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NASCAR Cup Series title contender Kevin Harvick slammed Goodyear for providing “piece of crap” tyres after crashing out of the playoffs opener at Las Vegas.
Harvick had finished a close second to Martin Truex Jr in the race’s first segment but hit the wall when his Stewart-Haas Ford’s right-front tyre deflated going into Turn 1 on lap 147 of the scheduled 267 laps.
He was then collected by polesitter Erik Jones’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
“There was something wrong from the time we put the tyres on,” said Harvick.
“It was like Russian roulette every time you put these piece of crap tyres on and try to drive around the racetrack.
“One time it is tight, one time it is loose, one time they are blistered.
“We had a great car and then you put a set of tyres on it and you can’t hardly make it through the field. I just hate it for everyone.”
Although Harvick’s significant haul of bonus points from the regular season limited the damage of the Vegas retirement, he replied “I am not happy about anything right now” when that consolation was suggested.
Goodyear’s general manager of racing Stu Grant dismissed Harvick’s complaints.
“We have not had any complaints about inconsistent tyres,” he said. “Actually our performance has been pretty darn consistent.
“The heat in the racetrack makes it very slippery and it makes it very important to get the car set-up right.”
Second-place finisher Kyle Larson also had a tyre deflation during the race, saying “my tyre ran out of talent”, but was able to recover to the pits.