NASCAR and Steelworkers, a Family On and Off the Track

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is not just a family tradition, it’s been a family-owned company since 1948 and for 69 years, our brothers and sisters at Local Union 2L in Akron, Ohio, have been a part of that family. 

Goodyear, Local 2L’s employer, has an exclusive contract with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the sport's highest level of professional competition and the most popular NASCAR race. Steelworkers make the tires that have been designed and manufactured for this specific series. 

MAKING A TIRE

Tire building is not simply inflating rubber in a round mold, though. Our members cut each slice of rubber by hand to the tire’s specifications. Those strips of rubber are then hand layered, one on top of the other, on a rotating cylinder to make the mold. 

Builders, what a tire maker is referred to in the plant, spend time during this process ensuring there is no air in between the layers, and that everything lines up with precision laser alignment. The molds are mounted and inflated, then get inspected before the builder’s name is placed inside. They are put through several more hands-on inspections to make sure the tire meets the requirements by individual NASCAR drivers.

The brother or sister who built the tires on the winning car gets a certificate of congratulations for their outstanding craftsmanship. Many superstitious NASCAR drivers will often ask for tires built by a specific individual, something most builders take great pride in.

QUALITY AND SAFETY OVER QUANTITY

The company and the union have a shared motto when it comes to this work, “quality and safety over quantity.” 

Every day, local members begin their shifts with a safety huddle — they discuss the day’s work and any quality issues that could impact production. They take great care in making sure each tire shipped out of the plant is perfect because they know the drivers' lives depend on them. When a driver gets in that race car, whether it’s during a practice run or on a race day, our tires keep them safe as they hit speeds that can exceed 200 miles per hour. 

Since the strike of 2006, Goodyear management, local union leadership and hourly employees have focused on working as a team. Each department has a member that is assigned to work with management to improve the production process and to ensure they’re manufacturing the most highly regarded and technologically advanced tires in the world.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Wayne Ranick at 412-562-2444

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor Jim McKay

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222