NASCAR Tire: What Happens if a Driver Blows a Tire During a Race?

Gowtham Ramalingam

With the 2024 Daytona 500 checked off the calendar, the NASCAR grid will travel to yet another superspeedway race over the coming weekend at Atlanta. With all these high-speed tracks come the greater possibilities of tire punctures and failures that could result in dangerous accidents. So how do drivers cope with such a situation where a tire is blown mid-race? Joe Gibbs Racing’s social media team has the answer.

The team put up a video to solve a question that a fan posed about the procedure a driver follows in the event of a blown tire which narrated, “Small punctures can cause heavy damages. A lot of times it can destroy the wheel.” It continued to explain that wheels are typically reused unless they are bent out of use by the tire. “When you blow a tire you’re going for a spin. Hopefully, you come to pit road with no damage that can’t be fixed.”

If the car’s spin causes it to be damaged beyond immediate repair, its day is deemed over. Tire temperatures and pressures are crucial aspects of keeping the tires in a healthy condition. The tire temperatures can extend up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and excessive heat can lead to blowups. Paradoxically, the high heat is required for the cars to maintain traction and balance at high speeds making it a tricky game of balance for crews.

The financial setback caused by blown tires in NASCAR

Each tire used on a stock car in the Cup Series can cost up to $600. Teams rent the tires from Goodyear, NASCAR’s official partner for racing and testing. A full set of tires can thus cost around the $2,400 mark depending on the track type. The average number of pit stops in a race ranges between 3 and 5. This means a team can be set back by around $10,000 in every race.

Matt Faulkner from Joe Gibbs Racing says of the life of tires, “These loads will cause the pressure in the tire to increase by 20 or 25 PSI and the temperatures will increase to the mid or high 200 degree range. This makes the life of the tire on a NASCAR car extremely short.” Compared to the regular street car on which tires can last for years, those on a stock car can go for about 20 minutes.

Despite the high number of tires that each race consumes none of the source material goes to waste. Once they’re worn out of use, the tires are sent back to Goodyear’s facilities where they’re recycled for other purposes.

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

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About the author

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham is a NASCAR journalist at The Sports Rush. Though his affinity for racing stems from Formula 1, he found himself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement over the years. As a result he has shared his insights and observations by authoring over 350 articles on the sport. An avid fiction writer, you can find him lost in imaginary worlds when he is not immersed in racing. He hopes to continue savoring the thrill of every lap and race together with his readers for as long as he can.

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