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Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman criticize Goodyear's tires

Drivers are upset after a blown tire during practice causes a mishap that will force both of them to use backup cars in the Daytona 500.

February 15, 2009|Andrea Adelson; Tania Ganguli

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA — . -- Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman have to use backup cars for the Daytona 500 thanks to a blown tire. But Goodyear said it stands behind its product, even though it has had several problems this week.

Newman blew a tire Saturday during the final practice for today's race, sending him crashing into Stewart. Both drivers criticized the tire manufacturer afterward. "It is ridiculous, the situation we are in with these tires," Newman said.

Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager of World Wide Racing, said that after doing tire analysis Goodyear found that Newman's right rear tire was punctured by debris on the track. Earlier in the week, Goodyear recalled eight tires because some right rear tires weren't performing as the company wanted them to.

Other drivers weren't critical of the tires.

"We've always seen cars blowing tires," said Clint Bowyer, who finished third in the Nationwide Series race. "You have to be careful not to assume that it's just the tire."

Stewart won the Camping World 300 after holding off Kyle Busch on the last lap.

Too aggressive

Jason Leffler questioned why he received a five-lap penalty for aggressive driving, even though he started a wreck that took out Steven Wallace, Scott Lagasse Jr. and Justin Allgaier.

"I've never heard of a call like that before," he said. "I wrecked a lot of cars and definitely made a mistake and feel bad for it. I feel bad for Steven -- but if they penalized him for every time he wrecked a car, he would still be on pit road."

-- Andrea Adelson and Tania Ganguli

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