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Post-Indy Emails…Goodyear Tires July 29, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Claire B's Mail, Controversy, Listeners, NASCAR.
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Ginn Racing executes a pitstop at the 2007 Day...Image via WikipediaHey: I wanted to share with you some of the emails that I have gotten regarding Sundays Sprint Cup Race at Indianapolis. The takes are all valid and interesting and they cover both sides of the issue. Some fans are angry, others understand and say move on. Some even say they liked the twists and turns of the circumstances that made the race a series of shoot outs. Everyone is clear in saying that this should not happen again because it does not reflect well on the sport. I thought I’d share some emails that I have gotten for your reading, and discussion pleasure. Thanks to all who wrote the emails – you guys are awesome and I appreciate every single one.

Claire B
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From Marc in AZ:

Claire,

The Indy Race was what it was. While NASCAR tried to do what was best for the race, they completely missed an opportunity to have a real race! They should have limited the teams to a single can of fuel per stop! Something like they have done in the past when they limited the fuel bladder size to conserve tire wear. Instead of thinking on their feet, they went the safe route and made the race into a bunch of heat races with extremely dangerous pit stop in between. They may have got the safety for the drivers correct but they missed it for the over the wall crews!

While everyone is falling all over themselves praising NASCAR for keeping the race safe, they totally missed having a competitive race! NASCAR fans want to see green flag pit stops, not planned pit competitions! We want to see a race and allow teams to have a bit of strategy. When Mark Martin stopped a lap before the planned yellow, they got smart and closed the pits one to two laps before the planned caution. Now there is a way to defeat strategy!

Hopefully this will never come to pass again but history has a tendency to repeat itself! Hopefully the next time we can see a race and NASCAR can find an alternate way to regulate time on track by restricting fuel and not go to planned cautions. Maybe we could even plan a test session before taking the racing brick to a track and allow all the competitors to participate!

Just my thoughts!
Marc Mills

Tempe, AZ.

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From Ronald:

2 consecutive off weekends for a Sprint cup race is torture. During Sundays event (wasn’t a race) I went on mowed my yard because I prefer to torture myself in 100 degree heat than watch a bunch of caution laps. 52 laps under caution is inexcusable.
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From Jerry in Indiana:

How many times has goodyear screwed up a race ? To many. Thay should not make the teams pay for those crapy tires. When you have to stop the race every 10 laps and replace a crappy tire with another crapy tire. There is no race left. Jerry. In.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
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From Kurt in LA

The racing was bad. JJ won because he had the best pit crew. Gordan came out 5th cause he had the 5[th best pit crew. During the race I looked forward to the pit stops. They were awsome! No matter how bad the race was, it was better than watching bowling or golf.

Kurt Cazayoux
Lafayette, LA
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From Travis in Kansas:

Damn I thought having a whole bunch of “heat races” in the form of the Brickyard 400 was extremely exciting.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. And goodyear doesn’t make money on race tires, they lose money on every set of tires used at the track according to Smokey Yunick’s autobiography.

Travis from Kansas
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From Bob in California:

Wow back to the Tony George of old “I’m not wrong, don’t blame the track” we cannot be held responsible for Nascar’s & Goodyear not testing.
Does he have stock in Firestone?
Bob from CA

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From Rick in AR:

This reminds me of the mess Indy had a few years back when F1 ran at Indy and 75% of the teams pulled off the track because of unsafe conditions on the track. If I recall, it had something to do with tires and one of the corners on the Indy road course.

Fans are the ones who suffer in the end. As tough as things are in NASCAR, fans should cast their vote with the pocketbook. That would get NASCAR’s attention.

Rick Aron
Rogers, AR
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From Parker:

I haven’t bought Goodyear tires since 1994 and yesterdays race confirmed my choice to use only Michellins. If I had paid to go to that race I would have left and been angry.
Parker
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From Marv:

Hey Clare,

If the scheduled cautions were really for safety, they should have required 4 new tires each stop and let them keep their place in the running order. That would have been much safer on pit road with the 35-36 cars and the mad scramble that ensued each time. There were lots of near misses involving crewmen on pit road. Teams could have still done the 2 tire/4 tire deal and hurried stops during the unscheduled cautions.

What do you think?

Marv Odell
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From Bob:

Mark makes a great point in regards to the pits closing. They should have put the race into the teams hands, had the competition cautions and not made it mandatory to stop on them.
As far as stopping and putting the Pocono tires on with no idea how those tires would have performed not sure that would have been a good idea. Maybe they should have tried those tires (Pocono) the day before, because they knew they already had the problem.
Bob from CA

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From JS in ND:

This was not a race. It was awful. The cars at the back of the pack
never had much of a chance to move up and stay ahead. The
commentators have been talking about how Jimmie Johnson had the best
car, fastest in practice and on the pole, that he would probably have
won anyway. He could take four tires each time and get back to the
front, whereas those drivers who were trying to gain track position
had to take two tires and couldn’t keep up with the four tires. He
had the first pit stop which helped him tremendously, along with the
cautions, which also was to his advantage. I agree with the drivers
who said they were embarrassed at how this turned out. I am thankful
that I did not pay to sit in the stands and watch this debacle. They
owe all those fans tickets to next year’s race. Throw out the
results to this race and give the fans a “do over”!!

I can’t believe that Nascar didn’t try the Pocono tires. I would
rather have seen that instead of what we saw yesterday.

JS from ND
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From Clifford in Texas:

Claire B –

Last week on your show someone, I believe it was crew chief Kevin Hamlin, made the statement that the NASCAR races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are more competitive, and better races than recent Indianapolis 500s. HAH!

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star called yesterday’s Allstate 400 at the Brickyard “the Lamest Spectacle” in racing and I totally agree!

Kravitz also said: “This was the Tire de Farce. A fiasco. A joke. An embarassment for NASCAR and for Goodyear. Unfair to the fans, who paid good money to attend the Competition Yellow 400. And unsafe for the drivers who were screaming around the track on rubberized time bombs that couldn’t last beyond 10 laps.”

Please advise Mr. Hamlin (and any others as appropriate) to direct their apologies to:

Mr. Brian Barnhart
President, Competition and Operations
Indy Racing League
4565 W. 16th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46222

I think one is certainly in order!

Thanks,
Clifford D. Wuertz
Houston, TX
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From Bob in MD:

I am an HMS fan I am glad JJ won.

I am not blaming Goodyear, the blame lays squarely on NASCAR. This is yet another example why the COT needs to go away.

If you are going to have a manditory caution the field should be frozen with no change of position as a result of the caution.

NASCAR needs to pentlize themselves.

Bob in MD
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From Shiela:

Give the Brickyard date to another track. Don’t go back, problem solved.

Sheila Matthews, CPhT

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From Joe in California:
CBL,
I watched the race on TV. I am a fan of Newman. It was a race, it is not a diminished win for JJ. He earned it, the other 42 drivers dealt with the same conditions. It was just inexcusable on NASCAR and Goodyear’s part. It would have been stupid to go to the unknown Pocono tires.

Joe – Arroyo Grande, CA
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From C Greensos:

Claire B,

The only good thing about the race is that the guy who won deserved the win. He was the pole sitter and was fast in traffic and Chad is his crew chief. He deserved it.

A 17 fan.
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From Leslie in GA:

hi claire,
Íwas there yesterday as well as the atl race in the spring both had tire problems and it was handled better at indy than atl. However it was not what I paid for …. But it is still Indy and it is still way cool to go there every year, and we will renew for next year. OK we had many yellow flags but we did see cars going around vs no cars and rain!! It happen, let’s fix it and move on

leslie back home in atl
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From Mark:

I hold ALL fault with Goodyear. They knew at the test, as Jr. said, that the tires would not last more than 5 laps. If I were Goodyear and knew it was that bad, I would:

a) go back to the drawing board and re-design the tire and then

b) schedule another test with a newly designed tire.

At the very least, bring a few sets of every tire they make and see if any hold up better than the others…

It appears as though they knew of the problem and figured it would all work itself out come race day. Absolutely pitiful.

Maybe it is time to revisit multiple manufacturers. We all know that the teams only get better because they have to face each other week in and week out. If Goodyear knew they had to face real competition week in and week out, maybe they would do a little more homework.

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From Dan in Green Bay:
Of course the angriest people are the ones who were at the race. The rest of us were able to walk away from the TV without feeling the pain of having spent money to see it. With cautions being dictated through the entire race it took out the aspect of team strategy. They shld have put it in the teams’ hands at the half-way point. *Dan from Green Bay

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From Butch:
At least the 18 did not win the Allstate pitstop 400, did the Pace car lead
the most laps? I kept waiting for the pace car to take tires.
Send that 48 & 24 around
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From Joyce in Arkansas:

Hey Claire B.,

Finally home after what seems like forever, so glad to be able to tune into Dialed In again!! I am so glad I did not buy tickets to the Brickyard 400, as much as I love the local short track heat races it is not what I expect from the top series of NASCAR. Even though NASCAR did what they felt best in the name of safety from the testing and practices they should of seen this coming and stepped in and done something about it. I know this is not their first rodeo, they should act like it.

Joyce Bell
Newport, Arkansas
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From Jimmy:

NEWS FLASH… GOODYEAR IS GUILTY OF VIOLATING NASCAR RULE # 12-4-A, ACTIONS DETRIMENTAL TO STOCK CAR RACING… THEY ARE HEREBY FINED 12 MILLION DOLLARS, 5000 OWNER POINTS, AND SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY… MR. NEWTON OF THAT INDIANA TIRE CO. THAT MAKES DIRT TIRES THAT WORK WELL WILL SUPPLY TIRES NOW… CAN WE SAY “HOOSIER DADDY”?

Jimmy Grant
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From Sandy in GA:

Claire,

I am sooooo Thankful that no one got hurt in yesterdays race.

I am sorry for the fans that traveled to the race and spent so much to attend it. I hope they found something positive about their experience in attending a NASCAR race. Each one is different. Surely, this was one of those.

Sandy in GA
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From Sue in Ill:

Dear Claire;

I look forward to the Indy race, but Sunday’s race was a disaster. And there is certainly plenty of blame to go around, but it is pointless to cry over spilled milk. I think that NASCAR was between a rock and a hard place yesterday and their decision to throw all the competition cautions was the best solution to a very bad situation. It prevented a cancellation or half the field in the garage with torn up cars. Still there needs to be a re-evaluation of tire tests and the compounds used. In my opinion Goodyear needs to have more teams at each of the tire test to get more information and more opinions on the tires. But I will go further I think NASCAR needs to have their own test teams at tire tests to give their opinion on compounds. But NASCAR needs to do more work on the engineering and physics of this new car, because of the heavy loads on the right side of the cars there are tire issues at every track, work needs to be done on the cars. In hind site it may not have been such a good idea to implement the COT at all the tracks this year, but that is a decision that can not be changed so work with it. NASCAR R&D needs to go back to the Windtunnel and the track and work with all the teams to find changes that can be made to help the teams and Goodyear to make the tires safe and competitive.

Now as for the race itself, the best car won the race, Jimmie Johnson and the 48 team were outstanding all weekend and they were smart and the got to kiss the bricks. And the tire strategy of both the 48 and 24 was absolutely the right choice; take 4 every time till the final stop. Both of those cars could pass at will and their crews deserve much of the praise for their excellent days. I am very happy with how my driver Jeff Gordon performed all day, he was good all day and I think they have turned the corner with their program and will be a contender for the rest of the season just like the 48 team. And Carl Edwards was also excellent all day even after having their tire issue, they battled back and finished strong. Frankly all the drivers who finished in the top 10 had excellent days, none of them were able to get into a rhythm but they all ran brilliantly all day. Now there were some drivers who just didn’t do so well, first Mark Martin didn’t seem to be a factor all day, it is never a good idea to say you are going to win publicly because you are bound to get bitten. And I was very surprised by how poorly Tony Stewart’s car ran, I expected a solid day and he just was off all day, as was Kyle Busch, though I was less surprised by his performance. And finally Matt Kenseth, I couldn’t believe that when he said the tire was going that he waited to pit, if he had been smart like Dale Jr. he may have ended up with a torn up car. Knowing what he did it was reckless to wait till a caution, he hurt his chase chances. And I thought Kurt Busch was a stand up guy, he said he made a mistake and accepted the blame, that is how a sportsman behaves.

Thank You,
Sue from Shorewood, IL

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From Snowfalls:

Hey Claire,

The race wasn’t the best as we all know, but Nascar had to make it safe. If they Nascar didn’t do the competion yellows, you would have had drivers crashing all over the place.

I listened to Dale Jr on the radio and watch the hotpass coverage and it didn’t matter what driver it was they were just blowing through so many tires after seven laps because the tire was showing cords. There was just no grip on the track. In ten laps Dale could pass eight ten cars in that run. What you saw was short track racing. But I saw that with a lot of Drivers

Over all it wasn’t a total mess. Nascar just made it safe under the circumstances for what they had.

Oh by the way, did you notice that at one point you had three Hendrick cars up front?
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From Annie in Iowa:

Hey Claire B!

My husband looked over at me at the second competition yellow yesterday while we were watching the race on TV and said, “I can hear Claire B.’s phone ringing already!”

While I understand that everyone did the best they could with the situation at hand yesterday at Indy, I cannot understand how NASCAR let that situation come to be? How can you not require testing a tire on a car that’s never run at a race track? Yesterday was a mockery of all that’s held holy by fans at any racetrack. NASCAR should be ashamed. Ashamed!!!

Annie in Iowa
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From Ratnrace:

Jeff Gordon 101 – Was that a race I watched yesterday or a 43 car tire test?! A caution every 12 laps to check tire wear?! I could’ve sworn that NASCAR does tire tests during the off season – as well as – all throughout the regular season?! Did you see the wear on those tires?! Did somebody at Goodyear get the shipping papers mixed up and send the wrong tires?! I have never seen anything so ridiculous as yesterday in all my years of watching NASCAR!!! I am glad that I didn’t spend money on transportation costs getting to Indiana, spend money on lodging, spend money on tickets to the Brickyard 400, etc. because I would be so damn livid today if I had indeed spent money on that circus show that NASCAR put on yesterday!!! That was absolutely ridiculous!!! I would love to give you some more from the soapbox, but I really am speechless!!! The good thing from yesterday – Gordon had a strong car, led a few laps, crossed the checkered in 5th, and remained 6th in points…other than that – that race (tire test) was an absolute joke!!!

Please send the 24 car around 20 more times to get us to 101 wins!!!
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From Ruth in Cincinnati:

CBL,

Wow, am I glad I didn’t lay out any money for a ticket for that “RACE”? I was at qualifying and practice on Saturday and believe me I think it was more fun and much better then the actual event on Sunday. Where’s Tony when you need him…how come he hasn’t said anything about that travesty that happened on Sunday? Goodyear and Nascar should refund at least ½ of the ticket price for all of those that attended that disaster. Don’t be surprised if next year the tickets aren’t ½ price, if you only see ½ a race you shouldn’t have to pay full price.

Send that #20 around.

Ruth in Cincinnati
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From Rich in GA:

I have two questions for you that maybe you could ask, one is for NASCAR and one is for a crew chief.

Once NASCAR Realized that they were going to continue to do competition cautions yesterday, why didn’t they try to set the race up to maybe have a 12 or 13 lap shoot instead of the 7 lap one they had, cause they knew the tires would hold up about that long.

Why didn’t one of the teams that were 15 to 20 try to gamble and pit with like 15 laps to go right before NASCAR closed pit road and before the last competition caution. If I was a crew chief I would have tried it!!! Cause you know you could run about 12 laps and I would have tried to get a top five out of it if not the win!!! Did no one think of that?

thanks
Rich
Peachtree City, Georgia
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From Eric:

Allstate at the Brickyard tickets $170.00

Air Fare to Indianapolis $950.00

Hotel $800.00

Rental Car $320.00

Misc Expenses $900.00

Telling Gooodyear Racing and NASCAR to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine Priceless!!!
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Hi Claire B.

We awakened this morning still angry from the debacle we witnessed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway yesterday. It was our 15th Brickyard and is amongst 6/8 Cup Races we attend each year. The attendance yesterday estimated at 225,000 (the highest attended Cup Race this year) was still a disappointment as the usual crowd would approach 300,000 or more. When we arrived at the track we were shocked to see the large amount of empty seats when the race began. Obviously, the gas prices and economy kept people away from the famed Brickyard. Still, 225,000 stedfast fans were loyal and ready to see a great race at one of the premiere Sprint Cup races in the series. We spent our money knowing that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and it’s staff were prepared, as in years past, to put on a great show and make sure the fans got their moneys worth. The Speedway did everything in it’s power to insure this would happen. The Race be gan after an amazing Pre Race program, rivaled only by the Indianapolis 500 and possibly the Daytona 500. Soon, it became evident that Goodyear Racing and possibly NASCAR had totally dropped the ball. Why on earth would NASCAR and Goodyear not test at the track where the COT had not raced before is beyond any imaginable reason. We and the other 224,998 fans were treated to, without a doubt, what was one of the worst races in NASCAR history. Shame on your Goodyear and shame on you NASCAR for allowing something like this to happen to your fans and IMS. We deserve much better. I feel sorry for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway who surely will be the one to suffer from something totally beyond their control. We love NASCAR and we particularly love the Brickyard because of the pageantry and history of the track. With that said, we, in all likelihood, will not attend the event again. I predict that what happened yesterday will cost the Bri ckyard another 25,000/50,000 attendees next year. Our feelings at this point are that Goodyear and NASCAR should refund the cost of tickets and expenses of getting to the race to all fans in attendance. What infuriated us further this morning is what we read in the Indianapolis Star, that neither Goodyear or NASCAR is accepting blame for what happened yesterday. Such an occurrence can only be rivaled by the cancellation of the CART Race at Texas Motor Speedway several years ago on race day and the F-1 Michelin debacle at the U.S. Grand Prix a few years back. Shame on you, shame on you Goodyear and NASCAR. If this isn’t a call for Hoosier Tire Company to re-enter NASCAR, I do not know what is. Maybe a bit of competition for Goodyear will be the medicine needed for them to get their act together. There is no reason and no excuse for something like this to occur—-EVER!!! We the fans, the Sprint Cup teams and Indianapolis Motor Speedway were the big losers and we deserve much better.

We truly want to remain Loyal NASCAR fans but if we ever attend a race were something like this happens again it will be Good Bye NASCAR, Hello IRL. That also,was the sentiment of most of the fans in our stands yesterday.

Eric in Tucson (still in Indy)
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From Coe in Alabama:

Clare:

On my lunch hour so keeping it short.

Indy was a farce. I listened to the race on the radio (over broadcast radio not the ‘dog’) coming back from Louisiana and time with the grandsons and the race was pathetic. I will grant that no one was injured, but no one was lapped on the track, either.

NASCAR issuing a warning that 12 laps was all the tires could take and warning that they would be black flagged at 15 laps would have been better.

The pit stops should have been under GREEN. Those that could get a couple more laps would be evident after the first two stops. It was a farce.

If ever Tony should have blown up at Goodyear, yesterday was the day. HOWEVER; I am betting that in the divers’ session and even earlier in the post-practice debriefings by officialdom it was made D*** clear that the teams, drivers, and owners better not be disparaging or they would ‘pay’.

Kyle Bush: Time to start a rumor.
If I were Home Depot, I would be very very upset at the Lowes Chevy consistantly finishing better than the Home Depot Chevy/Toyota over the last two and a half seasons. Soooo…. you need to put the bug in JD’s ear that this is what they need to do:

Zippy and crew should swap crews with the 18.

Joey Lagono would take over the ride with Zipedelli on the 18 team.
Kyle Busch and the entire crew on the 18 would take over the #20 Home Depot! If JD will offer that to Home Depot, JGR might be able to keep the Home Depot sponsorship, IF Home Depot is not set against staying with Toyota.

BTW: A die hard 24 fan is now so disgusted with NASCAR that he does not even DVR the races!!!! He has gone back to following open wheel!

Coe in Alabama.
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Comments»

1. Duane Keller - July 30, 2008

Clair B I feel nascar and Goodyear should hire a team of drivers. To do the tire testing. Not active cup drivers. There are pleanty of good drivers in truck nationwid series. Goodyear using a couple of cup teams to test is not fair to the teams not included. Jimmie Johnson at Indy. I don’t think Chad K shared all the information he got from indy test with the other Hendrix teams. “I’ll teach tou all you know, but not all I know”
Also instead of comp. yellows. Nascaar should have anounced to the teams mantory green flag pitstops between laps number {10 & 12} or any amount they felt was nessary.

Thanks for letting me babble.
Duane

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