The Backstretch Blog: A Tired Conversation

Published On: Mar 24 2014 11:27:00 PM CDT

NASCAR via Getty Images

NASCAR vice-president of competition and racing development Robin Pemberton made an appearance in the the post-race press conference for a second straight week. That is never a good thing.

Let’s start with more trouble with the caution lights, actually this week it was the lights that open or close pit road.

“The crew chiefs, spotters and drivers understand that manual overrules any technology or computer-operated light system in case there's a failure,” said Pemberton. “In this case you can see on the replays that the open and close official opened pit road as they do when the caution car comes around.  Flag went out, had difficulty with the switch, the location of the switch to turn the light on green.”

Technology, it’s great, until it doesn’t work. But then again last week it was a human error, so there’s that.

Probably a bigger concern this weekend was the tires. Many cars, many good cars succumbed to tire issues. But Pemberton says this wasn’t really a tire issue at all.

“We've talked to Goodyear,” he said. “We have asked, the competitors have asked to bring more aggressive tires, to bring tires that they need to manage and want to -- how they use them and how they get the most out of them.  At this point in time I think Goodyear, it's the same tire that we've run on in the past.  Just the car is a little bit different.”

There might also have been some indication that there could be troubles.

“Last year we opened up the rules on camber for the rear end,” said Pemberton. “I would say that a year ago at this time we were early in the process, and teams were probably not as aggressive as they wound up being as the season unfolded, as they got the mechanics better in their cars and the opportunity to be able to make parts and pieces live longer now, I think they're probably a little bit better prepared for that. So if they had too much camber -- they've got a lot of choices, so if they had too much and it abused the tire, that's what happens.”