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Racing Tires 101: Different Tires for Different Tracks

Racing Tires 101

Racing should be the thrill of a lifetime, and to guarantee that you’ll have a good time, you need to trust that your vehicle is up to the task. From a racing-approved transmission to drag racing wheels, you’ll have to get comfortable with the unique components you’ll need to race your car. While it might seem more fun to research and install a new engine, you shouldn’t neglect your tires. To find out more about what you’ll need and when, here’s the 101 on different racing tires needed for different tracks.

Types of Race Tracks

If you’re just getting into racing, you might want to understand the different types of tracks and terrains available to you. Whether you’re interested in drag racing or competitive motorsports, it’s helpful to get a basic understanding of various types of tracks. The most common shapes that tracks come in are:

  • Dragstrip
  • Dirt oval
  • Figure eight
  • Paved oval
  • Street circuit

You’ll be able to use your powerhouse Chevy LS3 engine on any track, but when it comes to tires, you also need to consider the type of terrain you’ll be driving on and the weather conditions. With shorter races, you won’t have to worry about the weather as much, but if you’re driving during a rainy time of year, then you’ll have to take that into account. 

The types of terrain you might encounter include:

  • Gravel
  • Pavement
  • Tarmac
  • Dirt

Choosing a track for racing is a critical step in your motorsports journey because even tracks made with the same material can be slightly different from one another. Ask for recommendations or regulations from the owners or authorities before you invest in tires.

Types of Racing Tires

Now that you see the complexity of racing tracks and terrains, you can understand why you will need different types of tires in different situations. As you probably know from watching professional motorsports, most racing tires are slick, meaning that they have no tread. Without tread, these types of racing tires have the best grip and will allow you to drive incredibly fast. However, racing tires are not allowed on city streets for the most part, and they are also not appropriate for rough or wet terrain. 

Here’s a breakdown of the types of racing tires you can find: 

  • Slick racing tires
  • Drag slick racing tires
  • Street-legal racing tires
  • Off-road tires
  • Wet-road tires
  • Dry-road tires

When choosing your tires for racing, you need to combine your knowledge of the track, terrain, and weather conditions. If your track has a lot of tight corners, you might need to go with a softer compound so that you have better control of the vehicle. Another type of track might feature dirt and gravel, which means you’ll need racing tires with at least some tread, so you don’t slip everywhere.

There are many variables involved when choosing racing tires but try not to get overwhelmed. Take your decision one step at a time. Start with what type of track you’ll be on and then consider the conditions and style of driving you prefer, faster with less durability or slower with more durability.

Find high-quality racing tires from Goodyear, Mickey Thompson, and more. Check out all your options as well as drag race steering components today to get ready for your next race.

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