Stewart does a 180 on Goodyear, praises Darlington tire

Tony StewartVocal Goodyear critic Tony Stewart had only nice things to say Friday about the tire manufacturer’s choice for the newly repaved Darlington Raceway.

Stewart was harsh about Goodyear after the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this year and has been a thorn in Goodyear’s side after other races. But Stewart praised the company for bringing the right tire for the 1.366-mile Darlington track.

“The tires are good for here,” Stewart said after Nationwide Series qualifying Friday. “It’s not the scary deal that we’ve had in the past, like we’ve had at Vegas. I’m proud of what Goodyear did, taking the extra time that they did, running a second test here to make the tires good.”

Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon did the initial Goodyear tire test at Darlington, but no one was satisfied with the tires, so Goodyear scheduled another test with the same drivers.

Stewart also praised track officials for the repaving job, though the new surface does present problems.

“They did a great job with it,” Stewart said. “The challenge this week is the fact that it’s still Darlington. It’s still only two lanes wide, period. The way turns 1 and 2 are, you’ve got to go to the high side, then back to the bottom and back to the high side, so running two-wide is hard to do here. You could do it in 3 and 4, but you really can’t do it in 1 and 2.

“The track did a great job. It’s good. If we could make it to where we could have the same amount of rubber all the way across the race track, we probably wouldn’t have the problems that we’re going to see tonight. But all in all, they did a great job.”

Stewart does a 180 on Goodyear, praises Darlington tire

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