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Tires have a major impact on a vehicle’s handling dynamics. They're simply the most crucial part of the equation when making the most of your vehicle's power, brakes, and chassis—they're literally where the rubber hits the road. Especially for a high-performance vehicle, but even if you want to make the most any more modest platform in a track driving, drag racing, or autocross event.
Getting the right racing tires for your car will help bring out the best of any vehicle in every situation, including having assured safety and stability at high speeds. Let's discuss the top racing tires below that deliver the right level of performance at a variety of different types of high performance driving, as well as price points.
Mickey Thompson Racing Radial Tire
- These tires are approved for street use by DOT
- Offer very good ride stability
- Well-designed and visually striking
- Tires tend to wear out quickly
- Balancing these units often requires a lot of weight
- Traction in wet conditions is not adequate
Toyo PROXES R888R
- Asymmetric tread design improves dry traction
- Designed with two distinct tread areas suited for both street and track use
- Stability control slits maintain tire stiffness during forceful braking and sharp response
- Comes in a wide variety of sizes
- Not the grippiest tire in its class
- On the noisy side
- Overall ride comfort is not impressive
Nitto NT05R Drag Radial Tire
- Tire provides superior traction on dry surfaces
- Stability and handling at high speeds are impressive
- Tire is also quite durable
- Traction levels suffer in wet or cold conditions
- Road noise at higher speeds
- Ride comfort levels are mediocre at best
Summary List of Racing Tires
Best Racing Tires Reviews & Recommendations
Super high grip
OK in water
Short tread life
Good tread life despite rating
Comes in a variety of popular sizes
Excellent turn-in and response
Great in damp conditions
Not as grippy as other options
Excellent price for the performance
Good grip at all temperatures
Only intended for dry, warm conditions
Maximum grip doesn't last as long as other tires'
Excellent performance for the price
Good grip that doesn't fall off after repeated laps on track
Lower wear than other 200 treadwear tires
Ride quite harshly
Not as grippy as other tires in its price range
Grip holds up on track
Good cost of entry
Very loud on the street
Not the grippiest, but they're sturdy
Meant for quarter mile runs on the track, only
Very soft compound that is unsafe on the street in any capacity
With its superior traction and good ride stability, the Mickey Thompson Racing Radial Tire is our top pick as the best racing tire.
When it comes to being also being fast in the corners, Toyo PROXES R888R Automotive-Racing Radial Tire offers balanced performance at a much more affordable price.
You've got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: How do I choose the right tire size for my vehicle?
A. The tire size should be included in the owner's manual. You can also check the specifications on the sidewalls of your existing tires to find out the size required.
Q: What is the speed rating of a tire?
A. The speed rating indicates the speed that a tire can safely handle. It is generally indicated in the tire specifications through the letters M to Z. Tires with a higher rating also handle better at lower speeds.
Q: What are key benefits of racing tires?
A. They're safer. High performance racing tires are safer because they resist heat buildup, especially on hot summer days. Tires normally heat up as you drive. Overheated tires can wear out prematurely and are more likely to explode. The best racing tires increase steering response and decrease stopping distance on dry and wet surfaces.
Better handling. Performance tires are made from soft rubber, which improves their road surface grip. They make it easier to steer around tight corners. They are also lighter and make cars go faster, which is better for drivers. Racing tires with wide grooves prevent hydroplaning by expelling water beneath them.
Great speed. The higher the speed rating of a racing tire, the better its performance. For example, a tire with a “H” speed rating is approved for speeds up to 130 mph. An all-season racing tire with “H” and “V” speed ratings can go up to 149 mph. Some tires have speed ratings ranging from “V” to “Y” and are approved for speeds up to 186 mph.
Better traction. Racecar tires are wider and have treads that grip better. Their large surface areas help them stick to tracks perfectly. This means you’ll be able to brake easily, especially at shorter braking distances. The tires maintain superb traction, even in wet weather.
Q: What should I keep in mind during my search for good racing tires?
A. Warranty. Most manufacturers provide tread warranty and defect protection. A few offer a road hazard warranty, which is helpful if you get a flat tire. It’s best to get tires with a warranty because you won't have to pay for it separately. But take time to scrutinize the warranty. Some warranties come with many conditions that may prevent you from getting reimbursed. Manufacturers also conduct thorough checks to verify if your warranty claim is valid.
Tread Wear. Generally, racing tires have a shorter tread life because they endure harsh driving conditions. You can refer to the tread-wear grade to get an idea of how long your tires are likely to last. The grade indicates a tire's relative wear rate. The higher it is, the longer it will take for the tread to wear down. You can also use the UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading) system to check a tire’s treadwear, traction, and temperature resistance. Tire longevity is usually influenced by your driving habits, the climate, road conditions, and the manufacturer’s tread-wear estimate.
Tire Size. For safety purposes, it's best to choose the right tire size. Improperly fitting tires are a hazard because they exert additional pressure on the tire heel. They may also get detached when you're driving, causing road accidents. You can check the tire specifications on the sticker found inside the driver’s door or in the car manual.
Q: What are some tips for racing tires?
A. Before buying new racing tires, check the load rating and make sure that it can support the load of the vehicle without any problems.
Racing tires are not meant for wet and snowy conditions. It is best that you use other all-season tires in that type of weather to ensure safety.
All tires make some noise at higher speeds due to the flow of air through the treads, as well as the stickier compound and how the tread blocks are arranged. It is best to choose a less noisy model if you are looking for a quiet ride.
Q: Can I use a tubeless tire along with a tube tire?
A. To get the best performance out of the vehicle in all driving conditions and to ensure that it handles properly, it is best to use the same type of tires on all wheels.
Q: What can I expect to pay for racing tires?
A. Under $200: It's difficult to find race car tires in this price range. But there are a few gems with superior cornering, braking, and traction capabilities.
$200 and up: Many of the tires here are ultra-high performance and extreme performance. Some are specifically designed for supercars and exotics. The tires have good handling abilities, incredible grip, and excellent tread wear. Most are all-season tires.
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