Originally Posted by Racerrob:
They really did not have the same tire choices as the F-55 was allowed but only a handfull of those tires existed at the track. The Hoosier truck had none. Daren Hagen's team did have an F-55 and used it during the feature.
I have run almost exclusively with USAC for the past 18 years and I am very familiar with their rulebook. I have never seen a bulletin, an entry blank or a rule which said the DT-3 would be the spec tire unless USAC changes their mind and allows a harder compound for track conditions. Yet the email I received in response to my inquiry as to this matter stated that it has always been that way in USAC's mind.
My point is that if they are going to allow a harder compound to be raced, everyone should know about it so that they can carry that compound in their trailer. The Hoosier distributor did not know that the F-55 would be allowed as he didn't carry any on his truck.
Well, that does change things. Thanks, Rob, for enlightening me. As a fan with an outside-looking-in perspective, I had no idea that the F-55's were not available either. I just assumed that it was simply a matter of choice and that some teams called it right and others gambled with softer compounds and came up short.
Seems like this sort of thing happens quite frequently when new tire rules surface. Hard to understand how USAC, knowing that this was a rubber-down track historically, could let this sort of situation occur. I agree with you 100%. They should have addressed this topic early and informed each team owner and the tire supplier of the tire options that would be allowed prior to the race and insured that tires would be available.
Although each team had the same choices (options) for tire selection, if the tire they chose was not available then it does appear to cripple the teams that don't carry spares of every variety or have them at their disposal when necessary.
Regardless, certain drivers (like Hagen and Sammy) were very conscience of the conditions and used patience and a smooth approach to the corners as an advantage and made it work for them...I cannot take anything away from them at all. You could tell by listening to the throttle on exit of turns 2 and 4 which drivers were going to last 20 laps!