Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels has been riding the waves of success due to their multiple slick, drag radial, and wheel offerings, but they have never been ones to sit back and simply count the money. They’ve continued to tweak and improve their products to stay on top of the street/strip and drag racing game. At the 2014 SEMA Show, Mickey Thompson revealed three new offerings aimed directly at such a crowd, making headlines in drag racing circles with the new rubber that’s destined to change the game…again.
With some of these tires now beginning to trickle out for real-world testing, we’ve reached out to the team at Mickey Thompson to deliver a more rounded preview of what racer and street car enthusiasts can expect from this new lineup, in terms of performance, sizing, and availability.
From left to right - The ET Street R, ET Street SS, and the Pro Drag Radial are the latest offerings delete offerings, add and greatest from Mickey Thompson. The ET Street R and SS will eventually replace the ET Street radial we've all come to love, while the Pro Bracket Radial is a slick designed to deliver longevity, increased stability, and reduced elapsed times.
ET Street S/S
The great looking ET Street S/S is a truly incredible street performance tire that’s ready to take to the drag strip on the weekend. - Jason Moulton
So what do these tires mean for the Mickey Thompson line-up? The conventional ET Street Radial is eventually going away, being replaced by the new ET Street S/S and the ET Street R. The ET Street S/S is a street/strip tire, hence the S/S designation. The S/S is for those of us who primarily drive our car on the street, but like to have fun at the dragstrip, and be able to drive our car there, make a few passes, and go back home. The S/S exists so we don’t have to swap tires when we go to the track.
The S/S is more of a replacement for the original ET Street Radial, and will be available in over 18 sizes, from 15- to 20-inch fitments. “This is an exciting addition to our street tire line,” stated Jason Moulton, Product Development Manager at Mickey Thompson. “The great looking ET Street S/S is a truly incredible street performance tire that’s ready to take to the dragstrip on the weekend.”
The ET Street S/S is Mickey Thompson's Street/Strip offering.
That means there will be fitments for most late model performance cars, and early muscle cars, as well. And of course, we all love a good drag radial, but one thing common with nearly all drag radials that makes many of us nervous is getting caught in the rain with them. Reportedly, that will be less of an issue with the S/S. Mickey Thompson is said to have improved wet-driving performance by over 20-percent with the S/S tire, but without losing any of the tire’s performance features. The ET Street S/S will reportedly hit the streets around June.
If the S/S and the original ET Street were to come together in a more race-oriented tire, that’s where the ET Street R fits in. The R doesn’t stand for ‘Radial” — it stands for ‘Race’. The big news with the ET Street R is that it’s available in both a radial and a bias-ply construction. “This is an exciting addition to our drag tire lineup,” says Moulton “We’ve combined the best in drag tire technology with a design that’s perfect for dry pavement, D.O.T. approved street use.”
The ET Street R is the more race-oriented tire, and available as a radial and bias-ply tire.
The ET Street R radial version is a more race-bred version of the original ET Street radial; whereas the bias-ply is a replacement for the ET Street bias-ply offering. The bias-ply version is aimed at high-horsepower Pro Street cars, or those that compete in Drag Week Unlimited-style competition. The bias-ply is basically the 3191W “Bubba” tire used by Pro Modified racers reconfigured to DOT standards. The ET Street R is available in 13 sizes – eight for the radial version, and five for the bias-ply; and both versions come in the same compound as Mickey Thompson’s ET Drag slicks. We’re told the ET Street R will be available in March.
Troy Pirez had a pair of Mickey Thompson’s Pro Bracket Radials on his car at the U.S. Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park. Pirez went to the final with the tires on the car.
Pro Bracket Radial
The Pro Bracket Radial has already made a splash in competition on Troy Pirez’s Camaro at the recent U.S. Street Nationals. The Outlaw 632 racer reports running a 4.555 versus a 4.556 against the Mickey Thompson Radial Pro, so he believes the new slick is, “as fast as the Radial Pro, and more forgiving on less-than-ideal surfaces.”
The Pro Bracket Radial is a tire aimed at the thousands of bracket racers out there. The Pro Bracket Radial delivers a cost-effective, tubeless radial tire option to produce consistent, quick elapsed times, combined with reliable performance.
“This tire is intended for your weekend warrior bracket racers, who go out there and put 200 passes a year on their cars. They’ve got great stability on the top end, and have better air retention and less rolling resistance — the average racer will pick up a full tenth and two miles per hour just switching from a slick to this. We’re just really excited about this tire, because it’s never been done before, said Mickey Thompson’s Tom Kundrik.
The Mickey Thompson Pro Bracket Radial is designed for the weekend bracket racer with repeatability, and down-track stability in mind.
The average racer will pick up a full tenth and two miles per hour just switching from a slick to this. We’re just really excited about this tire, because it’s never been done before. - Tom Kundrik
“When radial tires were first introduced in drag racing, they were fast, but they often proved to be unforgiving at the starting line,” stated Moulton. “We’re closing this gap in radial tire technology with the new Pro Bracket Radial. These tires will run well using more air pressure providing a stable feel and response at the top end of the track.”
The Pro Bracket Radial was also on Hannah Sanders’ 6.50-index Mustang at the U.S. Street Nationals, and with over 20 passes on the car, the sixty-foot and 330-foot times were within six-thousandths of a second every pass.
That consistency is what a bracket and index racer is looking for. Troy Pirez, Jr., the car’s former pilot, reports the tires worked really well. “I believe these tires would be good for as many as 200 passes,” Pirez says.
Pro Bracket Radial sizes:
28×10.5, 28×9, and 26×10.5
Mickey Thompson is in the midst of final testing for these new tire designs. They’ve tested them out on the west coast, and have been at Bradenton Motorsports Park recently to gather data and introduce them to racers and sanctioning bodies.
In talking to radial tire racer promoter Donald Long, these tires haven’t been made legal for any classes for his upcoming race at South Georgia Motorsports Park February 19th-22nd. Long said he would like to see how the testing goes, and also wait until the tires are fully available to everyone before allowing them. Of course, if they aren’t legal for Lights Out 6, and everything goes as planned for the tires, they’ll most likely be allowed for No Mercy 6 later this year.
What matters the most is that these tires are aimed at making our cars faster, quicker, and safer, and there’s no doubt that these new tires will help Mickey Thompson maintain its position at the forefront of street/strip and drag tire technology.