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Nitto NT05 Drag Radical Vs. ET Street Radical II Tires - Drag Radial Shootout!

Super Chevy Compares Nitto's New NT05 Drag Radial Against Mickey Thompson's ET Street Radial II.

By , Photography by , Justin Cesler

For Tommy's first pass, he set the Camaro's two-step to 3,200 rpm and dumped the clutch. Traction from the Mickey Thompsons bogged the engine, but the F-body still ran an 11.187 at 128.26 (1.85 short time). For the next pass, Justin raised the launch rpm to 3,500 and this seemed just about perfect. The car tore out of the hole (1.78 60-ft) and a couple of 6,800 rpm powershifts later, the clocks read 11.139 at 128.16. After a cool down, Tommy raised the launch rpm to 4,500 rpm, but it caused a major spinning problem out of the hole (1.92 short time) and a subsequent slowing at the big end-11.320 at 128.05. All runs were made with 22 psi in the tires, which worked great.

When we switched to the Nittos, we had a bit of a learning curve and the first pass was a tire-spinning mess. We started with 20 psi in the tires and a medium length burnout and got an 11.627 at 127.90 (3,800 rpm launch). Justin dropped the tire pressure for the next pass to 17 psi and the result was nearly identical.

After a brief cool-down, we dropped the air pressure to 15 psi and the launch rpm to 3,500. Tommy also did a longer burnout. We were rewarded with an 11.139 at 128.07, equaling the best elapsed time of the Mickey Thompsons, though the short time was still off, at 1.844.

From watching the car on the starting line, we determined that the sidewall on the Nitto NT05s was stiffer than that of the Mickey Street Radial II tires. As an experiment, Justin loosened the 12-way adjustable QA1 coilover front shocks and took one more psi from the NT05s. This turned out to be the magic formula. With a 3,500 rpm launch, Tommy ripped off an 11.104 at 128.40 (1.94 short time) and an 11.068 at 128.19 (1.779 60-ft). Lowering the starting line rpm to 3,400 (still shifting at 6,800), paid off with another 11.068, this time at 127.80, but with a best-of-the-day 1.770 60-ft).

At this point, Justin and Tommy put the ET Street Radial IIs back on the Camaro. The SS went 11.171 at 127.79 (1.84 60-ft) and 11.110 at 128.29 (1.804)-its best M/T pass-but it could not equal the times achieved on the Nittos.

In the end, the Nittos held the slightest of edges in both 60-ft time (1.77 vs. 1.786) and elapsed time (11.068 vs. 11.110). This gives them bragging rights for this story, but the real battle will be found in actual competition. This will be a war worth following in 2010 and beyond.

SOURCES
Nitto Tire
6021 Katella Avenue
Suite 250
Cypress
CA  90630
877-565-8448
www.nittotire.com
Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels
4600 Prosper Drive
Stow
OH  44224
330-928-9092
www.mickeythompsontires.com
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2 comments
fyrbyrd80
fyrbyrd80

Did I miss something, or did you only adjust tire pressure on the Nittos? Seems to me that if you're going to do this kind of comparison, it would only be fair to make adjustments on the MT's as well.

Mac Drift
Mac Drift

I'm pretty sure the Driver "Tommy" has those MTs adjusted correctly. Seeing as it is the tire he has been running for a while. Running consistant low 11s (1.7s) with a T56, imma lean toward the sign he has seat time.

I just purchased a set of 305/45/18s for my C6 vette arriving tomorrow. I'm glad I read this article though, I was debating hard between the two and after I bought them I was thinking "I shoulda went with MT DRs."

Super Chevy