You may wonder if you can get your hands on a set of NASCAR tires to keep as a souvenir from your favorite track. NASCAR goes through thousands of tires and other car parts per season, and since tires wear quickly, they cannot reuse them. So, it’s reasonable to ask if you can buy used NASCAR tires.
You can buy used NASCAR tires, and you can often do so at the tracks for as little as $20. You can also buy used NASCAR tires online from private sellers. While NASCAR goes through 30,000+ tires per season, NASCAR ends up recycling and repurposing most of their tires.
Below, we will outline how much NASCAR tires cost and whether NASCAR teams pay for their tires. We will also cover what NASCAR does with most of their used tires, and just how low in supply used NASCAR tires are. We will also cover how much they will cost you to buy and where you can buy them.
How Much Do NASCAR Tires Cost?
NASCAR tires cost around $500 each. This means a race will cost $16,000 for eight sets of tires, but for some tracks where tire wear is an issue and teams need up to 12 sets, it can cost about $24,000 for just one race. You can often buy used NASCAR tires for less than $100 each.
When you break things down into perspective, at the low end, it can cost up to $436,000 per season (36 points-paying, and up to three non-points-paying races). On the high end, that number can veer close to $800,000 per season.
This is one of many reasons big-time sponsorship is so important to NASCAR teams. And back in the 2000s and early 2010s, it is one reason you saw lower-funded NASCAR teams fail to finish races.
Do NASCAR Teams Pay For Tires?
NASCAR teams do pay for tires, but they do not buy them. Instead, the tires are leased through Goodyear, who has been NASCAR’s single supplier for most of its existence. This means they can still pay $20,000 per race, but Goodyear can take the tires back if they want to.
This differs from how they get their fuel, as Sunoco does not charge NASCAR teams to use their Green E15 fuel. However, NASCAR teams do pay for fuel used when they are hauling their cars to the next track.
Leasing vs Buying
Since the tires are leased, NASCAR teams do not usually keep them following the race. After the event, teams take off the used tires and they throw a fresh set of them onto the car, load it into the hauler, and they send the old ones to NASCAR.
This was originally done back in 2006 to help NASCAR limit private testing. Basically, teams with more money could use more tires, and NASCAR implemented a leasing system through Goodyear to monitor and track the tires used by each team. However, there are now other testing guidelines in place that mean not all tires need to go back to Goodyear, although they still can.
NASCAR has a trailer that collects each tire used in the race. The tires are then packed up and inspected at the Research & Development Center in Concord before they move to the next leg of their life span. NASCAR tires are usually recycled by Liberty Tire Recycling.
KEY POINTS• A set of NASCAR tires can cost about $2,000
• A race can set a team back more than $20,000 in tires alone
• Teams do pay for the tires, but they lease them from Goodyear
How Many Tires Does NASCAR Go Through In A Year?
NASCAR goes through somewhere between 30,000 to 50,000 tires in a year in the Cup Series alone. NASCAR goes through more than 300,000 tires per year when you add up the NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, Truck, Pintys, Mexico, Euro, Whelen Modified, and ARCA series.
With 40 cars per race, 4 tires per car, about 8 sets per car per race, and 36 points races per season, the math works out as 40 x 4 x 8 x 36 = 46,080. Obviously this number is hinging on every car using every tire of an allocated 8 sets, which is a number that varies each race. So, the number is likely somewhere close to this figure, and probably in the range of 30,000-50,000.
There is also the NASCAR All-Star race and NASCAR Open, plus the Clash at the Coliseum, and the two Duels, meaning each NASCAR team can run up to 39 events per year. These events also require teams to go through at least another two sets of tires so that number, overall, would be closer to 50,000.
But you also cannot forget about the roughly 200 tires Goodyear leases to NASCAR teams for testing purposes (the exact number may vary by season). There are 36 chartered NASCAR cars and a varying number of non-chartered cars. So, take 200 tires multiplied by 36 chartered cars, and this gives you an additional 7,200 tires for testing purposes.
KEY FACT: Including all of the season’s races and testing sessions, the NASCAR Cup Series likely goes through more than 50,000 tires per year
What Does NASCAR Do With Old Tires?
NASCAR recycles most old and used tires through Liberty Tire Recycling. They are a company that specializes in recycling rubber tires, and across all of NASCAR’s sanctioned events, they recycle more than 300,000 tires per year, turning them into a wide range of products.
As you may guess, going through over 300,000 tires per season in all of NASCAR’s major divisions plus their lower Roots divisions may leave a lot of burned rubber. But luckily, NASCAR has a solution that involves a company called Liberty Tire Recycling, headquartered in North Carolina.
There, the people at Liberty Tire will modify the tires and repurpose or recycle them for a specific end product. One such end product involves fuel, which they often blend with other sources like coal and even wood. This creates a blended, renewable fuel source for several industrial outlets like paper mills.
Many Different Uses
You may have also seen rubberized mulch outside of a mall, school, or residential area. It may seem crazy, but that mulch may have come straight from a NASCAR track. Many NASCAR tires contain metals, but when repurposing the product for mulch, Liberty Tire removes the metal, grinds the rubber, and gives it color that turns the product into something resembling mulch.
KEY POINTS• The NASCAR Cup Series likely goes through around 50,000 tires per season
• Teams are allocated different numbers of tires per race, so it can vary by year
• Old NASCAR tires are recycled by Liberty Tire Recycling
Can You Buy Race-Used NASCAR Tires?
You can buy race-used NASCAR tires, often at the track at specific points, including the Goodyear trailer. Other places you might be able to get race-used NASCAR tires include at team or organization shops, or at museums. You may also be able to find private sellers on auction websites.
NASCAR does not exclusively ship its tires to Liberty Tire in Concord. So, if you are a serious NASCAR fan looking to collect race-used memorabilia, you can buy used NASCAR tires. Keep in mind that these tires are rare, and they are difficult to find, but if you conduct enough digging online, you will find a few of them.
These tires should also be looked at as a collector’s item only, and it is unwise to put them onto a race car since you can tell they are worn by just looking at them! But if you would like an authentic piece of history that graced the asphalt (or dirt) at a NASCAR Cup race, there is no better item than a NASCAR tire. But because of their rarity, they will run at high prices.
How Much Do Race-Used NASCAR Tires Cost?
The cost of race-used NASCAR tires vary, sometimes for as little as $20 if you find the right seller, but they do not always come cheap. The best deals are likely to come from being at the right place at the right time. This usually means you’re at the track talking to the right person.
From non-track sellers (or the Goodyear trailer for example), you can expect to spend as little as $90 for a tire, but these tires are also normally older. If you are looking for a more recent race-used NASCAR tire, or one from a specific driver, it will likely cost you between $200 and, in some cases, over $400. Obviously, there are a lot of factors that will affect the exact price.
Can You Buy Other NASCAR Parts?
You can buy other NASCAR parts besides just used tires. However, it is rare to find items such as a fully assembled engine used in the previous Daytona 500, for example. It is also important to know that NASCAR repurposes most of its used parts, and many of them will end up functioning as something other than a car part.
As with used NASCAR tires, other NASCAR parts are not always in high supply. But when NASCAR changes specifications, you will often see a larger influx of supply since the old parts are no longer feasible to use in NASCAR-sanctioned events. This is often the time to buy, because you can expect to get a better deal than you would if you wait until the supply dwindles.
Various Places To Buy
You can find used NASCAR parts online, or you can go to used-parts houses, and in rare cases, race shop auctions. Just name the part from the most recent generations of NASCAR, often the Generation Four-onward, and you can find most if not all parts from those cars, although prices will vary a lot.
KEY POINTS• You can often buy used NASCAR tires at the track or online
• Prices vary from a few bucks to hundreds of dollars
• You can also often find various other race-used NASCAR parts too
You can buy used NASCAR tires, but they are rare, and they are often not cheap. This is because most NASCAR tires end up in a recycling center. The Cup Series goes through about 50,000 tires per year, and some of these tires may be sold at the track, while others may be bought online.
I created and have been writing on this site since 2019, collaborating with drivers, coaches, engineers and manufacturers to provide you with the most reliable information about motorsport. Find out more about me here.