If you’ve ever watched a NASCAR race, you’ve probably noticed that the racing teams change out tires very frequently. After all, when you’re racing at high speeds, you need to go through tires quickly.
But just how long do NASCAR tires last, and why do they need to be changed so often? We’ll answer these questions and more in the article below.
How Long Do NASCAR Tires Last?
NASCAR tires usually only last about 100 miles of racing. As you might imagine, these tires are largely designed for handling the top speeds of racing – not necessarily for longevity. They are designed for maximum traction, which causes them to wear down faster and provides plenty of grip and control.
For a complete understanding of why these tires wear out so fast, keep reading below!
Why Do NASCAR Tires Wear Out So Fast?
NASCAR tires wear out extremely fast, largely due to the high banking and high speeds the cars undergo. Specifically, many cars reach over 200 mph, which can do a serious beating on the wheels.
In most cases, high-speed banking causes the tires to heat up very quickly. Generally, the faster the car is going, the hotter the tires are going to get. After all, they undergo more friction in a shorter period of time.
In fact, most NASCAR tires are actually designed to wear and tear. In many cases, excess rubber comes off in the form of rubber dust, which is often called “marbles.”
When you have many cars racing around the track, these marbles can start to build up along the edges. For this reason, the edges are actually quite slippery. Simply speaking, it’s a bit like trying to walk on marbles.
For this reason, many drivers prefer the inside of the track, where it won’t be nearly as slippery.
Of course, it is essential that the tires wear evenly. Otherwise, they can become unsafe, especially at the high speeds that race cars drive.
What Do NASCAR Tires Cost?
Because they are specially made, NASCAR tires aren’t cheap in the least.
Generally, you can expect to pay about $350 to $450 per tire. Luckily, this isn’t necessarily any more expensive than the high-quality, commercial tires you might purchase for your vehicle.
With that said, racing teams don’t actually purchase their own tires. Instead, they lease them from Goodyear – the official tire company.
For the most part, Goodyear supplies all NASCAR drivers with tires each racing day.
Therefore, this is one cost that NASCAR drivers don’t have to worry about.
Do NASCAR Teams Reuse Tires?
NASCAR teams do not usually reuse tires. In fact, tires are replaced throughout the race as necessary. In many cases, teams may choose to replace the tires every time the car comes in for more fuel.
However, all those used tires don’t go to waste. Because the tires are leased from Goodyear, they all go back to Goodyear at the end of the race. Then, Goodyear recycles them.
Other times, some tires may be available for the public to purchase. Obviously, these tires are to be used on normal cars. Instead, they’re memorabilia.
Sometimes, teams take back used tires for research or shop stuff. In many cases, used tires are more useful than you might think.
How Many Tires Does NASCAR Team Use Each Race?
For the most part, it depends on the particular race. Some races are longer than others, which will obviously change the number of tires needed to finish the race.
Usually, each race has a specific number of tires each team is allowed. In most cases, the racing team simply can’t bring as many tires as they want.
Partially, this is because the tires are supplied by Goodyear, which only provides a certain number of tires for each race.
For instance, in the Daytona 500, NASCAR team are allowed up to 8 sets of tires for practicing, as well as 7 sets of tires for the actual race.
However, the actual number of tires used is often closer to around 25.
Of course, the amount does vary considerably from team to team. More aggressive drivers will go through more tires than those that don’t take turns as sharply.
Are There Different Kinds of NASCAR Tires?
Goodyear currently offers 18 different tires for use in NASCAR. Each of these tires is designed for a specific situation.
For instance, some are better for short tracks, while others are better for speedways.
Teams may pick different tires depending on the race in front of them. On other occassions, Goodyear may provides the same tires to all the teams, which helps level the playing field a little bit.
With that said, all of these tires last for about the same amount of time when they are used properly.
Therefore, longevity isn’t typically something that teams think about when choosing their tires.
Is There A Tire Limit in NASCAR?
Typically, there is a tire limit during each NASCAR race. This isn’t always the case, but it is the norm for most serious races. Goodyear provides the same amount of tires to each team.
As you might imagine, NASCAR does regularly change the limit for certain races. Allotments are increased and decreased all the time.
To find out more about tires, you can also read our posts on how long do Michelin tires last, what is a tire lock-up in F1, how long do Bridgestone tires last, and how long do Goodyear tires last.
NASCAR tires are not built for longevity; they’re built for performance. Therefore, they tend to wear down very quickly.
To provide maximum traction and control, NASCAR tries are designed to get as much grip as possible. However, this also increases the amount of wear each tire undergoes.
Usually, each tire is only suitable for 100 miles of racing. After that, they can pose a safety hazard.