There’s some problems with dirt late model tire tests
I wouldn’t put all the blame on the series’. More, just the cards they are dealt. It’s a mess of a situation to control.
There’s a lot of variables, things that are out of the drivers’ control. Like what if the chemicals on the track cause the bad tire test?
What if a motor blows, line pops or radiator gets smashed and you run over the oil or coolant? What if you accidentally drip some brake cleaner on the tire? What if somebody else cheats and you’re simply guilt of running through the same line? What if the sample collector had chemicals on their hands?
I could go on to list 5 more examples. Dirt late model tire testing problems are literally endless.
Tire doping isn’t good for the sport. An easy solution is to open the rulebook and allow it. However, that would only force everyone to treat their tires. Some of us don’t want to be within 1000 feet of these cancer prone chemicals. This includes the fans, when these treated tires burn away due to a fender rub, you’re inhaling some really bad shit.
At the same time, Hoosier has a note against tire treatment. If you treat tires, a number of things can go wrong. In the case you do, Hoosier has a disclaimer.
“Chemical Treatment of Tires: Hoosier Racing Tires strictly forbids any chemical alteration of the tire carcass and/or tread compound such as tire “soaking˝ or use of tread “softener.˝ Hoosier Racing Tire strictly forbids the physical defacement (removal, altering or covering), of tire sidewall markings in any manner. Failure to comply with this warning could result in premature or catastrophic tire failure and may result in SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH,” the disclaimer from Hooiser Racing Tire reads.
So, that open rulebook option is nullified in the name of safety, health and law. We are back to the subject of how to police it. But, how?
Zack Dohm is the most recent example of a driver testing positive for altered dirt late model tires. Yet, like many before him, he claims his innocence.
What would you change about dirt late model tire testing?
“I’m not sure how to fix the tire testing deal, for starters they could take more then samples from 1 guy to eliminate the possibility of me running through something. Maybe take soil samples after the race in question,” Zack Dohm states to RacingNews.co.
“I used to be all for tire testing because I didn’t think something like this was possible, to know your completely innocent and win a big race and not get a dime, now that I’m living this nightmare I would rather them just fix the process somehow to where nobody else has to go through it again, knowing they are innocent.”
“Maybe open it up and let them do it I don’t know I don’t have mechanical experience with tire Oreo other than the go kart days when I was 12.”
What are you planning to do in your current situation?
Zach Dohm stated that he might take legal action to clear his name. But, before that point, what are his next steps?
I’m sending my own samples out today
“I’m sending my own samples out today, and if they are clean I will fight it,” Dohm states to RacingNews.co.
He continued, “If they somehow show the same results, the only option I can think of is someone sprayed my tire groover with brake clean. The chemical they found, they say it’s most common in brake clean.”
My main concern now is proving my innocence
“I really don’t know what’s next. I do know I will probably never see that $15,000 which is a shame cause that was my biggest win and I beat the most stout field of competition that I have ever beat but oh well my main concern now is proving my innocence and hopefully figuring out how this happened and how it can be prevented in the future.”
How were the samples collected?
“They cut 2 samples close to each other, but Ray told me when they told him they found stuff on them he told them to go ahead and check again. Made it sound like he was giving me the benefit of the doubt but really could have just been destroying my only chance to prove my own innocence, who knows which is true.”
They cut two samples from the tires. Then, they left Zack Dohm Racing with the rest of the tires. So, the team does have the same rubber, to run their own personal tests.
“We keep the tires, they just had us get 2 samples out of the tire at the track after the race, we brought them home and unmounted them. I know they are the exact same tires, they even have the 2 random grooves taken out for testing and same serial number.”
“If my test does say they are good, I’ll never get a dollar cause they will say, ‘yea but u already took them home and unmounted them there’s no way that’s the same tire.’ ”
Here’s something to think about…
I raced the STARS of Karting series in 2004-2006. They took an extremist approach to preventing tire soaking.
When you showed up to race, teams did so without tires. Karters had to buy tires at the track. Before going on track, you were placed in a fenced in area to check out your purchased tires. Then, you had to mount them to the rims, within the fence (by hand). You’d mount them up in front of everyone and head to the grid.
After the race, you’d unmount the entire wheel and tire, in the same fenced in area and check them back into the guarded shipping container. We were sent back to the pits, without tires. A few hours later, you’d restart the whole process again for the next race. They did all this for racers with 400+ competitors.
I love that solution for big national races. However, that doesn’t work on any level of the local scene. The tracks can’t afford to hire additional staff members to police the fenced area or check in/out tires. The local racers also can’t afford to buy new tires every night.
That would solve the problem. Unfortunately, it’s only an option for a series that can afford to do it and for the national races that can afford 4 new stickers for each event.
If they’re going to test tires, it certainly has to be more than just one driver. A track sample wouldn’t hurt either. A test of the racing surface, in the groove, would prevent a bulk of the skepticism surrounding the results of dirt late model tire tests.