I’ll be interested in seeing the responses, but we have asked this for several years in our driver surveys. 30 percent yes for spec tires, 50 percent no, and the rest don’t care or have no opinion.
What we hear verbalized in favor of a spec tire is that with the open tire rule, to be competitive you have to buy and test several different tires in practice (although not sure everyone does that!). The argument FOR the open tire rule is that I have a trailer full of tires that I’ve used all season and now near the end of the racing calendar you are asking me to buy and use tires I’ve never raced on before, I don’t want to do that. And we have a lot of racers who come from different tracks or series that have their own spec tire — shouldn’t they be able to continue to use those?
Last year we have several gearbox drivers who for the reason stated said we should make MG the spec tire for those classes since that’s what they run in SKUSA all season. Made sense and we thought we were responding to desires of our racers so we did that … and our entries went down. This year we are back to open tire and entries are back up.
We have run open tires and compounds for many years successfully. We think racers should be able to use what they think performs best for them and what they feel safest with. And why shouldn’t tires be part of the setup equation for racing?
We have worked with all of the tires companies over the years to do promotions for the benefit of our racers and will continue to do so if the tire distributors want to. We also greatly appreciate the long-term sponsorship of the King of the Streets race by MG .. and even as the race sponsor they have not demanded to be a spec tire. Wagner and his crew are also big supporters of our event and we appreciate that.
Time for me to go have a race. Have a good discussion.