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Tech Talk: Goodyear makes tire change for Richmond

Movement back and forth between the 2015 base rules package, the lower downforce platform used at Kentucky Speedway and Darlington Raceway, and the high drag package used by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams at Indianapolis and Michigan has concluded.

But there are still a few more changes in store for teams as they prepare for this weekend's Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (7:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM), as well as the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup that follows.

A new right-side tire code awaits Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series competitors at Richmond as Goodyear officials have gone away from the multi-zone tread tire used at the three-quarter mile track earlier this year. The right-side tire for this race is a single compound built around the same compound used on the outside of the tire surface in April.

The multi-zone tires have been used at several venues -- including Atlanta, Texas and Charlotte as well as Richmond.

With one restrictor-plate race remaining, Oct. 25 at Talladega, teams will roll out the superspeedway package -- which consists of a slightly different aerodynamic package.

While most competitors have been pleased with the reduced downforce package used most recently at Darlington, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell said earlier this week that the plan to run only the original '15 package throughout the 10-race Chase remains in place.

The 2016 package, he said, likely will be delivered to teams by month's end following talks with manufacturers, teams and others in the industry.

No Test at Auto Club

NASCAR officials have cancelled a Goodyear tire test and open team test scheduled for Oct. 27-29 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

Goodyear determined it wasn't necessary to return to the 2-mile track based on tire wear results from this past season's race. And with Goodyear canceling the two-day portion of the test, teams opted not to make the cross-country trek a day before having to be in Martinsville, Virginia, for the opening race of the Eliminator Round in this year's Chase.

Teams from Richard Childress Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Roush Fenway Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing were scheduled to participate in the Goodyear portion of the test.

Only two open tests remain on this year's National Series Unified Testing schedule -- next week (Sept. 14-16) at Kansas Speedway and Oct. 12-14 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Darlington Warnings

Two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams and two XFINITY Series teams were issued warnings as a result of inspection issues at Darlington Raceway this past weekend.

On the Sprint Cup side, the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota with driver Denny Hamlin failed pre-race inspection four times, resulting in a warning for the team. The No. 62 Premium Motorsports entry failed pre-qualifying inspection twice and received a warning as well.

The XFINITY Series teams of series points leader Chris Buescher and the No. 17 entry fielded by owner Rick Ware were late arriving in the inspection line and will be docked 15 minutes of practice time.

Buescher's team will serve the penalty at RIR. The No. 17 team is currently not entered in this weekend's event.

Winning Combination

This month's Century Poll asked 100 members of the NASCAR community which rules package NASCAR should move forward with as it prepares for the '16 season.

Nearly 50 percent of those responding selected the low downforce with a softer tire (the package used most recently at Darlington).

More than one fourth (27 percent) chose a low downforce package with more horsepower while 15 percent said different packages for different tracks would be the way to go.

The Century Poll is made up of 50 members of the NASCAR garage (owners, drivers, track officials, etc.) and 50 members of the media.

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