NEWS & NOTES
TIRES A HOT TOPIC Thursday night brings the first green flag waved over Kentucky Speedway’s newly repaved and reconfigured track surface as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series kicks off a three-series weekend at the Sparta, Ky., venue that will undoubtedly be dominated by tire talk. The Speedway Motorsports Inc. facility opted for the new surface due to ongoing struggles with the original pavement that created severe bumps and drainage issues, and it also opted to make Turns 1-2 slightly different (more banking, more narrow) than Turns 3-4 to boost competition. During the first Sprint Cup test on the new Kentucky surface in June, there were several issues with various Goodyear tire compounds blistering and reaching the point of failure. As a result, Goodyear will bring a different style of tire to Kentucky for Sprint Cup use that wasn’t tested. According to Motorsport.com, that tire is more like the offerings used at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this season. TAKING BLAME February was painful for Tony Stewart as he was forced to miss his final Daytona 500 due to injury. His return over the weekend seemed to be going much better as he rode most of the distance trying to avoid being swept into a major crash. His strategy worked to perfection when he avoided the 22-car, Lap 90 crash, but it fell apart as the No. 14 charged through the field late in the race. With 10 laps left, Stewart lost control in Turn 1 and crashed. “I just overcorrected for it and drove it into the fence,” Stewart said. “So definitely my fault. I don’t know why I got loose, but I got loose going into (turn) one.” Stewart won the July Daytona race four times in his Sprint Cup career.