construction [18-inch] hurry,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR Vice President.

“It’s an unfortunate part of the learning process. Those who haven’t had any admitted to being on the conservative side with all things hard on the tyres. They make the speed, but they’re hard on the tyres.”

Chase Elliott on his tires and the accident that ended his day early

Chase Elliott talks about tires, his crash in Texas, and his outlook for the remainder of the second round of the NASCAR Qualifiers.

This isn’t the first time teams have run into problems. It’s not new to racing or NASCAR for teams to sometimes have to choose between speed and being conservative in the air pressures.

But it was amazing to see how many drivers had problems on Sunday. At least seven had tire problems, including Christopher Bell with two.

Bell noted that he had a shake of about five seconds before his tire malfunctioned. Chase Elliot He indicated that he had less.

“When I started to break up, I was really out of my fitness,” Elliott said. “I was already at the corner exit. So it was a bad place for that.”

Bill looked surprised then.

“We’ll be in a deep hole,” he said.

Bale now sits below the playoff streak – an insurmountable but deep 29-point lead – after entering the round four points over the cut. Alex Bowman He had a tire issue that made him go from six points below the chop to 30 points below.

Christopher Bell in a crash in Texas

Christopher Bell in a crash in Texas

Christopher Bell said he has no indication he will have tire issues in Texas and is looking at how his crash might affect the way he races in Talladega.

This is what makes tire issues so central.

NASCAR’s three-race cut-off system doesn’t give a driver much room to have a bad day, especially since the number of drivers eligible for the championship is reduced by four after each round.

Elliott went from 31 points above the cut-off line to four after his accident ended his race. He now needs to perform at the Talladega Superspeedway next weekend and the Charlotte Motor Speedway in two weeks.

“It’s not a great situation to be in,” he said. “it is what it is.”

Since the playoff system began in 2014, drivers have in some ways given in to the nature of qualifying, where a bad race can spoil a season. They all know that anything can happen.

To win races, they have to go fast. But some would argue that they shouldn’t make such a choice with such consequences – badly inflated tire debris can cause major injury, as well as competition problems – when it comes to tyres.

“Certainly I can say without any doubt that atmospheric pressure is playing its part,” said Goodyear race director Greg Staker. “We know where a lot of guys are – some more aggressive than others.

“We know that plays a role. I’m not saying that’s the only thing, but it’s definitely a factor, and we’re trying to understand everything else that might be going on.”

Stacker said the resin, which was applied closer to the wall than in previous races in Texas, created a fast racetrack as well as a rain delay that got much of the race running under the lights.

“No excuses,” Stacker said. “We’re just trying to find the facts and find out exactly what’s going on.”

Tyler Riddick: “We won. I don’t know how to explain it.”

Tyler Riddick:

Tyler Riddick talks about his victory on Sunday in Texas.

As for the Tyler Riddick And the winning team, maybe they think they made the right decision and the others make the wrong decision. But crew chief Randall Burnett won’t gloat anymore.

“It’s a bit of a guessing game for us, isn’t it?” He said. “You don’t know what the line is on it, do you? You want to be as close as possible to the line with them without crossing it.

“It’s a struggle. It’s so stressful for all the engineers, all the crew chiefs, everyone back and forth. It’s one of those things. Luckily, we got it tonight. We’ve been on the back side of it and we’ve gotten it wrong a few times this year and cost ourselves a win.”

Then there’s Texas, a track where motorcycle officials are exploring the possibility of other repaving and remodeling, although nothing has been decided upon.

“The general consensus…that this has been a tough track to race on for a while now,” Miller said. “What are the plans for that, I don’t have any details.”

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think out loud

NASCAR has a tough decision to make as to whether to be punished William Byron for spinning Denny Hamlin under caution. It was an action that called for responding in real time either by going backwards or pressing Byron for a turn or two.

The fact that Byron said he didn’t mean to spin Hamlin isn’t enough for him to escape punishment. He’s fighting Hamlin over a break. He can’t get around it while they’re not vying for the position.

But penalty after the fact? This is tricky because Byron can’t come back from it as if he was penalized during the race, so the post-drill penalty seems unfair. Then again, why should he get a free pass just because NASCAR didn’t see the accident?

What happened to Hamlin, who went from second to 16th due to spin, was certainly not fair. So in some ways, Byron should probably get an unfair punishment as well.

NASCAR’s Scott Miller in the Byron Hamlin accident in Texas

NASCAR's Scott Miller in the Byron Hamlin accident in Texas

Senior Vice President Scott Miller said NASCAR will consider William Byron spinning Denny Hamlin under caution to see if any penalties should be issued.

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Today’s stats

Joey LoganoSecond place finished his ninth in the 2022 championship – and fourth in the past eight races.

they said that

“It’s funny every week because we have something new that is laughable. Just add this to the list.” Denny Hamlin after William Byron was not punished for flirting under caution

Denny Hamlin on the incident with William Byron

Denny Hamlin on the incident with William Byron

Denny Hamlin discusses his frustration after William Byron flirts with him under caution in Texas.

Bob Pokras covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He’s spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @Popocrasand subscribe to Newsletter from FOX Sports NASCAR with Bob Pokras.

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