Alex Laughlin And Crew Adapt To Small Tires Quickly

Posted by: Jeremy Patterson on 11/17/2021

Alex Laughlin can drive pretty much anything with wheels, so it’s not really a surprise that it took him only a few passes to get comfortable in his new blown Radial vs the World C6 Vette. Of course, Laughlin had a little bit of a tutor for the learning curve since he drove the Mega Race Challenger again recently, although we have to sit on the details of that venture for time being.

One of the major differences in the bright blue Vette and anything else Laughlin has ever driven is the rear tire. Everything Alex has driven previously was on slicks, monster rear tires that actually require a bit of slip when launching to keep them from wadding up and chattering, what we often hear referred to as tireshake. The new hotrod is on drag radials, and radials are the opposite in that for them to work as designed, they have to dead hook. While this doesn’t sound like a huge deal, when you’re used to everything you’ve driven having a measure of controlled slippage between the tires and the track and suddenly faced with needing the tires to dead hook, there’s a bit of a learning curve. Luckily, the transition has been made so many times now between cars going from one to the other that torque converter companies, transmission builders, and shock adjusters have all the parts necessary to jump back and forth from radials to slicks.

This video, captured by one of Alex’s awesome new sponsors from 2018, Fitzgerald Glider Kits, captures the moment of launch in excellent slo-motion detail, allowing you to see the rear tires biting hard into the South Georgia Motorsports Park surface on his quickest run of the weekend, a 3.86 at 202 MPH. Alex’s weekend ended a little earlier than we expected, but with a little more seat time, look for him to refine his reaction times to keep them on the positive side of the green light, and we saw that his badass tuner, Frankie Taylor, can provide a ton of power from that screw blown Hemi.