Despite an ongoing tire shortage, the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour does anticipate having enough tires for two upcoming tests at Rockingham Speedway as well as the race in November – but the series is taking proactive measures to ensure a proper tire allocation.
Keeley Dubensky, the administrator for the CARS Tour, sent an email to teams announcing open test dates at The Rock for Saturday, September 18th and Saturday, October 30th, and asked that drivers and teams let the tour know if they plan to attend either or both test sessions. The email from Dubensky states that they want to make sure they have enough tires from Hoosier, who is building a different tire for the Rockingham race on November 7th.
“We need to get these Late Model guys to let us know if they’re planning on testing, which test date, if they’re going to test at all because we need to pre-order tires,” Dubensky told Short Track Scene on Wednesday. “We’re having those two test dates as well as optional practice before the race.”
The tire shortage, which is predominantly impacting Hoosier, has already had an impact on the racing scene and has forced CARS Tour to make decisions. Prior to their most recent race at Langley Speedway last weekend, the tour announced that they were limiting teams to just one set of practice tires and one set of race tires. Dubensky says the tour had come close to canceling upcoming races due to the shortage, but so far, they have not felt the need to.
“We were worried about Dominion and Jennerstown,” Dubensky said. “We almost had to cancel or reschedule Jennerstown, but we got some tires and we’re good to go. It looks like we’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel from what we are hearing from Hoosier. It’s going to be a work in progress but we’re trying to be as patient as possible and they’re keeping us ion the loop step by step. We’re trying to be fair for everybody. We are hopeful and we are ready to build as many tires as we need for Rockingham.”
While the shortage is continuing, though with greater impacts on individual tracks than on touring series, the CARS Tour anticipates having as many tires as they need for their inaugural trip to Rockingham Speedway on November 6th.
“We will [have tires] because this is a special tire,” Dubensky explained. “They’re building the tires for this event. That’s part of the reason why we need to have a good idea who’s coming because there’s not a lot of nylon around to be building these tires. By the time we get to the first test, we’d like to know who is coming. These are open tests.”
The CARS Tour held a tire test in May with satisfactory results after two prior tests in December using a more generic tire compound that yielded mixed results. Initially, after the December test, the series appeared destined to move forward with the race with a plan to utilize restrictor plates, but ultimately, the track and the tour decided to push the event back to the fall so Hoosier could build a more durable tire without having to slow the cars down.