Issues with left rear tires plague NASCAR Cup final practice

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS - MAY 14: Josh Bilicki, driver of the #77 UACC/Support Ukraine Chevrolet, and Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Wabash Ford, drive during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway on May 14, 2022 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Lower-than-recommended tire pressures and aggressive camber combined to cause issues with left rear tires during both sessions of final NASCAR Cup Series practice on Saturday afternoon.

Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin and Chris Buescher all had flat left rears during the “A” group session at Kansas Speedway.

Blaney and Hamlin were able to keep their cars away from the wall. Buescher wasn’t as fortunate. His No. 17 Roush Fenway Keselowski Ford suffered extensive damage from a hard hit against the outside SAFER barrier at the 1.5-mile track.

“I lost the left rear going down the frontstretch,” said Buescher, whose team rolled out a backup car. “I guess, on corner entry, I started feeling a vibration, tried to slow down and didn’t get it knocked down in time.

“…It’s going to be a long night.”

Both Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Joey Logano pounded the outside wall during the “B” group session. Stenhouse, who was running near the fence, backed into the outside wall. Logano spun and pancaked the driver’s side of his No. 22 Ford.

“As soon as I turned down off into the corner, I could feel the shaking, and I knew it was bad,” said Logano, who will start from the rear in a backup car on Sunday. “We’ll be all right. We’ll fight through it. I think we were pretty decent in lap times before that, I believe, on long hauls, at least.

“If we keep the tires on it, I guess we’ll be all right.”

Tire maker Goodyear recommended 22 pounds of pressure in the left rears. Teams typically opt for lower pressures in an attempt to improve mechanical grip.