Today it was announced that the Stewart-Hass Team will be fined $500 million and 250 owners points and 250 driver points (biggest fine or points penelty ever) after the No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevy driven by team owner/driver Tony Stewart in the 51st annual Daytona 500, on Sunday for using an unaproved tire that was designed by Hoosier Tire Co. and is not approved by NASCAR.
The car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used do not conform to NASCAR rules).
This came after Goodyear took back eight right-side tires that it had assigned to teams, believing that they came from a possible bad batch that could have resulted in some of the tire problems Sprint Cup teams had Thursday during the Gatorade Duel 150-mile qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway.
The tires were replaced Friday, according to a Goodyear spokesman. Goodyear Director of Race Tire Sales Greg Stucker had said earlier in the day that the company was trying to figure out what had happened after Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin had problems in the 150-mile qualifiers, Goodyear noticed that portions of their tires in question were all manufactured on the same day.
So Goodyear took back the eight tires that had the same components made on that day as a precautionary measure. Results of any tests won’t be known until next week, said Goodyear general manager of racing tires Stu Grant.
No other tires will be mounted for the Daytona 500 on Sunday that came from that batch, Grant said Saturday morning at Daytona International Speedway. "It looked like either a tire that blistered and kept blistering or a tire that was severely worn," Grant said.
"It looked a little more severe than some of the other ones. It looked different enough that it’s why we looked at the sequence numbers and see if there was anything common there. We noticed a common processing date for one of our manufacturing components." The teams were not doing anything excessive with the setups, Grant said. "Everything we know is circumstantial right now," Grant said. "You look at it and you say you have the same common processing date for these tires, so let’s get them back and be sure."
Saturday during final practice Ryan Newman blew a tire and wrecked himself and boss Stewart. Both went to back-up cars and Newman went to a third car for Sundays 500. They blamed the tiremaker for providing a poor product that cost them their race cars before NASCAR's biggest event of the year.
"Same stuff that we always talk about every year, failures Goodyear has," said Stewart, who frequently takes the tiremaker to task. "I think that's part of their marketing campaign; the more we talk about it, the more press they get.
Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. wishes to congratulate Indiana's Tony Stewart on being the only driver to have the balls to use our tire. Tony has long been a favorite of the Hoosier organization during his developmental stages to where he is today--a Sprint Cup car owner.
A lot has been written about Tony Stewart over the past few years and now without question, he is recognized as one of the most talented drivers to ever get behind the wheel of a race car.
But when those negative stories were being written, we at Hoosier remember Tony's loyalty to Hoosier over the years, even when he made the jump to the upper ranks of NASCAR when he was no longer allowed to drive on Hoosier tires.
Tony has never forgotten those who helped him along the way in reaching the pinnacle of stock car racing. In addition to helping Hoosier on numerous photo shoots over the years, Tony spent the day at Hoosier Tire & Rubber Corp. (the manufacturing facility) a few days ago joining in the 20-year celebration and signing autographs throughout the day.
One of Tony's closest contacts at Hoosier is Irish Saunders who received a phone call from the new car owner late Saturday night thanking him for helping him over the years, and ask him to sneak eight sets of Hoosier Tire in to the track.
Which Stewart went on to use in the Daytona 500, which he brought home in eighth place finish in the rain shortened event.
Stewart-Haas owner also told reporters after they found the tires that "NASCAR is nothing without me. I make the rules. I do what I want to do. I will use Hoosier Tires if I want to."
John Darby, Competition Leader, said in response to Stewart's comments that "we have already talked to Stewart and assured him that we would get out of our contract and we were going to give every team a choice what tire they want to use," and if not for all you nosy reporters no one would ever have knew now Goodyear found out and they were going to pull there contract so we have to fine Stewart, we dont want to. Stewart is NASCAR and we cant lose him.