NASCAR Martinsville 2014: Jeff Gordon still upset with Goodyear over Fontana tire problems

Jared C. Tilton

Jeff Gordon is still angry with Goodyear about the tire problems at Fontana and thinks the same issue will be prevalent in the Texas race next week.

Jeff Gordon stands by his remarks about the quality of the tires Goodyear provided for last weekend's race at Auto Club Speedway.

The four-time Cup champion was one of at least a dozen drivers who experienced tire issues at the Auto Club Speedway, and there were more than 20 different incidents.

Goodyear and NASCAR found fault with the teams, saying they weren't following the tire pressures recommended by the tire manufacturer. Gordon said afterward Goodyear was "not prepared for what happened," and didn't back down Friday at Martinsville Speedway.

"I think when you have that many cars that are that close to being on the edge or going over the edge then the tire is too aggressive or something else needs to be looked at," he said. "The teams have all gotten, with the ride heights and everything they are doing, they have got more aggressive no doubt about it. But that is what it's going to take to win races and if no tire test happens at that track then I think that I would question why not."

Gordon was challenging Jimmie Johnson for the win when a soft tire forced him to drop back. A few laps later, Johnson had a left-front tire explode, followed by Clint Bowyer spinning out when one of his tires let go. The race would end under a green-white-checkered finish with Gordon 13th.

What frustrated Gordon was the inability to pinpoint exactly why tires kept failing. While Goodyear blamed the team, drivers expressed myriad opinions, including Fontana's abrasive surface, speeds, and teams being overly aggressive with setups.

Gordon took part in a Goodyear tire test at Sonoma earlier in the week. But he was "too mad at them" to have conversations about what transpired at Fontana or what he thinks will happen next week at Texas Motor Speedway.

Sharing similar characteristics to Fontana, Goodyear is planning on running the same tire in next Sunday's race at Texas. This leads Gordon to believe the same problems will occur again.

"I think we will see issues there," he said. "We saw issues there last year. My question is did Goodyear test there?  ... Because if they didn't then I hope they have a back-up plan because I do think that we are going to have some issues there.

"To me Texas is always harder on tires than California. So that is what makes me a little bit concerned."

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