We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Marbles in Auto Racing?

Michael Pollick
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Sports n' Hobbies, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

During many televised auto races, commentators occasionally say a particular driver has gone into the marbles. This means a driver has steered into a slick patch of track around the outer edges, particularly in the corners. The marbles themselves are actually pill-shaped pieces of rubber shaved off the cars' tires as they race. Track maintenance crews use street sweepers to remove these pieces of rubber between races, but little can be done to prevent their formation during a race.

The tires used for both NASCAR and IROC-style racing are completely different from the standard road tires on passenger cars. In order to provide maximum grip between the tires and the track, manufacturers create wide, grooveless racing tires called slicks. Besides providing more contact area, these slick tires also use a softer form of rubber, which literally melts from the heat of the track and the friction of driving. The surface of a race track can be very abrasive, but this provides additional grip for the drivers.

One problem drivers face with these soft rubber tires and the abrasive track surface is the formation of marbles. If there are 30 cars in a race, for example, this translates to 120 tires losing bits of rubber. Over the course of a 500-mile race, the build-up of rubber marbles and other debris from the tires can become significant. Understeering into a marbled corner can mean a sudden loss of traction or even a crash into the retaining wall.

The formation of marbles is considered a necessary evil in the sport of motor racing. Drivers prefer the control and grip provided by the softer rubber tires, but the abrasions caused by an asphalt track inevitably create a pilling action. Most experienced drivers recognize the dangers of driving in the marbles during a race, so they instinctively steer away from the outer edges whenever possible. A significant number of accidents are caused by inexperienced drivers losing control in these areas and sliding across the track.

Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to Sports n' Hobbies, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.
Discussion Comments
Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to Sports n' Hobbies, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a...
Learn more
Sports n' Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Sports n' Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.