Short Track Tire Shortage

SpeedPagan

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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.

Are these practice session paid for by the driver? Like, do the drivers pay the track owner $500 for some track time to run practice laps?
 

AndyMarquisLive

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Are these practice session paid for by the driver? Like, do the drivers pay the track owner $500 for some track time to run practice laps?
It depends on the track.

One time at Southern National, a driver (who now races in NASCAR) wanted to practice at night and have the lights turned on. Came back and he said he'd pay us $800 to turn the lights on for him and let him practice for a couple hours.
 

gnomesayin

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Dirt late model teams at The Dream at Eldora were limited to five tires for the entirety of last night, and have five tires tonight until the main event, then are allowed to put four fresh ones on. Not sure what the policy is for flats during the race.
 

SpeedPagan

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Honestly the teams aren't going to control themselves so I think the track owners and series organizers have to do it for them. No more "track time" outside of official practice, and you're limited to 2 sets for the entire night.
 

AndyMarquisLive

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Honestly the teams aren't going to control themselves so I think the track owners and series organizers have to do it for them. No more "track time" outside of official practice, and you're limited to 2 sets for the entire night.

Yep. I'd like to see the CARS Tour implement a testing ban.

The teams are finding ways to get their hands on tires. And quite truthfully, there are a lot of people in asphalt racing who would sacrifice races for practice time.
 

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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.
Yeah, I raced karts back then. I couldn't afford the dozens of sets of mounted tires that these guys had (plus all the different chemicals that they used on them) so I was just experimenting with things that I could afford. Saw too many of those trailers full of mounted tires - you should have seen Brian Vickers' trailer! Did find that many of those guys were using too much tire soak, and would lock their karts to the track, making them beatable during the second halves of feature races when their tires overheated. The WKA (World Karting Association) used to be the king of karting, but part of why they've waned is because they tried to battle the tire soakers...

Heard of a karter who got badly burned because he was applying soak and heat (propane torch) to his tires while inside an enclosed trailer - caused some tracks to outlaw open flames in the pits. Even charcoal grills. Of course, people just figured out how to heat tires without using open flames...
 

AndyMarquisLive

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Yeah, I raced karts back then. I couldn't afford the dozens of sets of mounted tires that these guys had (plus all the different chemicals that they used on them) so I was just experimenting with things that I could afford. Saw too many of those trailers full of mounted tires - you should have seen Brian Vickers' trailer! Did find that many of those guys were using too much tire soak, and would lock their karts to the track, making them beatable during the second halves of feature races when their tires overheated. The WKA (World Karting Association) used to be the king of karting, but part of why they've waned is because they tried to battle the tire soakers...

Heard of a karter who got badly burned because he was applying soak and heat (propane torch) to his tires while inside an enclosed trailer - caused some tracks to outlaw open flames in the pits. Even charcoal grills. Of course, people just figured out how to heat tires without using open flames...
I’ve seen them wrap them in electric blankets.
 

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I’ve seen them wrap them in electric blankets.
There are sets of little electric blankets, made to fit those small tires exactly - and resist the tire soak (that does destroy them eventually)...
There are tanks, with rotisseries and heaters (that allow you to evenly apply soak inside and out, while also heating them)...
I've seen people aim portable propane heaters at their tires - not very safe, but conforms to "no open flames"... as well as electric heat guns...

Before the "no open flames" rule, it wasn't unusual to see people accidentally set a tire on fire via a propane torch. Some idiots would purposely light them on fire - even knew one guy who timed how long he had them on fire (claimed he knew exactly what was the "correct" amount of time).
 

AndyMarquisLive

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USAC, ASCOC and the WOO don't seem to have a problem with supply.

I wonder why that is?

Touring series and bigger races are getting priority, plus some suppliers did a better job knowing this would be coming and preparing for it than others. Some places prepared for it last year and early this year while others just want to blame Joe Biden.

In North Carolina, there are more asphalt tracks and they all run Hoosier F45s, while in Virginia, you have fewer tracks, and one of those tracks is on American Racer, one is on 45s, and a couple are on 50s. There are a couple tracks in North Carolina that also tried pretending the tire shortage was fake and now blame Joe Biden for their problems.

I've also had tracks tell me that Hoosier's been telling them they may have to shut down their season early so they'll have tires for the bigger year-end races, which goes back to bigger races and tours getting priority.
 

kkfan91

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New Egypt Speedway canceled this weekend, and Evergreen raceway has posted about it
 

Speedbowl14

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Here in CT the last 4 consecutive races at the three local tracks have been rained out, with perhaps a 5th straight rainout at Stafford tomorrow and Saturday at Waterford looks like a wash as well.

So there's been little talk of the tire shortage here, lol. Ma Nature is conserving tires for us.
 

StandOnIt

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Here in CT the last 4 consecutive races at the three local tracks have been rained out, with perhaps a 5th straight rainout at Stafford tomorrow and Saturday at Waterford looks like a wash as well.

So there's been little talk of the tire shortage here, lol. Ma Nature is conserving tires for us.
That's Biden's fault
 

AndyMarquisLive

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Another update from Short Track Scene on Tirepocalypse 2021.


Jason Turner and Peyton Sellers gave some good insight here.
 

MRM

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Funny how there wasn't going to be enough tires to run two World 100's at Eldora but Hoosier found a way to make it work. The big events will have enough tires, not sure about the others.
 

gnomesayin

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Funny how there wasn't going to be enough tires to run two World 100's at Eldora but Hoosier found a way to make it work. The big events will have enough tires, not sure about the others.

I think the five tire rule for preliminary nights at a lot of the big races has helped.
 

Spotter22

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Hoosier has miraculously conjured up 1,280 tires for Martinsville.
So the entry list was reported the other day at 70 and growing. At 70 that would give teams 4.5 sets each. I'm sure the entry list will grow which is gonna cause a pretty big problem. Thats , practice, qualifying and heat races plus halfway tires.
 
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AndyMarquisLive

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So the entry list was reported the other day at 70 and growing. At 70 that would give teams 4.5 sets each. I'm sure the entry list will grow which is gonna cause a pretty big problem. Thats , practice, qualifying and heat races plus halfway tires.
Every team gets four sets.

That’s what infuriates me. If the shortage is this bad, they can easily say one practice set, one race set, like SoBo did.

It’s safe to say that several races got canceled just to make this one happen. And while big races should get priority, what happens when we end up shutting tracks down for good to ensure a few big races happen?
 

Spotter22

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Every team gets four sets.

That’s what infuriates me. If the shortage is this bad, they can easily say one practice set, one race set, like SoBo did.

It’s safe to say that several races got canceled just to make this one happen. And while big races should get priority, what happens when we end up shutting tracks down for good to ensure a few big races happen?
How would each team get four sets with 100 entries? I dont see how they can do it unless its straight qualifying with no heats.
 
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AndyMarquisLive

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How would each team get four sets with 100 entries? I dont see how they can do it unless its straight qualifying with no heats.
I pulled the 1,280 number based on 80 cars and four sets. They're probably making the guys who run heat races start the feature on those tires, which provides a massive advantage for the top-two qualifiers given that these are F45 tires.

Realistically, a 200 lap race could be run on a set of tires, but probably not the F45. If it was the McCreary Speed tire, they probably could. And there would probably be a larger tire allotment anyway since the tire shortage is hitting Hoosier worse than American Racer.
 

Spotter22

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I pulled the 1,280 number based on 80 cars and four sets. They're probably making the guys who run heat races start the feature on those tires, which provides a massive advantage for the top-two qualifiers given that these are F45 tires.

Realistically, a 200 lap race could be run on a set of tires, but probably not the F45. If it was the McCreary Speed tire, they probably could. And there would probably be a larger tire allotment anyway since the tire shortage is hitting Hoosier worse than American Racer.
They could run 200 laps but if you thought they tear em up during the heats hold on to your hat. No way they will make them start on 25 lap scuffs or your correct assessment of the top 2 will cause a revolt by the drivers.
 

AndyMarquisLive

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Optimal solution. Teams practice too much anyway and don't need two sets of practice tires.

Teams only having to buy one or two sets of tires to practice on for the year or, hell, only having to buy three sets of tires all year would be optimal to cutting costs. But there's no way to make an F45 last that long. American Racer tires, on the other hand... you can get over 1,000 laps off those things.
 

aunty dive

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^ Dream on.

I wonder how many tires Hoosier shipped to Eldora for the big weekend?
 
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