LAVERGNE, Tenn. (March 31, 2008) — Hennessy Industries Inc., in partnership with Goodyear, has designed a Coats tire changer specifically to service the needs of NASCAR.
The new machine, Coats Pit Changer, debuted at this year's Daytona 500 in the hands of Huggin's Tire Sales Inc., the High Point, N.C., Goodyear race tire distributor that services NASCAR races in the Southeast.
The machine is electric powered—not compressed air as with previous models—which provides constant power for controlled speed, according to Jim Weant, general manager at Huggin's, in a statement provided by Goodyear.
The machines are designed to relieve the operator of much of the manual labor involved in changing race tires, according to Greg Stucker, director of race tire sales for Goodyear.
The new machines are faster and more accurate, according to Ron Newton, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Hennessy.
Compounding the mounting procedure for NASCAR is the extra effort necessary to mount and dismount the separate safety inner liner, which has its own valve stem and is aired up separately.
Hennessy and Goodyear started in early 2007 with two prototype machines at Goodyear's tech center in Akron. Huggin's Tire, which services about 14 NASCAR races annually for Goodyear, then used the prototypes throughout 2007.
Starting with this year's Daytona 500, Huggin's Tire has 20 of the new tire changers on hand in its mobile tire servicing trailers. On any given NASCAR race weekend, the company's tire technicians make up to 1,200 tire changes daily, servicing all three of NAS¬CAR's top series—the Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series and Craftsman Truck racing.
Huggin's Tire is one of four Goodyear race tire distributors that service NASCAR, but since it handles more events than any of the others, it was selected to be the first to use the new equipment, Goodyear said.
In a related change, Goodyear and NASCAR this year started requiring the use of a standard tire valve, designed and supplied by Dill Air Controls Products L.L.C. to operate in NASCAR's racing environment of high heat, high loads and high centrifugal force.