Tire management holds race results in the balance

Even the fastest cars can be made useless if tire performance is poor or the pit crews don't manage the tires properly.

Updated: June 21, 2007, 9:42 AM ET
By Bill Borden | Special to ESPN.com

When you hear the television commentators discuss "tire management" during a NASCAR Nextel Cup race broadcast, they are talking about the driver not abusing his tires by sliding through the corners or overbraking going into the corners and elsewhere. This would create too much heat that will impact the tire's performance.

The driver is the last link in a long chain of tire management, which begins long before the green flag is dropped for the race.

It actually starts many months ...

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