Specialized tires manufactured for street car drag racing aren't restricted to a few sizes. All of the major tire manufacturers who offer tires for this marketplace have a full compliment of sizes available. When shopping for tires, it's best not to place much stock in the actual printed sizes. Just like slicks, you need to check dimensional charts. The 33X18.50-15LT tire shown in the photo is positively huge, and it's not the biggest tire available either! See the next photo:
The vast majority of DOT race tires are engineered to operate with tubes. The tube of choice is a natural-rubber race car tube such as this. Advantages of running tubes in tires such as this are manifold: Tubes tend to absorb some of the tire heat. They allow for better consistency. They're safer. You'll also find that tubes save a bunch of flat tire aggravation as well. Even fully treaded, sticky street tires tend to lose air pressure. Obviously, this dilemma isn't as common when tubes are used in the mix.
Mickey Thompson points out that some wheels will not accept a tube valve stem. The valve stem hole in the rim must measure 5/8-inch. If it becomes necessary to drill the hole to a larger diameter, make sure the new hole in the rim is deburred and free of sharp material. Before installing new tubes, pre-inflate them to the approximate diameter of the tire. This will aid in filling the entire cavity of the tire by stretching the tube. Mickey Thompson notes that this will also aid in valve stem placement on wide rims where the valve stem is offset on the rim, but not offset on the tube.
The tape measure supplies a measure of scale for the tire. As you can see, it's no welterweight. Manufacturers who offer dedicated drag race street tires can supply upwards of a dozen sizes for various car combinations. And don't scoff at the performances either. Some of the competitors have run in the 6.80 to high 6.90 range at speeds approaching 205 mph with this rubber.
|Compound ||Characteristics |
|M5 ||Medium compound for general use |
|L8 ||Medium soft compound for general use |
|L7 ||Motorcycle compound |
|M4 ||Medium soft compound for general use |
|L4 ||Soft compound for dragster, lightweight vehicles,and race cars without rear suspension |
|M1 ||Soft compound used on Jr. Dragsters |
|Vehicle Weight ||Tire Size ||Air Pressure |
|Under 2,500 pounds ||Under 30-inch diameter ||6 PSI & up |
|Under 2,500 pounds ||Over 30-inch diameter ||4 PSI & up |
|2,500 to 3,000 pounds ||Under 30-inch diameter ||8 PSI & up |
|2,500 to 3,000 pounds ||Over 30-inch diameter ||6 PSI & up |
|Over 3,000 pounds ||Under 30-inch diameter ||16 PSI & up |
|Over 3,000 pounds ||Over 30-inch diameter ||10 PSI & up |
Hoosier Racing Tire Corp
65465 U.S. 31
M&H Tire Company
77 Industrial Rowe
Mickey Thompson Tires
4670 Allen Road Stow