Stu Grant, the director of worldwide racing for Goodyear, has insisted that the company wasn't at fault for the incident that saw Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart crash in the final practice session for the Daytona 500, insisting that the blow-out that caused the shunt was a 'classic case of a clear puncture'.

Newman, who had suffered a tyre failure during the Gatorade Duel on Thursday, was running ahead of Stewart-Haas team-mate Stewart on track when his right rear let go, tipping him into a spin which Stewart was unable to avoid.

As a result, both drivers will be forced to change cars for the Daytona 500 and drop to the rear of the field, with Stewart having been scathing in his criticism of Goodyear when questioned about the incident afterwards.

"I'm just so tired of talking about Goodyear it's ridiculous," he said. "I'm just tired of talking about them; tired of them being an issue. Don't get them anywhere near me. Don't bring them anywhere close; don't let them come close. I don't want anything to do with them."

However, Grant was then given his chance to respond and said that inspection of the tyre from Newman's #39 Chevrolet had shown clear signs on being punctured by something on track.

"We have looked at the remains of the tyre that on are the #39 car," he said. "We also wanted to make sure. We know that the tyre had 12 laps on it. The tyre shows no evidence of high wear. It shows no evidence of any kind of blistering. It shows no evidence of any kind of abuse.

"What we did see was a clear hole through the tread and both belts in the piece that we had back off the #39 car. At this point in time, the evidence would indicate that it would be a classic case of a clear punctured right rear.

"It's obviously [due to] something that was on the race track. It could have been something that had fallen off one of the cars ahead of him. It could have been something that laid on the pavement for a while, and as the cars went by it moved it to a configuration where it could puncture a tyre. We see a lot of those kinds of cases."

Grant added that the failure on Newman's car had been totally different, with the two incidents not comparable.

"That was a severe wear issue - part of the tread [was] worn down to the belts in the right-rear during the race Thursday," Grant said. "The tread is intact on the tyre that failed [Saturday]. You can see a clear puncture through the tread and the belt package. The tread is still intact and this incident bears no resemblance to the one that happened on Thursday.

"I honestly feel really good about our tyre performance. I'm very happy with the tyre we brought here. It's a good-performing tyre, a good-wearing tyre. It allows the drivers to adjust the car and improve the handling. I think they've got a few tools now to set the car up. And honestly, overall, I'm very pleased.

"Certainly when you have a puncture, an air loss like that, people are going to ask, 'What was that?' Certainly Tony is frustrated, and I think that's what you hear in his comments."



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