An engineering undertaking two years in the making, Goodyear‘s Next Gen tire made its debut at this year’s Daytona 500. Goodyear says the tire closely mirrors its high-performance tire for passenger cars and features an 18-in. wheel diameter, shorter sidewall and wider contact patch.
According to Goodyear, what sets the new tire apart from its 15-in. predecessor – used exclusively in the Cup Series from 1997 to 2021 – is a softer tire compound and an inch and a half wider footprint to help give drivers an enhanced grip on the racetrack. Goodyear says it designed the shorter sidewall of its NASCAR Next Gen tire to help withstand the sustained duty cycle of oval racing.
The Next Gen tire’s development consisted of a rigorous testing process, including thousands of testing miles, simulations with the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and in-lab research and development conducted by Goodyear Racing engineers. Alongside the OEMs, Goodyear collaborated closely with NASCAR, race teams and drivers to help ensure optimal tire performance at more than 25 racetracks, from superspeedways to short tracks and road courses.