The tires that you run on your drag racing car can make or break your quarter mile times. After all, it doesn't matter how much horsepower your engine has if your tires can't grip well enough to put the power down to the pavement. With inadequate tires, increasing your horsepower will just lead to your wheels spinning at the start line as your car struggles to find traction.
However, there's no universal tire that works best for all drag racers. Choosing the perfect tire depends entirely on how you use your car on a daily basis as well as how often you take it to the track.
Performance All-Season Tires
Performance-tuned all-season tires are perfect if you use your drag racing car as a daily driver. They use a rubber compound that works in all temperature ranges so you don't have to swap out your tires when the cold season starts. They're also tuned to deliver reliable handling in the rain, light snow, and other unpredictable conditions you'll inevitably be faced with in everyday driving.
Nevertheless, performance all-season tires still deliver good traction for drag racing sprints. Unlike generic all-season tires, performance variants use grippier compounds and tread patterns designed to maximize grip. They're the best compromise between everyday drivability and all-out quarter mile performance.
Performance Summer Tires
Performance-tuned summer tires take the grip levels one step further beyond performance all-seasons. They use even softer rubber compounds to maximize grip on warm pavement, like you'll find at the drag strip throughout racing season. Since they don't have to contend with snow and winter weather, performance summer tires often use more aggressive tread patterns as well.
Obviously, the downside is that you can't run summer tires all year if you live in a cooler climate. The soft rubber compound starts to become hard and brittle in temperatures below 45 degrees. As a result, traction will be severely compromised even in casual driving scenarios, and your treads will be prone to cracking.
Summer tires are the perfect choice if you use your drag racing car as a daily driver in the summer months then park it in the garage when cold weather strikes. They're also great if you have a second set of wheels — one for daily driving, one for racing. That way you can easily swap on your all-season tires and wheels when the temperature drops, then swap your summer tires and wheels back on when it's time for some warm, spirited driving or drag racing.
Contact a local tire dealer to learn more.