While there was no shortage of on-track excitement in the Summertime Showdown 250, the seventh round of the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) Tour, “tires” became the word on everyone’s lips.

The CARS Tour brought a new, softer right-side tire compound to the event at Orange County Speedway. However, a string of tire failures left teams fuming up and down pit road.

“I do think there were some issues with the tire, obviously,” said Chris Ragle, head of race operations and public relations for the CARS Tour. “What those issues are right now, I don’t know. It’s too early, right after the race.”

When asked if he expects a change before the tour’s next stop at Concord Speedway, he responded with an emphatic confirmation.

“Absolutely, absolutely,” Ragle said. “That’s what we’re gonna do here. But what those changes are, the process, I don’t know those things yet.”

However, the tires left many drivers running hot after a chaotic event at the Rougemont, North Carolina facility. One such driver was Brayton Haws, who suffered a crippling tire failure for the second CARS Tour event in a row.

“We had a good race car, we were running third or fourth,” Haws, who finished sixth in the Late Model Stock event, said after the event. “Our right-front went down again, just like Motor Mile, around lap 90-something.”

Tommy Lemons, Jr., who finished just ahead of Haws in fifth place, admitted frustration with also having tire issues.

“That felt like it cost us a pretty good shot at a good race,” Lemons said. “We came back and finished fifth, but I felt like we had a better car than where we ended up.

“It’s bad enough when something happens and it’s in our control,” Lemons added. “But when that’s out of our control, it makes it even worse.”

On the podium, Tyler Ankrum rallied from his own tire issues to finish in third place.

“A lot of it played out in our hand with the flat tire,” Ankrum admitted. “A lot of other guys, they ended up getting flat tires, too. That was kind of easy to capitalize on and gain a few spots there.”

In the Super Late Model race, which preceded the Late Model Stock event, one of the principles in a mid-race fight acknowledged tire issues to varying degrees during their event.

Clay Jones tangled with Richard Gould late in the race, with Jones’ car climbing over Gould’s before they came to rest between turns three and four and exchanged pleasantries. Jones was working his way through the field from a tire failure when the incident occured.

“Best run we’ve had all year, and we busted a right-front tire,” Jones said. “That was the theme tonight, everybody busting right-front tires. Definitely gotta do something about that.”

“It sucks, man,” Jones continued. “To have the best run you’ve had all year, you know, and get took out by a blown tire and something stupid like that happen. But we’ll get it fixed. I don’t know if we’ll run Concord, especially if we run these tires. We’ll get it together and see where we go next.”

Deac McCaskill, who finished second in the Late Model Stock field, appeared to be in the minority when discussing his tires.

“A lot of people were having tire problems,” McCaskill said after the race. “Me and Josh [Berry, the LMSC winner] ran really hard, and our tires looked great. I don’t really think it’s a tire issue. There’s something else going on.”

“I have to say thanks to CARS and American Racer for trying to fix this tire and improve the racing.” McCaskill continued. “We ran wide-open for 125 laps and had plenty left at the end.”