Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Goodyear to Conduct Indianapolis Tire Test in Case of NASCAR Return to Oval

Goodyear is set to hold a tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway later this year, says Greg Stucker, in order to prepare for a return to the track’s oval configuration, should it ever happen. Photo Credit: Jamie Squire | Getty Images

Since July 2022, when Roger Penske made a point of mentioning the possibility of the NASCAR Cup Series returning to the oval configuration of Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2024, interest and speculation have continued to build.

Those discussions have apparently made their way directly into the ears of Goodyear, leading the tire manufacturer to plan a tire test on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval later this year, per Greg Stucker, Director of Race Tire Sales.

- Advertisement -

But, as Stucker said in a SiriusXM NASCAR Radio interview on Wednesday, Goodyear having a tire test at the 2.5-mile oval, doesn’t reflect any decisions made by Roger Penske or NASCAR Cup Series officials about the track’s future.

“We’re going to go to Indy and run the oval,” said Stucker. “We just feel like there’s enough discussion around potentially going back to the oval in the future, let’s go ahead and get on that race track, the oval configuration, with the NextGen car. We haven’t run the NextGen car with the oval, we’ve only run the road course.”

Ultimately, the decision by Goodyear to be proactive – instead of reactive – comes as a result of prior experience. In 2008, when the NASCAR Cup Series brought the Car of Tomorrow (CoT) to Indy for the first time and faced major tire issues, forcing NASCAR to throw competition cautions every 10 to 12 laps.

“I hate to bring it up, the last time we brought a new car to Indianapolis, it didn’t fare too well from a tire perspective,” Stucker continued. “We want to stay ahead of that, we want to get a first look at it, so that if the decision is made at some point in the future to go back to the oval, then at least we kind of have a good starting point with this car, so then we can go from there.”

It’s been since 2020 that the NASCAR Cup Series competed on the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, after the series elected to transition to the road course layout used by the NTT IndyCar Series, starting in 2021.

“We always feel like we need to go back a couple of times at Indy and test and get prepared for an oval race if that’s going to be the decision. So, [we] felt like it was a good opportunity to go run, gather some data, see where it stands. We haven’t run that oval for a while so we’ll see how that surface has aged over the course of the few years since we’ve run there.

“Just seems like a good time to put a mark in the sand and decide what we need to do, if we decide to take that step.”

The date(s) for Goodyear’s Indianapolis Motor Speedway tire test(s) have yet to be publicly announced, other than Stucker’s general timeline of “later this year”. Additionally, as of June 12, there has been no official announcement surrounding NASCAR’s return to the oval in 2024, or beyond.

Joseph Srigley
Joseph Srigley
University of Windsor | Business Administration - Supply Chain & Data Analytics Editor at

Related Articles


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected


Latest Articles