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Goodyear responds to NASCAR driver critics

March 12, 2008 at 7:46 PM

AKRON, Ohio, March 13 (UPI) -- The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. is defending its product following vocal drivers' discontent with the company's tires following last week's NASCAR race.

Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were among drivers critical of the tires after last Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

NASCAR said there were no tire failures during the race but Stewart and Earnhardt, who finished second and third, respectively, said the "harder" tires used at Atlanta made it difficult for the drivers to run side-by-side.

"That's the worst tire I've been on in my life in any professional form of racing," Stewart said.

"We provided what we believed were the best possible products for the races this past weekend," Goodyear said in news release this week. "We supplied the same tires for both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and received zero complaints about our tires after the Nationwide race on Saturday."

"We accept that drivers will have their own opinions about our tires," said NASCAR President Mike Helton. "NASCAR stands by our relationship and is proud to have Goodyear as a partner."

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