Not many companies can claim as long and storied a history in American motorsports as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. This year, Goodyear celebrates its 60th anniversary as a key supplier to NASCAR, making it not only one of the longest-running supplier relationships in racing, but in all of sports history.
"All of us at Goodyear are extremely proud to celebrate 60 consecutive years of supplying race tires to NASCAR and its drivers," said Stu Grant, general manager of global race tires. "Since 1954, our involvement in NASCAR has been a proving ground for tire development, helping Goodyear provide superior performance and innovation both on and off the track."
Much like the cars of NASCAR have evolved over the decades, today’s Goodyear Eagle race tires bear little resemblance to the standard auto and police tires used in the early 1950s. Goodyear’s dedication to tire performance led to purpose-built treaded bias race tires in 1957, to slick bias race tires in 1974, to the first radial racing tires in 1988, and just last year to the introduction of race tires using Goodyear’s exclusive Multi-Zone Tread Technology.
"The evolution of our NASCAR racing tires has been a very exciting and rewarding project," said Grant. "We are looking forward to the next 60 years."
Goodyear’s 2013 racing season was highlighted by the rollout of the tiremaker’s latest innovation, Multi-Zone Tread Technology. Featuring two distinct tread compounds in a single right-side tire, the concept was inspired by similar innovations in a Goodyear passenger tire the Assurance TripleTred All-Season. However, the new race tire quickly established itself on its own merits.
"One of the most exciting developments in recent years was the introduction of Multi-Zone Tread tires in 2013," said Grant. "First raced at Atlanta, it’s a concept with enormous potential. Based on the success we experienced, we’re investing capital in our manufacturing process to expand the use of Multi-Zone Tread in 2014 and beyond."
After its Atlanta debut in 2013, Goodyear brought a different version of the Multi-Zone Tread tire to the repaved track at Kansas, and the company plans to double back at those tracks this season. In addition, Goodyear will run the Multi-Zone Tread tire at both Texas and Richmond in 2014. More tracks will likely be added as the season progresses.