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How NASCAR tires work


NASCAR race cars are technological marvels that contain miles of complex wiring and circuitry as well as thousands of moving parts, but the tires are literally where the rubber meets the road. It’s important that these tiares be properly designed and manufactured, as a blowout at race track speeds can be dangerous and even deadly. Read on to learn how these tyres work.

What Makes NASCAR Tires Different From Others?

Like the car tires you drive on every day, the tires used in NASCAR competition are radials. However, they’re much different in other areas. The tires on NASCAR race cars are made according to special requirements. These tires must remain stable at high speeds and temperatures, provide a high level of traction, and be changed within just a few seconds. These tires are much more advanced than the ones you use on your own car!

They’re Filled With Nitrogen, Not Air

Most NASCAR teams take the air out of the tires, replacing it with nitrogen. It’s a sound decision, as compressed nitrogen is much drier than compressed air. When the tires heat up on the track, the moisture within expands and vaporizes, causing the internal pressure to increase. 

Even a slight change in tyre pressure will have a noticeable effect on a race car’s handling. By filling the tires with nitrogen rather than air, race teams have greater control over the way the pressure increases when things heat up.

Inner and Outer Layers

On tracks more than a mile in length, where speeds can reach a couple hundred miles an hour, the sport’s rules require that all tires contain inner liners. The inner liner is, as its name implies, a second layer inside the first tyre. Like all other wheel and tire packages, the tyre mounts to the wheel, but the inner liner has a separate air supply. If the outer layer suffers a blowout, the inner liner remains intact, making it easier for the driver to bring the vehicle to a safe stop.

Different Rubber Compounds are Used at Various Tracks

NASCAR’s rules regulate which tyre compounds are used on certain tracks. The compound is the material from which a tire is made. While a softer rubber compound provides more grip, it wears out faster. Conversely, harder compounds last longer but aren’t as grippy. 

Every track causes different tyre wear patterns, and the inner tires wear differently from the outer set. The track’s design, the tightness of its turns, and the level of banking all determine how a set of tires will wear. Because tires are so crucial to driver safety, manufacturers and NASCAR have created rubber compounds that are specific to each track.

No Tread

Though NASCAR tires look bald (have no tread), it’s not because they’re worn; they’re designed that way. On dry racetracks, tires generate more grip if more of the rubber touches the ground. Putting tread on the tires is great for wet weather driving, but in dry conditions, it’s best to have the tyre touching the ground as much as possible. That’s why NASCAR stops races when the tracks get wet.

Fast Tire Changes

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of watching a NASCAR race before, you may have seen how fast the pit stops are. In less than 15 seconds, five crew members can fill a car with fuel and change all four of its tires. This requires a high level of coordination and collaboration, but the teams use a few tricks to simplify the process. When a new tyre is put on the car, the lugs are held in place with an adhesive. The studs are threadless for the first couple of centimeters, which prevents cross-threading and other problems.


NASCAR is a uniquely American sport, but the love of speed is universal. The wheels and tires on these cars are quite unique, and their qualities allow the sport to go on in a safe, yet entertaining manner. With these special tires, race fans everywhere get to see a memorable show every time the green flag drops.

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Posted by on January 1, 2021. Filed under Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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