Q. How big of a burnout should a racer do?
A. Just a small burnout is necessary to heat the tire up. To prolong the life of a racing slick, just pull through the water box, hit the throttle until you get smoke, hold it for a couple of seconds, and then stop. Pulling into the pre-stage lights soon after the burnout will allow the tire and track surface to heat up even more near the track-to-tire contact area. The worst thing that a driver could do is to dry hop the slick (a quick jolting type of burnout). Dry hopping rattle the slick and makes it dissipate heat faster, also known as a thermal shock.
Q. Does the rubber in the tire break down because of heat during the burnout?
A. No. The rubber compounds in our drag tires are specifically designed for drag racing. Therefore, heat cycles are really not an issue.
Q. How do I store my slicks for a prolonged period of time?
A. Preferably off the car and in a plastic bag away from light. The worst enemy of a drag tire is ozone, ultraviolet light, asphalt, and concrete. Asphalt and concrete tends to draw oil from the tires compound essentially drying the rubber out, the same can be said for ozone and ultraviolet light.
Q. How much tire pressure should I run in my slicks?
A. The amount of tire pressure to be used is different for every car. The basic rule of thumb is to run as much air as you can get away with. There are basically two kinds of spin, initial and reaction spin. If you have too much air pressure, your tires will have initial spin; this is the tire spin that occurs almost immediately when power is applied. Reaction spin happens when the tire hooks initially then bounces as the wheels is un-loaded. Reaction spin is caused when there is not enough air pressure. The best launch is when there is about 1/8 turn in the wheel; the tire hooks onto the track, lifts the nose of the car, and then is gone.
Q. When should a slick be screwed on to the rim of a wheel?
A. With higher horsepower cars most classes are recommending or requiring that rim screws are used, a minimum of 5 to 8 per each side of the rim. The launch from the start line can cause the rim to slip inside the tire, and with the use of tubes, can rip the valve stem off. A mark on the tire/rim assembly can be used to gauge the amount of slippage, and should be checked while checking air pressure.
Q. What determines the size of slick I should by?
A. The rule of thumb here is that bigger is not always better. Bigger slicks have more rolling resistance; however, they provide more surface-to-track contact. The real answer is that you should use the smallest tire you can get the car to hook up with.
Q. Should I rotate my slicks?
A. Yes. Every 15-20 passes; however higher horsepower or large tires may require rotation every couple of passes.