CHARLOTTE - NASCAR apologized yesterday for the tire fiasco that ruined its prestigious race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and vowed to avoid a repeat.
A durability issue with the tires Goodyear brought to Indy forced NASCAR to call cautions every 10 to 12 laps on Sunday to slow the action and force teams to change their tires before they failed. The longest run under the green flag was 13 laps, and Jimmie Johnson claimed the victory at the end of a seven-lap sprint to the finish in the second-slowest race in the 15 years NASCAR has competed at the Brickyard.
The drivers were disgusted, fans were frustrated and NASCAR is still trying to figure out why things went so wrong.
"I can't say enough how sorry we are and it's our responsibility being NASCAR that we don't go through this situation again," said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition.
"The race didn't come off like we had hoped, the fans didn't get what they exactly wanted and we'll do everything in our power - it won't happen again, I can tell you that much."
The new car is a heavier model that puts significantly more stress on right-side tires, and Goodyear's inventory last weekend couldn't hold up to the pressure.
"It's obvious that we didn't go there with the right car-slash-tire combination," Pemberton conceded.
The problem was exposed in a Saturday practice session.