Tony Stewart blames Goodyear tires for the absence of ‘etiquette’ in NASCAR

Tony Stewart believes the lack of tire degradation is a big factor in the lack of respect in the garage.


Tony Stewart blames Goodyear tires for the absence of ‘etiquette’ in NASCAR

Tony Stewart (Credits: Sportscasting)

Three times NASCAR Cup series champion Tony Stewart believes that the Goodyear-supplied tires being too good is one of the major reasons behind the loss of ‘etiquette.’  The Stewart Haas Racing driver was the embodiment of etiquette during his Cup years as he was ready to move over for the driver fighting him if he was faster.

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There were two main reasons for doing it. The first one is having the discipline and fighting their fights. But the second reason was tire degradation, as more push laps meant more degradation, eventually slowing the divers down. Caring for the tire was a much more important factor than row speed. This doesn’t apply to the current tires, as the evolution of the sport has limited degradation.

The driver can run in the back or snatch the lead by aggressively moving on their rivals. Stewart pointed out that young drivers don’t have another choice, and being disciplined often hurts his progress as his rivals might not do the same. He claimed that etiquette is out of the window in NASCAR now compared to what it has been.

You absolutely could wear the tires out, you could wear the car out. And if you didn’t budget and you didn’t plan and take care of your tires, you’d be half a lap or a lap down in one stint. And nowadays, we’re in this era where the tires are so good, they don’t fall off, and the performance doesn’t fall off, so you can run 100% every lap and not hurt your racecar,” Stewart told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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And that, along with how close the rules package is in NASCAR, now everybody’s got the same stuff, and everybody’s super close so…The etiquette, I guess, so to speak, has kind of went out the window. There’s not the etiquette there used to be,” he added.

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Tony Stewart claims NASCAR has shot itself in the foot by making the completion close

Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart (Credits: Racer)

With the introduction of the Next Gen car to the Cup series, the Cup field is closer than before, and the drivers have limited to no opportunity to make mistakes. This situation occurred after years of complaints from the community about the race not being not close enough.

We have shot ourselves in the foot as an industry complaining about races not being good because somebody won by 3, 4, or 5 seconds. We shot ourselves in the foot because we sat there and preached things are bad, and NASCAR has done the best they can to tighten the field up as much as they can,” Stewart said.

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With minimal pace difference between the midfield and front raw drivers often resort to aggressive racing. But fixing the degradation issue might be the solution to fix the situation. This will allow the strategy to become a factor, and drivers can race more cleanly without compromising the competition.

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