A finite element modeling methodology capable of predicting the transient behavior inside of a rolling car tire is presented. Although the approach has been specifically developed using the explicit finite element code LS‐DYNA, it will be suitable for other commercial codes. Attention is given to the role played in the model development by the computational resource, the mesh requirements, the constitutive material relationships, and the contact and friction phenomena. Two different radial tire models are described based on analysis of an experimental car tire from Dunlop Tyres Ltd., UK. The first model was developed for static loading and its results are favorably compared with data determined by full‐scale physical testing. The methodology is developed further in the second model so that a simulation can cope with the rolling situation. Measured stresses at the contact patch are used to show that the rolling tire model predicts the dynamic response with a reasonable degree of accuracy.