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NASCAR Cup: tires getting bigger in 2021

HOMESTEAD, FL – OCTOBER 18: Good Year tires sit in the garage during testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 18, 2016 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

When NASCAR transitions to its next generation of Cup Series race car, its seventh, that new car will run on bigger tires. According to a report from KickinTheTires.net, the new car will likely run on 18-inch tires, up from 15 inches.

“It is not just a tire change; it is the overall Gen Seven package that everybody is working on for 2021,” Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company’s Director of Racing Greg Stucker said, according to the report. “Part of the whole idea is to try to update the cars somewhat, make it a little bit more relevant to what you see on the street these days. So I think there will be probably some more differentiation among manufacturers; the car, itself, will be totally different from a performance perspective. And one of the things we are looking at is to go with a larger diameter tire, a larger wheel diameter. We have been running 15-inch here in NASCAR for a lot of years now. If you look at cars on the street, you don’t see too many 15-inch wheel diameters anymore. So we are looking at larger wheel diameters and our target is 18-inch.”

Stucker confirmed that 17-inch tires and wheels were tested a few years ago, but the manufacturers active in NASCAR — Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota — but a decision was made to put 18-inch tires/wheels on the next Cup Series car. Tire compounds are yet to be determined.

The new wheel/tire also will likely be wider and the tire will likely have a lower profile, or sidewall.

“If we go to a larger wheel diameter, then typically, we’ll go to a shorter profile, so the sidewall of the tire won’t be quite as tall. We will probably also add some width to the tire, so we will go with a little bit wider wheel, a little bit wider tire,” Stucker said.

Stucker also said he’s not sure how much the new tires will cost teams. In 2019, teams pay a reported $2,200/set of four tires, according to the KickinTheTires.net report.

The other two NASCAR national series, Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck, also use 15-inch wheels/tires. There are no immediate plans to change the tire/wheel size in either of those series.

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Posted by on July 17, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,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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