Even though the 2009 season of the American Speed Association Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment doesn't end until this Sunday, October 11, ASAMT officials are already planning on the 2010 season. They recently conducted a tire test with Hoosier Racing Tires.
"Coming into the 2009 season, we waited until the last minute deciding on what kind of tires our competitors would be racing on this year, and we have learned that we need to start thinking now rather than later," Tim Olson, ASAMT President said. "We seem to have found a good match with the Hoosier F-45 and F-56 tires we race on now, but Hoosier has come up with a better tire that we are considering for next season and will be discussed further at the invitation only owner's meeting on Sunday at Oktoberfest."
Recently ASAMT Touring Stars Tim Schendel and Jonathan Eilen tested the new Hoosier F-40 and F-50 tires at Dells Raceway Park, an ASA Member Track, in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Not only were ASAMT officials on present, but representatives from other super late models series and tracks were on hand as well.
"These tires are like the F-45 and F-56 tires but we made some construction changes to make them a better tire," Irish Saunders, Manager of Contract Sales at Hoosier Racing Tires said. "Both Tim Schendel and Jonathan Eilen were both excellent drivers for the test and they really gave us a lot of useful information such as these tires don't drop off as fast as other tires the ASA Midwest Tour competed on in the past."
"They are very comparable to what we are running now. If you were just a driver in the car and they bolted the different tires on you really wouldn't notice the difference if you backed to backed them," Schendel said about the F-40 and F-50 tires. "I feel that both tires are really good tires and the races have been really good on them and you still have tire left at the end of the race to race on and to maneuver your car around. Whatever choice they make I think it will be a good one."
"For qualifying they started out really good, right off the bat," Schendel said as he talked about how the tires felt. "As you ran they just stayed the same speed the whole time and the car stayed under you. I think Hoosier did a really good job putting that tire together and hopefully we can use them for years to come. I think that everyone would be really happy on them."
Eilen had the same sentiments as Schendel, "I think they are a real good tire and they are close to what we have now with the F-45 and F-56 tires. They are a good consistent tire and the feel of the tire is just so much better. For example, if you mess up in one corner, you end up tip-toeing into the next corner. But these have a lot more give and take on them you won't have that issue. They wore pretty close to the F-56's we race right now and I think they are going to be a good all around tire."
Another person on hand to observe the test was Brad Genal of Genal Tire Sales, a Hoosier tire distributor, in Greenville, WI. Genal has been working not only with the ASAMT but with other tracks and series on finding the best tire for the 2010 season.
"The F-40 and F-50's actually performed well. They ran very consistent laps; in the 25 lap session about 18 of those were in the 13.5 second range. The tire wear looked excellent; the front still had the center line still in it," Genal said. "I think it would be a good tire for the series because they are running 120+ laps per event and they will also have a good tire to hot lap on when they go to the next event. In regards to the construction and the sidewall, we heard the drivers say they had way more forward bite coming out of the corner. It may warrant an air pressure adjustment from what they are on right now, but other than that they looked real good."
ASAMT officials have said that since they made the decision to go to the F-56 tires for the right side, starting at the Dixieland 150 event at Wisconsin International Raceway, they have actually seen a drastic reduction of tires purchased per event.
"We are looking at the big picture for all of our teams. We realize that this is an expensive sport and if we can help our teams with having tires that are consistent throughout an event and are still good to use at the next event, this will greatly help their expenses," Olson said. "Since we made the change, more teams are purchasing four tires per event on average where before a majority were purchasing eight tires, four to practice with and four to race with."
Saunders was pleased to be assisting the ASAMT with their goal, "We are simply a tire manufacturer that offers a wide variety of tires that will fit the need of the series and tracks that we provide tires for. We are glad to help the ASAMT with obtaining this goal for their 2010 season."
As stated earlier, this will be one of the topics up for discussion at the invitation only owner's meeting that will take place this Sunday morning at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway. Current owners that are in the top-25 in points are invited to attend. If you are an owner interested, please contact Steve Einhaus for an invite.