NASCAR’s initial reaction after Sunday’s Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway was that there is no need to mess with a good thing.

Cup Series teams found themselves in a tire battle in the Food City 500 due to rapid wear and cording. It resulted in a tire management race by both the drivers and the race teams, and NASCAR approving Goodyear to release an extra set in the second stage. In the end, the race produced a track-record 54 lead changes and a tied record of 16 different leaders.

“I know on the allotment, we actually removed a set of tires from the fall race coming into this race. That’s on us, not Goodyear,” NASCAR chief racing development officer John Probst said when addressing the media less than two hours after the checkered flag. “So we actually gave that back during the race, as you guys saw. We’ll go back and look at it all.

“There were times in the race, obviously, when there was anxiety around enough tires to finish it. But man, coming out the end and watching all that, I would not want to change much at all, honestly. Just maybe give them more tires .”

Sunday’s product was unexpected entering the weekend, as Goodyear brought the same left-side tire that’s been run at Bristol since the fall of 2022. The right-side tire was decided during a test last year and was run in the fall race with no issue.

The only difference was the resin sprayed in the corners’ lower lane. But for a reason many in the industry are trying to figure out after 500 laps, all the variables came together for a much different race than previously seen.

“ certainly a record-setting day for us,” Probst said. “I know the race teams are probably pretty wore out right now. I know our track crew and folks up in the booth are pretty wore out just from a pretty exciting day all around on the track. Certainly had some anxiety around some tire wear and things like that. All in all, I think it was probably one of the best short track races I’ve ever seen.”

Probst revealed NASCAR and Bristol Motor Speedway chose to put resin down because of the race package that was brought for the weekend. NASCAR now has the ability to use a wet weather tire, which would get cars back on track sooner after a rain delay. However, when NASCAR tested the wet weather tire at Bristol, it was found that a resin traction compound needed to be used over PJ1, which is heat-activated.

“One thing we learned with our testing on the wet weather on ovals was that the cars are the best way to dry the track quickly,” Probst said. “The fans want to see the cars on track, so when we came here and tested, we tried the PJ1, and when we wet the track down, it’s almost like oil on the track. The cars will get no traction.

“When we came back here this year with the wet weather package for Bristol, we elected to use the resin versus PJ1.”

The resin was applied at the start of the weekend at Bristol and then Sunday morning after the Craftsman Truck Series race. Probst, however, said even with all the data and friction tests done, nothing stood out as to why the resin reacted differently than the PJ1.

“When you look at the friction levels, they were growing, if you will, throughout the weekend,” Probst said. “We monitor it every day and after every time there are cars on track. Everything appeared pretty normal. We’ll obviously look at everything here. We’ll work with Goodyear and we’ll work with the teams. We worked a lot with the drivers.

“Frankly, they’ve been asking for more tire wear for a while now. We’ve been working on it. It could have been a combination of resin temperature and all of it today. … It’s too soon to put a definitive reason to any of it, but great race.”

Goodyear expects to do another tire test before the fall race at Bristol. NASCAR is eager to dig into the data from Sunday and gather feedback from all involved before making any decisions on changes for the September event.

“Again, great job by everyone,” Probst said. “I thought just a phenomenal race with great results for our fans.”