Let’s face it; you get a next-level thrill from drag racing. Of course, drag racing is not everybody’s cup of tea. It requires a lot of driving skills, mental alertness, and whatnot. Of course, you do need a great pair of tires too.
Without good tires, you will still make it to the finish line. But, you can never expect a podium position. On the other hand, a powerful muscle car with nice tires can be a lethal combination that can send shivers down the competitor’s spine.
Unfortunately, not all street tires can cut the deal. Some of the lackluster tires can really slow you down during cornering, which can eventually cost you the winning moment. Worse yet, they may fail to provide enough traction to deal with hard acceleration.
So, you should really know what you are getting into. Of course, a good race driver may not be a good tire specialist. In the end, you could end up paying more for a poor-quality tire. To save you all the headaches involved with poor decision-making, let’s introduce you to the 10 best street tires for drag racing.
Top 10 Street Tires for Drag Racing
1. Hoosier D.O.T. Drag Radial 2
The Hoosier D.O.T. Drag Radial 2 Tire has no match in its space. It’s truly built for competitive performance. Believe it or not, the tire is not lagging in any area of use, which explains why we have high regard for this drag racing tire.
Hoosier D.O.T. Drag Radial 2 Tire Highlights:
As advertised, the tire provides best-in-class race traction. The cornering grip is a cut above the scope too. So, you won’t have to slow down around the corners. Seriously, you can race professionally with this drag racing tire.
It doesn’t come cheap, though. That said, it’s not a regular tire. Therefore, the extra cost shouldn’t pinch you. The quality is really praiseworthy, by all means. Any vehicle owner out there will easily get many years of use out of this track-focused tire.
- Built for long-lasting driving performance
- No damage will occur from rough use
- Extremely well-packaged during delivery
- Has received good reviews from past purchasers
- Best of the best in its price segment
- Not available at a low price
2. Mickey Thompson ET Street S/S Racing Radial Tire
This is a serious street tire that’s highly suitable for drag racing. Believe it or not, it’s good enough to give you an unfair advantage in the race. It’s sticky as hell. At the same time, the tire looks really cool.
Mickey Thompson ET Street S/S Racing Radial Tire Highlights:
The makers have used the tried and tested R2 compound in this tire to provide solid traction at the strip with hardly any burnout. Furthermore, the tread pattern utilized in the tire boosts hydroplaning resistance.
The best part is that the company normally ships out recently manufactured tires and not something from the old stock. This means that the tire will show up at your doorsteps in pristine condition.
- Slightly modified tread pattern for better street handling
- Hooks great both on the streets and tracks
- Solid steel belted tubeless construction
- Almost better than most stock tires
- Available in many popular sizes (18-sizes)
- Doesn’t come with any major flaw
3. Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R Tire
This street tire provides best-in-class traction for racing. It’s also priced along the lines of other mid-priced tires. That said, the quality is on the higher side. This should tell you that you will not only get your money’s worth but far more from this tire.
Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R Highlights:
Engineered with race-inspiring technology, the Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R tire provides an excellent steering feel and stability at all times. Furthermore, its unique tread construction offers maximum grip on both the streets and the race tracks.
The best part is that this tire doesn’t pick up a lot of sand and pebbles like other similar tires. Not to mention that the tire has good wear characteristics. This race-driven tire will wear not only evenly but also slowly.
- Provides agile steering response
- Controllable at high speeds
- Usable even in light rains
- Performs well in the corners
- Sold in all popular sizes
- Price is not too steep
- Not for casual drivers
4. Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 Street Tire
This is another well-made tire that can put other tires from leading brands to shame. It’s designed with special compounds to offer better temperature stability than usual. Basically, this tire needs a high temperature to deliver the best performance. So, you will have to perform a quick burnout to unleash its full potential.
Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 Highlights:
Goodyear has utilized Combination Grip Technology in this tire, which delivers excellent grip, even on slippery surfaces. The tire stays under control during sharp turns as well. You will really fall in love with the handling ability of the tire. Seriously, you will feel in better control of your vehicle.
The tire is truly good enough to make your everyday driving far better than before. At 95.0, the load index of this Goodyear tire is excellent. For those who don’t know, ‘95’ depicts a maximum load-bearing capacity of 1521 pounds. Given the high load capacity, you are at low risk of experiencing a tire blowout.
- Controllable even at high speeds
- Phenomenal traction at high temperature
- Works great on wet surfaces too
- Solid load index of 95.0 (1521 pounds)
- Price is pretty right as well
- Needs high temperature for best performance
5. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R
Tire shoppers who can afford to stretch their budget should definitely go for this tire. Unlike other cheaper tires, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R doesn’t come with a world of concerns. It really is a class apart in every imaginable way.
The tire has many special features to set it apart from the crowd. For instance, it utilizes the Bi-Compound Technology in the outer tread. Plus, the tire has a rigid elastomer in the inner tread, which enables it to provide long-lasting mileage and better gripping strength on all surfaces.
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R Highlights:
This tire boasts of a Track Longevity Technology 2.0 along with a reinforced shoulder construction, which allows it to be faster on the track. This tire is really built for the best performance.
Believe it or not, you will be able to drive fast on both wet and dry tracks like never before. It also has more than 20% deeper tread pattern design, which results in less debris penetration, and, ultimately, better lifespan.
- Better performance in comparison to other tires
- Faster on wet and dry tracks too
- Doesn’t impact the gas mileage horribly
- One of the longest wearing tires out there
- Totally worth the extra expense
- Not for those on a budget
6. Toyo Proxes R888 Street Tire
This tire lives up to its advertised claim of being whatever it is. This is to say that you can have substantial hopes from this tire. Just so that you know, it lasts long too. Even though the tire is made in Japan, you can expect to get tens and thousands of miles from it.
Toyo Proxes R888 Highlights:
This performance-oriented tire provides a great grip on the ground. For those who don’t know, the makers have used enhanced R Compound tread on this tire to maximize its grip strength. Better still, they have incorporated a unidirectional V-shaped tread pattern for better handling.
Thanks to the continuous center contact, the steering response and directional stability are right on the money too. The tire definitely delivers unbeatable performance on the track. It can actually keep up to pro-level driving. Not to mention that it also has a solid competition tire look to it.
- Good for street driving and races
- Allows for a nice take-off
- Unbelievably good dry traction
- The solid load capacity of 1874 lbs
- Provides nice ground connection
- Has a clean white lettering look
- Made outside of the United States
- Not the quietest tires out there
7. Nitto NT05R Drag Radial Tire
This tire is a beast of a tire that can keep up with street driving while delivering unmatched performance on the track. Basically, this multi-purpose tire can live up to your expectations beautifully. It doesn’t come cheap, though.
The good news is that the higher price equates to higher quality, in this case. Keep in mind that the Nitto NTO5R tire also lasts longer than the competition. So, the money spent on this tire will actually go a long way.
Nitto NT05R Drag Radial Tire Highlights:
Built with high performance in mind, the tire features an advanced asymmetric contour tread pattern, which optimizes the life of the tire. This thing is also less noisy than other similar tires sold these days. The best part is that it consumes less gas compared to equivalent tires.
The Nitto NTO5R tire performs well in the cold too. Unlike the competition, it works fine even without warming up. Not to discount the fact that the tire’s traction is literally the best for drag racing. The tire comes with a prominent sidewall that literally provides best-in-class traction.
- Performs well without a burnout
- Sticks like glue on the race track
- Ensures controllable acceleration
- Large center rib for the extra bite
- Good performance even in the cold
- Has a UTQG treadwear rating
- Reduced performance in the rain
8. M&H ROD-20 M&H Drag Radial Tire
You can depend on this tire for high performance on the streets and tracks. Made in the USA, the tire has a lot going in its direction. It’s able to power through the tracks at high speeds without sacrificing comfort.
In other words, it has street and track-friendly compounds/tread pattern. Not to undermine the fact that M&H is a household name in the industry. There’s no way you will get a lackluster tire from them.
M&H ROD-20 M&H Drag Radial Tire Highlights:
As marketed, the M&H ROD-20 M&H Drag Radial Tire provides fantastic traction on the streets as well as the tracks. Although designed for high performance, it has a lightweight design to it. Plus, it has the right amount of tread for DOS clearance.
Another nice thing to know is that this low rolling resistance tire is much more fuel-efficient than others. The fuel savings may not be significant. But then, you will definitely save something as this tire is smartly designed to prevent excessive use of energy.
- Built for street and drag race applications
- Provides superior safety at high speeds
- Bears a clean and attractive look
- Has a long-lasting tread life
- A well-known name in the racing industry
- Slight burnout is needed to clear debris
9. Toyo Proxes R1-R
For budget-conscious folks, it’s worth pulling the trigger on the Toyo Proxes R1-R tire. This tire has all the merits of a wonderful performing tire in its category. Believe it or not, the traction is on par with other premium tires out there.
It performs delightfully on corners too, which is usually not the case with other affordable street tires built for drag races. You will really admire the sharp response and fantastic steering feel. The ride quality is not compromised at all.
Toyo Proxes R1-R Highlights:
The tire features a multi-width evacuation channel, which does a great job of evacuating water from the tire’s surface. Plus, this tire has stability control slits, which prolongs the life of the tread by resisting wear to a great extent.
The load capacity of the Toyo Proxes R1-R tire is also better than good. It can bear a maximum load of 1356 lbs, which is pretty good. This should tell you that this tire can keep up with some degree of abuse too.
- Suitable for budget tire shoppers
- Grabs the ground really well
- Not really loud like others
- Has a tough look to it
- Value for money-tire
- Quality is a little lower than other premium tires
10. Kumho Ecsta XS KU36 High-Performance Tire
This tire has all the high-performing tire construction quality in it. Its heart-winning performance is attributed to its smart product engineering. It has a low void asymmetric tread pattern that provides a good cornering grip. Plus, it features advanced carbon black compounds to provide the best possible traction.
Kumho Ecsta XS KU36 High-Performance Tire Highlights:
With a speed rating of W, the tire can achieve a speed up to 168 mph (270 kph). Of course, this is under optimal conditions. In short, this is a high-speed-rated tire that can perform well, even at high speeds. Even though it’s designed for competition, it can perform well on the streets too.
Compared to other tires, it makes a low noise, which means that you will enjoy your daily commute much more than before. The tension distribution is also great. It’s evenly distributed throughout the tire’s structure, which ultimately prolongs the life of the tire. Not to discount the fact that the tire offers a precise steering feel.
- Uses high-temperature resistant materials
- Excellent responsiveness and steering feel
- Performs really well on the corners
- Useful for regular street driving too
- Available in plentiful different choices
- Wet grip is not the best
Best Street Tires for Drag Racing: Buying Guide
Choosing a DOT-rated tire is a good idea because it indicates that the chosen tire has passed all the necessary tests to prove itself. Basically, it means that the tire has met all the stringent requirements of the Department of Transportation (DOT). Usually, DOT-approved tires have extra layers in them for added user safety.
Unlike regular tires, they provide excellent traction on any given day. Good safety aside, DOT-approved tires have a long life too. They are known for their strength and durability. For those who are not aware, the DOT serial number is located on the sidewall (near the rim).
Usually, car enthusiasts choose an all-season tire and then wonder why their performance is not up to the mark. Of course, all-season tires meet several purposes, but they are not the ideal tires for drag racing. For those who don’t know, summer tires perform the best on the track.
So, choose a summer tire in lieu of other tires that you find in the market today. Believe it or not, the tread pattern of a summer tire will help you immensely on the track. Your car will power down much easily without slipping. Plus, you will get the strong acceleration power you need.
Pay attention to the weight of the tire as well. After all, it determines how strong and sturdy the tire is. Keep in mind that most street tires for drag races are at least 10% lighter than your traditional tires, which helps to improve the car’s acceleration time. Basically, the reduced mass leads to increased speed.
However, not all drag tires are built the same. A lighter tire could mean some compromises. Therefore, it’s important that you also check the load rating of the tire, which will tell you the maximum weight a tire can carry. A lighter tire with a good load rating would be a solid blend.
Just like preparing a pancake, different ingredients can change the taste and flavor of the pancake. The same logic applies in the world of street tires for drag races. Product manufacturers use their own unique compounds to make their tires stand apart from the competition.
Serious shoppers can also get in touch with the tire manufacturer to know more about the tire’s compound to find out whether or not it’s suitable for the intended purpose of purchase. It’s also important to check the rules of the race to see if there are any restrictions in terms of tire dimensions.
Apart from the things mentioned above, the air pressure also matters. As expected, this is the most overlooked factor, which can backfire in a big way. Inadequate air pressure will not only impact a driver’s performance on the track, but it will also shorten the tire’s lifespan.
Believe it or not, inadequate air pressure can reduce the tire’s lifespan by as much as 50%. So, check what past purchasers have to say about the tire’s performance. By reading the reviews from previous tire shoppers, you will know how good the shortlisted tire is at holding the air.
Generally speaking, a good warranty equates to good tire quality. It shows the amount of trust a tire company has in its product, allowing you to shop with greater confidence than usual. As expected, the long-lasting tires generally come with a highly generous product warranty.
So, choose a tire with a solid warranty to protect your investment on the tire. Needless to say, check the company’s reputation as well. After all, not all tire companies out there will stand behind their claim. Should things go wrong, this situation can cause you a lot of grief.
Of course, we cannot throw the budget out of the equation. After all, your budget will have a huge influence on the tire shopping process. That said, you shouldn’t shop for the tire with the lowest asking price because you might end up with a piss-performing race tire.
Your tire selection should be geared toward your requirements and features. If a certain tire has all the necessary features and performance expected of it, we suggest that you stretch the budget a bit. So, don’t have a stringent budget. Instead, have some room for flexibility.
Final Words About Street Tires for Drag Racing
Needless to say, a good set of tires won’t make you a pro driver overnight. But then, well-made tires will play a vital role in your amateur to professional journey. So, make the right choice!
- Top 10 Street Tires for Drag Racing
- 1. Hoosier D.O.T. Drag Radial 2
- 2. Mickey Thompson ET Street S/S Racing Radial Tire
- 3. Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R Tire
- 4. Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 Street Tire
- 5. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R
- 6. Toyo Proxes R888 Street Tire
- 7. Nitto NT05R Drag Radial Tire
- 8. M&H ROD-20 M&H Drag Radial Tire
- 9. Toyo Proxes R1-R
- 10. Kumho Ecsta XS KU36 High-Performance Tire
- Best Street Tires for Drag Racing: Buying Guide