HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- This past weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, it was announced that NASCAR and Goodyear would extend their 60-year-partnership with a new multi-year agreement.
Chase Elliott and his father, Bill Elliott, joined a host of past NASCAR champions at the Saturday press conference and shared their take on the important role Goodyear tires continue to play.
Both Elliotts recalled visiting a Goodyear plant in Akron, Ohio, in the early 2000s.
"It just blows my mind every weekend to know that people are putting these tires together by hand, they don’t have a whole lot of machine help to do it," Chase Elliott commented. "When they are laying the rubber and doing the things for that one tire and we go through however many sets a weekend. Just to know that, that consistency is there and someone is doing it a lot by hand is very impressive to me."
What stands out the most to both Elliotts is Goodyear's willingness to grow and evolve with the demands of the sport and ever-changing race cars.
"The challenge these guys have to build a tire to withstand what we put them through and especially where technology has come today," Bill Elliott said, "and the amount of, I guess, confidence we have as drivers to go out and put it on the edge week in and week out that I did it and for the next generation, for these guys to do it. It’s just like, don’t take them for granted -- they’re there, they’ve been a part of the sport, they’re behind us 100 percent."
His son expressed the same appreciation.
"I think we put these tires through a tough time every weekend and as time goes with these cars, we are making it tougher and tougher for these things to hold up and they continue to step up and be willing to take the challenge and build a tire that can withstand everything that we put it through," Chase Elliott said, "which I think is impressive."