NASCAR Rivals: Slicks vs. Grooves
It was undoubtedly one of the most historic moments in NASCAR when they decided to convert the Nationwide Series field from the “slick” tires that they typically run to “grooved” tires at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this past Saturday for the NAPA Auto Parts 200. With heavy rain working its way to the track and cars sliding all over the place, NASCAR made the call to do just what they’ve been talking about doing and race in the rain.
Incase you missed the action on Saturday afternoon, here’s some video to show you how the cars were handling on the regular slick tires before the teams converted over. The video also carries footage of a drivers such as Rusty Wallace and Dale Earnhardt Sr. competing in a 1997 exhibition race at Suzka Circuit in which they raced in the rain, and a practice session at Watkins Glen where they practiced in the rain.
As you can see, the tires didn’t bode so well for drivers such as Stanton Barrett made a few “turns” around the track, but here, take a look at the first 9 minutes of the race with grooved tires, and you can really see the improvement in the handling.
And, just for good measure, I can’t show you highlights of this race without showing you some footage of Carl Edwards with what was undoubtedly the funniest moment of the race: