Rumors are the top five teams are chewing through tires at an alarming rate because of the stifling heat. It’s 101 degrees right now, four degrees higher than yesterday, and the breezes have dropped off to near nothing.
You can’t just run down to the Pep Boys store to buy a a set of these limited edition, 90-PSI rubber wonders. You only have what you bring, and that has led to some interesting negotiations.
A few teams didn’t make it through scrutineering and haven’t been approved for the track, so they’re sitting on a stockpile of increasingly valuable tires. The stronger crews are “buddying up” to their less-successful brethren in hopes of scoring a set or two of tires.
The tires, about the size of a kid’s BMX bike tire, are pricey at $100 each or more. School/state bureaucracies frown on selling state property for cash, and are even more reluctant to accept IOUs for payment. We’re pretty sure next week some teams will go hat-in-hand to their purchasing people to say “uh, could you please send a multi-hundred dollar check to the State University of XYZ? No, we don’t have a receipt and we eventually threw away the tires we “bought.”
Good luck with that.