Manufacturers design drag tires or drag slicks with the purpose of maximizing traction and grip on the track. The primary purpose of drag tires is to maintain superior grip, and this is often at the expense of comfort and longevity.
The tires have minimal to no tread to ensure maximum contact with the road surface. They are also made of soft rubber compounds to enhance their grip at higher temperatures. Finally, the tires are wider, helping to distribute the vehicle’s weight and enhancing stability and grip.
Finding the right drag tires for your needs depends on several factors, including your racing goals. Read on to learn how to sort through the various tires and manufacturers.
Choosing the Best Drag Tires
Before you buy any tires for your racing vehicle, you need to consider the car, its weight, and even its suspension. How powerful is your vehicle — does it have an Edelbrock AVS2 800? Also, how much does it weigh? Power influences tire purchases because you want to find tires that can handle the torque without giving way to slipping.
Weight is also important because it can affect traction and control on the track. For heavier vehicles, look for wider tires that provide a wider contact patch.
Other things to consider before buying tires are vehicle modifications to the suspension or chassis. Modifications can affect tire compatibility and size requirements. Always assess your vehicle for wheel size and clearance specifications before investing in drag tires.
Once you understand your vehicle, consider the various tire types and your needs. For example, drag slicks offer the most grip but wear down quickly and aren’t street-legal. Drag radials may be street-legal with good traction and tread patterns but don’t provide as much grip. Finally, DOT-approved drag tires are street legal with some grip, but not as much as dedicated tires.
Finally, consider the track surface and your racing class. Asphalt and concrete surfaces are common in the drag community, but each requires a different type of tire. Also, depending on your racing class and regulations, not all tires are compatible with every race.
Considering Other Necessities
Drag tires aren’t cheap, especially slicks. While you want to stay on budget, you also want to stay safe. Balancing budget and safety is essential to any drag racing tire purchase. Whether your racing vehicle uses a Sniper 2 or some other air and fuel delivery system, you must ensure the tires you purchase can match the power and performance of your vehicle.
You may want to consult experienced drag racers or performance shops to learn more about brands and different tires. Experts can often offer insight into aspects of the tires you may overlook, allowing you to buy tires that improve performance.
If you are ready to purchase some racing tires for your vehicle, don’t overlook industry expertise. Consult a local performance shop to learn more about the requirements and needs of your car and understand how different tires may affect your racing performance. Drag tires can truly make a significant difference on the track.