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Differences between Goodyear rain and slick tires

Since 1954, Goodyear has been the official tire supplier of NASCAR. The tire company has supplied tires for all three national series since the 1997 season. Each tire is handmade and rigorously inspected in Akron, Ohio, before leaving for the track each race weekend. Each tire also features the name of the employee who produced it.

Goodyear manufactures three different types of tires for NASCAR national series racing depending on the specific race track and weather conditions — asphalt/concrete, rain and dirt. Below is an explanation of the variations between each type of tire.


Asphalt, concrete ovals and road courses run a radial tire. Goodyear radial tires first made their debut on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit at North Wilkesboro Speedway in 1989. These high durability tires are also known as “slicks,” which is a representation of the smooth tire surface and the lack of tread. There are four types of radial tires Goodyear produces — speedway, intermediate, road course and short track.

Depending on the track size, the tire also features an inner liner for safety reasons, which is essentially a tire inside a tire. NASCAR teams do not permit tires featuring an inner liner at tracks one mile or less in length or the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course.

A specific technology is used for speedway radials. Goodyear uses a multi-zone tire technology that debuted in 2013 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The right-side tire is a multi-zone tread tire, with two different tread compounds on the same tire — a two-inch inboard compound designed for heat resistance (endurance zone) and a 10-inch outboard compound to give more grip (traction zone).

In 2022, Goodyear introduced a new, 18-inch tire, to accompany the NASCAR Next Gen car. With this new tire, and its lower profile sidewall, the Cup cars do not run inner liners on any of their tires.


If necessary, depending on weather conditions, Goodyear provides a wet-weather tire for all road courses — Circuit of The Americas, Charlotte Roval, Sonoma Raceway, Watkins Glen International, and the Chicago Street Course.

Unlike the standard “slick” radial tires, wet-weather tires have a tread pattern designed to redirect moisture away from the tire, providing grip in challenging conditions.