AKRON — Goodyear has moved production of one line of Mickey Thompson-brand drag racing tires to its Goodyear Innovation Center Manufacturing (ICM) race tire plant in Akron.
The tire maker — which completed the acquisition of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., along with its Mickey Thompson brand, in June — began making Mickey Thompson ET Front drag racing slicks at its Akron plant during the week of Nov. 29.
"Throughout the integration process, our teams have remained committed to working together, and this is a great example of how quickly and efficiently our motorsports groups were able to collaborate and leverage Goodyear's manufacturing footprint," Dominick Wycoff, Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels president, said.
According to Goodyear, this marks the first Cooper tire to be made at a Goodyear plant in the U.S. Others soon could follow, however.
Goodyear spokesperson said moving other Cooper racing production to Akron is under consideration, but no decision has been made at this point.
"Goodyear and Mickey Thompson have each played a monumental role in the history of drag racing," Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager of global race tires, said.
"Now, as a combined organization with over 100 years collectively in the sport, we're excited to continue that momentum and innovative product development as we look to the future of drag racing."
The ET Street Front drag racing radial earned Best New Product runner-up honors at the 2021 SEMA Show.
Goodyear disclosed on Feb. 22 it was acquiring Cooper Tire in a $2.5 billion cash-and-stock deal, uniting the world's No. 3 and No. 13 tire manufacturers, in terms of global sales.
As part of the deal, Goodyear acquired Cooper's 10 factories (nine tire plants and a tire components unit), including two plants in China.
Goodyear manufactures all the tires used in every NASCAR race and for the top three NHRA drag-racing classes in Akron.
The 400 employees at the 845,000-sq.-ft. factory located inside a former Goodyear tire factory produce more than 4,000 racing tires each week at the ICM during the peak weeks of the NASCAR and NHRA seasons.