NASCAR races to their short circuit in Martinsville, VA to test out and explore options for the potential use of rain tires. These plans were announced this past Wednesday as officials prep for the Next-Gen car to be used during the 2022 Cup Series. The track is only .526 miles long and will include some of the biggest names in the auto industry, including Chevrolet, Ford, and even Toyota.
The reason for testing out these new tires is to be able to continue races, despite inclement weather.
NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell state that if the tires prove to be successful, they can be put to use at flatter tacks. Some being a little bit longer at almost 1 mile in length, in locations such as Phoenix and New Hampshire. The initial test being done is at Martinsville because it’s the shortest track being used in the Cup Series.
By using tires that enable cars to drive on wet pavement, despite high speeds and risk of traction loss, the fans will be much happier in viewing the series. NASCAR is always finding new ways to innovate, which includes the track-drying system. The race will go on as long as conditions are not too slick! The initial introduction of tires used to help in slick conditions was introduces in 2008 at an Xfinity series Race in Canada. It wasn’t until this past fall that they were first used in the United States at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval event in October. Both races had been affected by wet conditions that resulted in a push to innovate and find new ways to safely keep the race continuing.
While rain-tires are being tested on the race track, that doesn’t mean standard tires are capable of high speeds in slick conditions. Distracted driving, slick roads, high speeds are a recipe for disaster. Whether it’s raining or not, it’s important to keep your eyes on the road. Chances are, you’re not a professional, but you can join the OnMyWay mission.
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