Video proves Why Drag Racing On Street Tires Is a Horrible Idea

Posted by: Jeremy Patterson on 11/17/2021

We’ve talked quite a bit about the fact that we are living in the golden age of performance, pointing out the number of cars you can buy off the showroom floor that have over 500 horsepower, and some as high as 840, without even getting into the bank-breaking world of exotics. The fact that you can walk into a dealership and buy a car with 700 horsepower is quite literally amazing, and we’re lucky to be living this dream.

However, there are some drawbacks to having all of that horsepower in a totally stock car, and one of the biggest issues is traction. With the exception of Dodge’s record-smashing 840 HP Demon, which comes from the factory with stupid-sticky Drag Radials, these modern hotrods are all rolling around on what most of us would refer to as “regular radials” or “hard tires”. Adding to the problem, the fact that modern styling trends dictate factory wheel sizes of, and sometimes over, 20” in diameter.

Further exacerbating the problem is the fact that many of these cars rely on superchargers to boost power without upping displacement, meaning the power comes in early and hard, asking even more of the tires off the line. Put simply, it’s a pretty bad problem, as you can see in the video below. These are all stock or very-close-to-stock cars riding on factory wheels and tires and, as you can see, traction is hit-or-miss at best and downright nonexistent in some cases.

I know as well as anybody that the softer compounds used in drag radials is not ideal for a car that’s driven daily, and they’re downright dangerous in the rain and when it’s cold out, so automakers can’t exactly slap drag radials on every car, but perhaps we should start a discussion about including a pair, already mounted on matching wheels, similar to what Dodge included with the Demon. Obviously it would add some cost, but seeing these high powered cars struggling to run 12’s when 315 HP cars were running 12’s on regular radials 15 years ago is just unacceptable.