O'Donnell: 'Industry really cares and is really working together' NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that findings from Tuesday's Goodyear tire test at Darlington Raceway along with feedback from next weekend at Kentucky Speedway could be combined to come up with "a package that we may want to look at." Former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Matt Kenseth , Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart took part in the Darlington test three weeks after Greg Biffle , Clint Bowyer , Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman tested tires for the Bojangles' Southern 500 (Sept. 6, 7 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM) and a week ahead of extended practice for the Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts (July 11, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM). "When we talked about Kentucky, we said we wanted to see how that played out, and there could be other events in the future that we wanted to look at so I'd say the work being done at Darlington is a potential tire that could match a package that we may want to look at," O'Donnell said. "We're by no means anywhere near a decision yet, but we wanted to be prepared coming out of Kentucky to see what if any levers we could pull." Last weekend at Sonoma, NASCAR and Goodyear monitored its new tire and the wear teams saw leading up to the race. Tire management saw side-by-side racing and led to strategy calls that decided the race. It was an example of track-specific packages to lead to better racing. "…it's a balance, and it's going to be race-by-race," O'Donnell said. "Obviously when you look at Kentucky, we want to see a tire with some wear there, but you've got to manage the speeds also. When we go to a track like Michigan or Atlanta, obviously if you get too soft, the speeds go way, way up so it's a balance for us to really match it with the aero and the engine package that you have so it'll be more track-specific as we go forward." O'Donnell noted that it continues to work with its official partner as well as the teams and manufacturers on finding the packages that provide the best racing. "…the softer tire so it is something we're working with the industry on," O'Donnell said. "Goodyear's been a terrific partner in putting that together. We've got all three of the OEMs working with us so we'll see how that goes in Darlington and then obviously how things play out in Kentucky as well." The Darlington test, along with next weekend's race at Kentucky, will help the industry understand the possibilities available for future packages. O'Donnell noted how the entire ecosystem has come together to put on the best show possible. "…we really wanted to get ahead of it, work together and also work on what could happen coming out of Kentucky," O'Donnell said. "We've got a tentative plan that we're talking to teams about to see which way we can go at some different venues so it's been a lot of great collaboration. "The fans should know ultimately that we've got an industry that really cares and is really working together. Then ultimately we've got to make the right decisions that we think will put on the best racing possible." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
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