Goodyear slammed after Denny Hamlin crashes out of Brickyard 400: 'Time for NASCAR to find another tire company'
This is not the first time Goodyear tires have created controversy at the Brickyard 400. In 2008, Goodyear's tires disintegrated rapidly during the race
Denny Hamlin was set for a big victory at the Brickyard 400 in Speedway, Indiana on July 5. Hamlin had held the lead since Lap 123, but as he rounded for the final turn of the lap with an almost-one second lead, his front-left tire clipped the class as Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota veered sharply out of the lead and into the Turn 1 retaining wall. Hamlin's car caught fire but he was able to climb from the car and escape safely.
After the race, Hamlin spoke to the press and said, "Just, it’s tough. I hate it for the FedEx team. We didn‘t do what we needed to do and it didn‘t work out for us today. I had a fast car obviously and was stretching it out there but wasn‘t pushing the right-front (tire) at all. It‘s kind of roulette if you‘re going to get one that will stay together or not and mine didn‘t. You saw the end result. These big races — things don‘t go my way all the time. We‘re still going to go next week and try to win the next one. We‘ll do all we can.”
Goodyear, who supplied the tires for the race, released a statement after the race saying they “asked teams to respect our recommended pressures (given to the teams before the race) so as not to hurt the tire.” “Most of the race was run in the heat and the teams were obviously searching for grip, while several issues happened later in the event when track temperatures cooled off a bit and speeds picked up,” Goodyear racing director Greg Stucker said. “We had our engineers on the ground all week, working with teams as we do every week, trying to emphasize the importance of right-front pressures.”
However, many fans took to social media to criticize the performance of Goodyear's tires. One user opined, "Shouldn't have to have certain tire pressures or have a car set up a certain way. Having tires go down like that is just plain stupid. Goodyear needs to actually put some effort into making a tire that can hold air for more than 25 laps without having to worry about it blowing." Another shared, "Case in point that Goodyear can't make a tire for sh*t. with no falloff on the tires, drivers don't know when they're losing grip. extremely durable tires lead to shit racing (like today). only leads to massive blows like Erik, Alex, and Denny..."
A user shared, "I get both sides honestly but Goodyear has to know that teams will push the tire to the absolute limit with air pressure because if they don’t another team will." Another shared, "Time for NASCAR to find another tire company yet? Goodyear makes the worst tires in motorsports. 3 cars crash because the tires are not suitable for the track. Only in NASCAR."
This is not the first time Goodyear tires have created controversy at the Brickyard 400. In 2008, Goodyear's tires disintegrated rapidly during the race, requiring caution periods and pit stops about every ten laps. The longest run of the race was 12 laps and the final dash to the finish was just seven. When Jimmie Johnson won his second Brickyard 400 that year, he defined it as "the tire race."