A different tire compound will be used by the CARS Tour at Motor Mile Speedway this weekend.
Due to the ongoing tire shortage, drivers in the Late Model Stock and Super Late Model divisions are set to compete on an F55 compound supplied by Hoosier as opposed to the normal F45.
Series owner Jack McNelly said that temporarily going to the F55 was the only option the CARS Tour had if they wanted to race on Saturday night and not later in the year.
“[Hoosier] doesn’t have any F45s,” McNelly said. “They schedule different tires for different weeks but because of the timing of our race, the F45s would not have been ready for us on Saturday.”
The main difference between the F55 and F45 tires is that the former is a slightly harder compound designed to wear less over time .
Late Model Stock competitors will have two sets of F55s at their disposal for Motor Mile, with Super Late Models only using the F55 compound on the right side of the car to go along with the F45s.
McNelly wanted Hoosier to supply plenty of F55 sets so that drivers could have an idea on what to expect out of the tires in practice before taking the green flag in their respective features.
“The F55s are definitely going to respond a little bit differently,” McNelly said. “You might not have as much rollover with the casing being stronger on the F55, so the drivers will have to get used to that. There should not be a big transition.”
The temporary shift to the F55 is only the latest adjustment the CARS Tour has made while manufacturers like Hoosier struggle to keep up with the demands of their customers.
When the tire shortage began in May, the CARS Tour limited the number of tires available for purchase before requiring teams to bring their own practice sets for the Throwback 276 at Hickory Motor Speedway.
McNelly had successfully avoided any major postponements until he received a call from Hoosier that tires for the planned event at Wake County Speedway on Aug. 14 would not be ready until later in the month, forcing him to move the race to Oct. 9.
While McNelly is optimistic that the rest of the CARS Tour season will proceed uninterrupted, he said that variable comes down to the amount of tires Hoosier can produce for the series under their current limitations.
“Hoosier told us they are going to keep supplying tires,” McNelly said. “I’m hoping we have two sets of F45s when we go to Tri-County but beyond that, I don’t know. After we went through a bunch of rescheduling with COVID-19 last year, I thought we were on easy street but boy was I wrong.”
Drivers in each division will make their first laps on the F55 tires in practice on Friday before taking part in their respective features during the following evening.