INDIANAPOLIS — Jeff Gordon guarantees it. Tony Stewart basically does the same thing. And Greg Stucker, well, he insists Goodyear tires will hold up no matter what the conditions are for Sunday’s Allstate at the Brickyard 400.

Who’s Greg Stucker, you ask. He’s Goodyear’s director of race tire sales and he’s the face of the company that looked so bad during last year’s Brickyard 400 fiasco.

To recap, a combination of the heaviness of the Car of Tomorrow and the roughness of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track combined for unprecedented tire wear. Blowouts were coming after just 10 laps of racing. That caused race officials to mandate competition cautions after every 10 laps so teams could replace their tires. Jimmie Johnson finally held off Carl Edwards for the victory.

That produced racing almost as exciting as frying eggs. Officials from Goodyear and NASCAR vowed there would be no repeat.

“After last year’s race, there was one thing we were very clear about and that was we were going to get it right,” Stucker said. “I want to be just as clear that we’re very confident we have done that.”

Confidence comes from over 13,000 miles of testing involving 30 drivers in seven different sessions at the Speedway.20That doesn’t include countless testing at Goodyear’s Arkron, Ohio, facility. That track was ground to have the same surface as the Speedway.

One of those drivers was Gordon. He was as unshakeable as Moses following last month’s testing.

“I will guarantee it,” he said about there being no tire problem repeat. “I’m 100 percent confident. I promise all the fans. You can trust me.

“This race might come down to fuel mileage, the fastest car, track position, a double-file restart, but it’s not going to come down to a 10-lap shootout on whose tires can last.”

Stewart was just as optimistic.

“I truly believe we’re not going to have those problems we had last year,” he said. “We’re over that hump. Goodyear put a huge effort into making it right.

“It’s going to be a good show. I don’t think it’s anything fans should worry about. They should anticipate seeing a race like they’re used to seeing.”

That would be a huge relief for Goodyear officials.

“It’s been a process,” Stucker said. “We built upon every test. We learned at every test. We wanted to make sure we got it right, make sure we left no stone unturned.

“We’re very confident we’ve covered all our bases.”


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