Goodyear responds to critical Kyle Busch comments from Daytona

Photo by Harold Hinson Photography

By Yvonne Jones, Staff Writer

HAMPTON, Ga. – A week after Kyle Busch lost a right rear tire in the Daytona 500 and blamed Goodyear for the mishap, the tire manufacturer on Sunday said the “tires were inflated” when Busch spun.

Stu Grant, Goodyear GM of worldwide racing, addressed the issue ahead of the Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He said the tire was thoroughly checked at the company’s Akron, Ohio headquarters.

“We did not see any cut on the right rear or on the left rear at Daytona, so we took both tires back to Akron and we have our research people and our forensic people that look at these things under a microscope and can figure out what happened or what didn’t happen,” he said.

Busch was leading a small group of cars, including race leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. during Stage 2 of the season-opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event when his No. 18 Toyota blew the right rear tire going into Turn 3 of the 2.5-mile restrictor-plate track.

Grant said Goodyear also took a detailed analysis of the FOX video in investigating the incident.

“If you look at the right rear the evidence was there was a flat spot all the way through to the air and the only way that happens of course is if the tire has in air in it and its spinning and locked up, so there was a flat spot all the way through to the air, and the video from Fox showed that. The car is spinning and the right rear is definitely up,” Grant added.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was furious after exiting his vehicle at Daytona.

“These Goodyear tires aren’t very good at holding air,” Busch said last Sunday. “So it’s very frustrating when you’re trying to win a Daytona 500 and you gotta rely on other people and they don’t do a good job.”

When Busch crashed on Lap 103, he collected the No. 77 of rookie drivers Erik Jones and Ty Dillon as well as Matt Kenseth.

“The left rear is up until he is hit by the 77,” Grant explained. “The 77 knocks the tire off the flange and it loses air and then the tire gets folded over and that’s how we found it, the tire was folded in half at the center line but again it did not have a cut. Then the right rear as he’s skidding down off the banking and onto the apron the tire loses air from the flat spot. That’s our analysis.”

Last Sunday wasn’t the first time Busch had ripped Goodyear, my colleague Aaron Bearden pointed out on Sunday. The 2015 MENCS champion also criticized Goodyear at Daytona last July when a cut tire sent him hard into the wall during practice.




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