Short Track Tire Shortage

AndyMarquisLive

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Yeah, this is snowballing into a crisis very quickly.

I've got a lot of background on this but I'm not going to say anything else.
 

DanicaFreak

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tires are made with petroleum products. Pipeline issue cause this?
 

RacerrecaR

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Likely for confidentiality or contractual reasons. Just how I'm aware of A LOT that goes on behind the scenes with certain businesses, local politics, local police etc but I'm sworn to secrecy until the proper people release the details.
 

SpeedPagan

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Well, this isn't good. I wonder how long before it'll affect World of Outlaws and their multiple racing series.
 

kkfan91

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Well, this isn't good. I wonder how long before it'll affect World of Outlaws and their multiple racing series.
They will be coming back to Bridgeport for the tires they left in the pits
20210518_225257.jpg
 

AndyMarquisLive

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Story says nylon, but does mention other tracks aren't running because of that

Lonesome Pine canceled because of the gas deal. Shenandoah's going to an open tire rule.

We did an open tire rule for Street Stocks back in 2018. Turned a blind eye to tire soaking and everything. Driver said to Bobby Watson, "if you do an open tire rule, people will soak their tires." Bobby replied, "soak your tires too then I don't give a ****."
 

RacerrecaR

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Lonesome Pine canceled because of the gas deal. Shenandoah's going to an open tire rule.

We did an open tire rule for Street Stocks back in 2018. Turned a blind eye to tire soaking and everything. Driver said to Bobby Watson, "if you do an open tire rule, people will soak their tires." Bobby replied, "soak your tires too then I don't give a ****."
Just curious...I'm asking because I don't want to risk somehow getting you in trouble because you have a lot to lose in your field....

I know a couple local short track owners, 1 former Cup driver who is heavily involved in my local tracks, and a handful of top-tier regional short track drivers. If I ask around about the tire situation and find out the sane info you may know, would you mind if I posted it here? That is 100% your call
 

AndyMarquisLive

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Just curious...I'm asking because I don't want to risk somehow getting you in trouble because you have a lot to lose in your field....

I know a couple local short track owners, 1 former Cup driver who is heavily involved in my local tracks, and a handful of top-tier regional short track drivers. If I ask around about the tire situation and find out the sane info you may know, would you mind if I posted it here? That is 100% your call

No problem at all. A good chunk of this will end up on Short Track Scene as well anyway. Matt and Brandon have a lot of background on this and will get the story put together.
 

SpeedPagan

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Lonesome Pine canceled because of the gas deal. Shenandoah's going to an open tire rule.

We did an open tire rule for Street Stocks back in 2018. Turned a blind eye to tire soaking and everything. Driver said to Bobby Watson, "if you do an open tire rule, people will soak their tires." Bobby replied, "soak your tires too then I don't give a ****."

So how uneven was the field during this open tire race?
 

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^^^^Ummmmm....not sure how my post ended up here. Guess I clicked wrong thing. Whatever. Leave or delete it.
 

KTMLew01

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Ahhhh! I just wanted the Dog's reaction. For some reason, on this board, can't attach part of the tweet? IDK?
 

AndyMarquisLive

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Brandon White talked to Irish Saunders at Hoosier and I talked to my buddy Scott Junod at American Racer. Another piece of in-depth coverage from Short Track Scene.

 

kkfan91

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We'd rather found another solution then pay people well
 

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We did an open tire rule for Street Stocks back in 2018. Turned a blind eye to tire soaking and everything. Driver said to Bobby Watson, "if you do an open tire rule, people will soak their tires." Bobby replied, "soak your tires too then I don't give a ****."
Kart racing has allowed tire soaking for years, and it has been suffering declines in car count for years too. Coincidence? Nope. Karters soon realize that because of changing track conditions (both week-to-week and during events) you need to have several complete sets of tires that have been soaked differently, in order to hope to be competitive. All of those tires need to already be mounted on rims (not enough time between races to remount tires AND rework their prepping) so that doubles the costs... even local teams are showing up with a dozen or more sets of prepped tires. In karting, a tire program is the biggest cost by far for teams that expect to run up front. Racers are leaving because they can't afford it all, and don't like the probability of getting lapped if they don't subscribe to a big tire program too.

Same thing can easily happen in the car classes. Used to run a Street Stock class that had runaway rules changes that eventually made it a Limited Late Model class (and it collapsed because nobody could afford it). Open tire rules, and ignoring soaking, contributed to that.
 

AndyMarquisLive

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Kart racing has allowed tire soaking for years, and it has been suffering declines in car count for years too. Coincidence? Nope. Karters soon realize that because of changing track conditions (both week-to-week and during events) you need to have several complete sets of tires that have been soaked differently, in order to hope to be competitive. All of those tires need to already be mounted on rims (not enough time between races to remount tires AND rework their prepping) so that doubles the costs... even local teams are showing up with a dozen or more sets of prepped tires. In karting, a tire program is the biggest cost by far for teams that expect to run up front. Racers are leaving because they can't afford it all, and don't like the probability of getting lapped if they don't subscribe to a big tire program too.

Same thing can easily happen in the car classes. Used to run a Street Stock class that had runaway rules changes that eventually made it a Limited Late Model class (and it collapsed because nobody could afford it). Open tire rules, and ignoring soaking, contributed to that.

Street Stocks have become full blown Late Model Stock Cars.

Right now, we're in a situation where tracks can't get tires. Drivers need to be accommodating and less demanding or they won't have a place to race.
 

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Street Stocks have become full blown Late Model Stock Cars.

Right now, we're in a situation where tracks can't get tires. Drivers need to be accommodating and less demanding or they won't have a place to race.
Careful - you could be interpreted as saying that it is the drivers' faults that class rules have gone crazy and that there is a tire shortage. Drivers are customers, and they do not make track rules (unless track operators are foolish enough to let them).

It is true that drivers need to be willing to compromise and accommodate somewhat, but "or they won't have a place to race" is the wrong attitude. Racers can find other places to race, or find other hobbies. Their fans may go with them, as well as general fans who don't like shrinking car counts. Most local track racers are spending money to be able to race - they're not making money. Track owners and personnel and parts suppliers who don't appreciate it have a lot more to lose that the racers do if the track closes. The racer might be stuck with his car and parts that he cannot use or has to change for another track, but the track owners and personnel and parts suppliers lose revenue and jobs and end up paying taxes and maintenance on property and goods that sit unused.

Also, you imply that the only place that racers can get tires is at the track. I've never been keen on track rules that require you to buy your tires from the track (or a designated "good buddy" of the track owner). Usually the justification is "we can get you a better deal" or "we can make it more fair by controlling the tires". The "better deal" is highly debatable - in my experience the track sells the tires for close to full retail price, if not more. "More fair by controlling" is hogwash - once the tires are in racers' hands the track can no longer control what happens to them. At least some tracks and series admit that they are supporting a tire sponsor, and hence require certain tires that must be bought at the track, but that is usually only true for higher car classes and series.

None of this solves the problem of tire scarcity. If the problem is truly at the source (factories cannot get enough materials to make enough tires) then tracks will have to switch to harder tires that last longer (at least until the factories can catch up again). Or tracks can limit how many tires a team may use per race night, possibly marking them or checking serial numbers, and only allowing additional tires that night to replace tires that go flat out on the track during that night.
 

AndyMarquisLive

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Careful - you could be interpreted as saying that it is the drivers' faults that class rules have gone crazy and that there is a tire shortage. Drivers are customers, and they do not make track rules (unless track operators are foolish enough to let them).

It is true that drivers need to be willing to compromise and accommodate somewhat, but "or they won't have a place to race" is the wrong attitude. Racers can find other places to race, or find other hobbies. Their fans may go with them, as well as general fans who don't like shrinking car counts. Most local track racers are spending money to be able to race - they're not making money. Track owners and personnel and parts suppliers who don't appreciate it have a lot more to lose that the racers do if the track closes. The racer might be stuck with his car and parts that he cannot use or has to change for another track, but the track owners and personnel and parts suppliers lose revenue and jobs and end up paying taxes and maintenance on property and goods that sit unused.

Also, you imply that the only place that racers can get tires is at the track. I've never been keen on track rules that require you to buy your tires from the track (or a designated "good buddy" of the track owner). Usually the justification is "we can get you a better deal" or "we can make it more fair by controlling the tires". The "better deal" is highly debatable - in my experience the track sells the tires for close to full retail price, if not more. "More fair by controlling" is hogwash - once the tires are in racers' hands the track can no longer control what happens to them. At least some tracks and series admit that they are supporting a tire sponsor, and hence require certain tires that must be bought at the track, but that is usually only true for higher car classes and series.

None of this solves the problem of tire scarcity. If the problem is truly at the source (factories cannot get enough materials to make enough tires) then tracks will have to switch to harder tires that last longer (at least until the factories can catch up again). Or tracks can limit how many tires a team may use per race night, possibly marking them or checking serial numbers, and only allowing additional tires that night to replace tires that go flat out on the track during that night.

I didn't "imply" drivers can only get tires at the track, you're reading too much into it. I said drivers have to be more accommodating and need to understand the situation.

This past weekend, at Carteret County Speedway, the drivers demanded to run on four tires because there were "just enough tires" to do so (and only "just enough" because there were fewer cars than expected because other drivers boycotted the race over not being a four tire race.) Track refused because they will still need tires next race and don't know if they can get any. A few guys spent all day just bashing the track about having to run on two tires.

But that goes to my larger point. This is just an unprecedented situation. The tracks are doing what they can. Everyone has to be willing to work with each other and compromise a little bit. This is just a blip. From what I've heard, Hoosier expects things to be back to normal in the first week of July.

Hoosier and American Racer have both said a little less bluntly that demand from racers is a problem because they, well, quite frankly, there's WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too much practice in pavement stock car racing. It's excessive, and I've been saying that for years. And you've had teams for some of these tour races buy four, five, six sets of practice tires and spend three days practicing. I know because I've sold them before. And, as American Racer said, many of these guys are finding ways to get these tires - even going directly to the manufacturers and distributors to buy them themselves.

I've been in this game a long time. Hell, at one track I worked at, I was VERY accommodating to drivers and their practice desires. Very first thing I did when I got there was changed the practice policy to allow drivers to come practice after 5pm (that way they didn't have to take off work to do so). And I got a ton of lip even then - one time because I told a guy at 11pm he needed to shut it down and head home, another time because I wouldn't leave my family on Christmas and drive down four hours to open the track for him to practice. I love racing and love the racers, but there are a lot of racers who think their hobby takes precedence over other peoples' families and lives and etc.
 

RacerrecaR

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I didn't "imply" drivers can only get tires at the track, you're reading too much into it. I said drivers have to be more accommodating and need to understand the situation.

This past weekend, at Carteret County Speedway, the drivers demanded to run on four tires because there were "just enough tires" to do so (and only "just enough" because there were fewer cars than expected because other drivers boycotted the race over not being a four tire race.) Track refused because they will still need tires next race and don't know if they can get any. A few guys spent all day just bashing the track about having to run on two tires.

But that goes to my larger point. This is just an unprecedented situation. The tracks are doing what they can. Everyone has to be willing to work with each other and compromise a little bit. This is just a blip. From what I've heard, Hoosier expects things to be back to normal in the first week of July.

Hoosier and American Racer have both said a little less bluntly that demand from racers is a problem because they, well, quite frankly, there's WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too much practice in pavement stock car racing. It's excessive, and I've been saying that for years. And you've had teams for some of these tour races buy four, five, six sets of practice tires and spend three days practicing. I know because I've sold them before. And, as American Racer said, many of these guys are finding ways to get these tires - even going directly to the manufacturers and distributors to buy them themselves.

I've been in this game a long time. Hell, at one track I worked at, I was VERY accommodating to drivers and their practice desires. Very first thing I did when I got there was changed the practice policy to allow drivers to come practice after 5pm (that way they didn't have to take off work to do so). And I got a ton of lip even then - one time because I told a guy at 11pm he needed to shut it down and head home, another time because I wouldn't leave my family on Christmas and drive down four hours to open the track for him to practice. I love racing and love the racers, but there are a lot of racers who think their hobby takes precedence over other peoples' families and lives and etc.
Very good info! My local dirt track stopped allowing Monday-Friday practice last week due to the tire shortage and gas prices...a lot of the drivers run dirt & pavement and even the big teams are struggling to afford costs of everything these days, particularly tires.

You are absolutely right about practice. It should be maximum 3 sets for every team...including practice, qualifying, and race. I do think 1 is necessary just for practice especially for smaller teams, and then a backup emergency set in case of a flat.
 

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I didn't "imply" drivers can only get tires at the track, you're reading too much into it. I said drivers have to be more accommodating and need to understand the situation.

This past weekend, at Carteret County Speedway, the drivers demanded to run on four tires because there were "just enough tires" to do so (and only "just enough" because there were fewer cars than expected because other drivers boycotted the race over not being a four tire race.) Track refused because they will still need tires next race and don't know if they can get any. A few guys spent all day just bashing the track about having to run on two tires.

But that goes to my larger point. This is just an unprecedented situation. The tracks are doing what they can. Everyone has to be willing to work with each other and compromise a little bit. This is just a blip. From what I've heard, Hoosier expects things to be back to normal in the first week of July.

Hoosier and American Racer have both said a little less bluntly that demand from racers is a problem because they, well, quite frankly, there's WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too much practice in pavement stock car racing. It's excessive, and I've been saying that for years. And you've had teams for some of these tour races buy four, five, six sets of practice tires and spend three days practicing. I know because I've sold them before. And, as American Racer said, many of these guys are finding ways to get these tires - even going directly to the manufacturers and distributors to buy them themselves.

I've been in this game a long time. Hell, at one track I worked at, I was VERY accommodating to drivers and their practice desires. Very first thing I did when I got there was changed the practice policy to allow drivers to come practice after 5pm (that way they didn't have to take off work to do so). And I got a ton of lip even then - one time because I told a guy at 11pm he needed to shut it down and head home, another time because I wouldn't leave my family on Christmas and drive down four hours to open the track for him to practice. I love racing and love the racers, but there are a lot of racers who think their hobby takes precedence over other peoples' families and lives and etc.
Sorry, I must still have PTSD from dealing with my local tracks.
 

AndyMarquisLive

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Sorry, I must still have PTSD from dealing with my local tracks.

Oh, the tracks can be nightmares to deal with for sure. I'll say this much, tracks shouldn't be in the tire business. It's easier said than done logistically, but selling tires has been the main goal of a lot of "promoters" for way too long. One of the reasons we have waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much practice in asphalt racing, gotta sell tires.

Just like when tracks run the feature event dead last on the schedule because the "promoter" needs to "sell hot dogs." There was on track in Virginia I used to go to that didn't start their Late Model Stock races until 11-11:30pm. I used to go to a track in Tennessee, three hours from my home, and was usually home by 1-1:30am. The Virginia track that was less than an hour from my home, I'd get home regularly at 2am.
 

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Oh, the tracks can be nightmares to deal with for sure. I'll say this much, tracks shouldn't be in the tire business. It's easier said than done logistically, but selling tires has been the main goal of a lot of "promoters" for way too long. One of the reasons we have waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much practice in asphalt racing, gotta sell tires.

Just like when tracks run the feature event dead last on the schedule because the "promoter" needs to "sell hot dogs." There was on track in Virginia I used to go to that didn't start their Late Model Stock races until 11-11:30pm. I used to go to a track in Tennessee, three hours from my home, and was usually home by 1-1:30am. The Virginia track that was less than an hour from my home, I'd get home regularly at 2am.
Yep, I could write pages about track owners abusing racers with their tire sales programs - but I won't because it would just bum us all out. Bottom line: we don't race at those tracks anymore, even though some of them are closer to home than the tracks we still go to.

Always thought that it was bad business to run the premier class late at night. Especially if one or more of the support classes tends to have a lot of cautions and take a long time to complete their races. Have too often seen families with young kids having to leave before the premier class's feature race, because the kids are way past their bedtimes - those families are not likely to ever come back. For maybe selling a few more cheap hot dogs they lose selling future admission tickets...
 

Speedbowl14

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Oh, the tracks can be nightmares to deal with for sure. I'll say this much, tracks shouldn't be in the tire business. It's easier said than done logistically, but selling tires has been the main goal of a lot of "promoters" for way too long. One of the reasons we have waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much practice in asphalt racing, gotta sell tires.

Just like when tracks run the feature event dead last on the schedule because the "promoter" needs to "sell hot dogs." There was on track in Virginia I used to go to that didn't start their Late Model Stock races until 11-11:30pm. I used to go to a track in Tennessee, three hours from my home, and was usually home by 1-1:30am. The Virginia track that was less than an hour from my home, I'd get home regularly at 2am.

If I sit through one more intermission lasting longer than 20 minutes or wait in the grandstands for outside car driver intros for the main feature at 10:30pm I'm gonna explode.
 

AndyMarquisLive

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Yep, I could write pages about track owners abusing racers with their tire sales programs - but I won't because it would just bum us all out. Bottom line: we don't race at those tracks anymore, even though some of them are closer to home than the tracks we still go to.

Yeah, I've seen tires for $750 per set this year. I've seen and heard all kinds of shenanigans tracks have pulled with tires. Really wish it was logistically feasible to force them out of the tire game.
 

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I have been told it's not a shortage of tires, it's a shortage of truck drivers to get tires into the hands of the distributors - at least on the dirt side. I have seen the regional series in dirt basically go to a set of tires for the night rule, except maybe changing the right rear for the feature only. I have not seen or heard of any issues with tires at Eldora this weekend. The big boys will get their tires. The rest of them - best of luck.
 

AndyMarquisLive

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I have been told it's not a shortage of tires, it's a shortage of truck drivers to get tires into the hands of the distributors - at least on the dirt side. I have seen the regional series in dirt basically go to a set of tires for the night rule, except maybe changing the right rear for the feature only. I have not seen or heard of any issues with tires at Eldora this weekend. The big boys will get their tires. The rest of them - best of luck.

It's a shortage of raw materials, nylon mainly.
 

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Kart racing has allowed tire soaking for years, and it has been suffering declines in car count for years too. Coincidence? Nope. Karters soon realize that because of changing track conditions (both week-to-week and during events) you need to have several complete sets of tires that have been soaked differently, in order to hope to be competitive. All of those tires need to already be mounted on rims (not enough time between races to remount tires AND rework their prepping) so that doubles the costs... even local teams are showing up with a dozen or more sets of prepped tires. In karting, a tire program is the biggest cost by far for teams that expect to run up front. Racers are leaving because they can't afford it all, and don't like the probability of getting lapped if they don't subscribe to a big tire program too.

Same thing can easily happen in the car classes. Used to run a Street Stock class that had runaway rules changes that eventually made it a Limited Late Model class (and it collapsed because nobody could afford it). Open tire rules, and ignoring soaking, contributed to that.

I remember back in the 90s, my brother was racing dirt go-karts, and one wall of their trailer (the wall that goes from the back to the front was taken up by the tire racks. That rack was always filled with tires that were ready to go. They had soaking back then too, my dad would pour it onto a paint roller and spin the tires that were already on the kart to soak them. My dad has been the reason for a few of the rules instated at the local go-kart dirt track because he always found a gray area that he could exploit and help my brother win races.
 

AndyMarquisLive

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FWIW, the nylon shortage was beginning to be a concern in 2020, even in 2019. Demand is through the roof, and there have been disruptions from both COVID and these monstrous hurricanes we keep getting thanks to Climate Change.
 
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