AKRON (Nov. 18, 2005) — NASCAR's top three racing series will roll into the 2006 season with a new tire leasing program from Goodyear and racing's first deployment of Radio Frequency Identification technology (RFID).
The RFID technology—in the form of an embedded computer chip in the tires to help manage the leased inventory—will assist in the implementation of NASCAR's new controlled testing procedures, according to Goodyear. Those measures were developed by the sanctioning body to reduce private team testing next year in an effort to level the playing field for all race teams.
The new tire lease program will get its own test run this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway with NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series race, said Greg Stucker, Goodyear director of race tire marketing. “With RFID, we will have the ability to ensure that every tire that comes to the racetrack with us leaves the track with us,” he said. “While we will no longer sell tires to the teams for private testing, we will continue to supply Goodyear tires for NASCAR-scheduled testing in much the same way we do at race events.”
The tire maker said the RFID scanning equipment will quickly read information embedded in a tire's sidewall. Mr. Stucker said that tire identification is the first piece of data that will be available through the computer chip, but the company is exploring “several other data options that will further the technological capability of race tire manufacturing and performance.”
Goodyear will have specialists on site at all races with a specially equipped transporter to run the program.
The program is “a major undertaking and investment for us in equipment, personnel and warehousing capabilities,” Mr. Stucker said. “The effort also reaffirms our continuing commitment to NASCAR and the overall quality of Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck series racing.”
Goodyear said it started exploring RFID technology in 1984 and in 1993 began its first field trial with more than 3,000 tires.