Top 5 Things To Consider Before You Choose Your Drag Racing Wheels

Photo of author

( — July 24, 2023) — Do you spend a lot of time at the track and want to change your traditional tires into drag wheels? As you start researching your options, you may feel overwhelmed by the number and different types of tires available. These are some key things you should consider before you purchase your drag racing tires.

Sizing and Traction

Your vehicle and its rims require specific tire sizes. In addition, larger brake packages can handle larger tires. However, you can enhance your tire performance by choosing smaller tires because the traction is better. Make sure that your vehicle can handle smaller tires, especially considering its weight.

You should also consider the amount of traction you hope to have, and some of this will depend on when and where you plan to drive. For example, if you drive in the winter, on the street, or in wet weather, consider adding tread or traction capabilities, but if you only drive on a track, slicks may provide greater traction.

Your Transmission and Suspension

Have you made updates on the rest of your vehicle? For example, did you install a 350 crate engine? Your upgrades can impact the effectiveness of your racing tires. One of the key upgrades you need is your transmission. Drag tires require specific clutch and torque requirements to perform at their peak. Your suspension also impacts your tires’ capabilities.

Street and Strip Time

The type of tire you choose will depend significantly on the amount of time you spend driving on the street versus driving on the drag strip. Because these tires are not made for extensive street driving, if you only spend a few weekends a month on the track, you may purchase slicks that you can put on your vehicle only on these weekends.

Radial Versus Bias Ply

Racing tires come in two forms: bias ply and radials. How you use your vehicle will determine which type you purchase. For example, radials have steel belts, while bias ply tires have nylon belts. Their angels against the center line also differ. For example, radials are at a 90-degree angle from the center line, while bias ply belts run at a 30-45-degree angle.

Radial tires are also safer in winter and wet weather. They stay cooler than bias-ply tires, and their stronger construction better prevents punctures. These tires also have longer tread life and less flexible sidewalls, making them better for cornering. Their structure gives them consistent pressure, which increases your gas mileage.

Bias-ply tires hug the road tighter because their softer sidewalls give you more surface area on the road. They also look classic and authentic for older vehicles from the 60s and 70s. Drag slicks also reduce the impact on your rear axle. These tires have maximum flexibility, but small obstacles can affect your ability to keep them straight.

Department of Transportation Approval

Did you know that only some drag tires have received approval for street driving from the Department of Transportation? Therefore, if you plan to drive your vehicle on city streets, you need tires that have DOT approval.

Just like you may look for a supercharger for sale, you can pursue drag tires that are on sale but don’t focus entirely on price as you choose the tires that will work best for you.