Following months of development and numerous real-world test outings during the late winter, Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels launched their all-new ET Street Radial Pro P275/60R15 tire at the Radial Revolution “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia III” last month, creating a frenzy among the racers akin to the mad toy rush on a Black Friday.
“We weren’t sure if we’d have the tire ready for Georgia, but that was definitely our goal because that’s the hot class and venue to really show off that tire,” said newly-named Mickey Thompson Motorsports Manger Tom Kundrik. “We produced 60 of them as quick as we could, put them on the trailer, and headed down there. These tires are the iPod, the iPhone, or whatever you want to call them of the tire business right now.”
To say the initial results were eye-opening would be an understatement. An outstanding 10 of the 14 X275 class qualifiers earned top spots in the field, and every X275 class record was shattered on this new tire during qualifying. These marks were led by Rich Bruder, who blistered the South Georgia Motorsports Park course with an all-time best 4.65 elapsed time, Matt “Skinnyman” Mungull’s 4.72 with a small block, and Barry Mitchell’s 4.66 in his ’89 Mustang with impressive 1.11 short times. All said, the new tire set the big block, big block nitrous, small block nitrous, and small block supercharged record in it’s maiden outing in X275. In addition, the new single turbo and overall Outlaw 275 record was also recorded by Joel Greathouse at 4.56-seconds on the ET Street Radial Pro. You read that right: Outlaw Radial-like 4.50′s on a 275 radial tire.
“Some people told us that they really believe this tire is better than the 315, and it really might be,” said Kundrik.
“To see this tire perform at this level with Radial Revolution competitors was absolutely incredible,” stated Ken Warner, VP of Sales and Marketing for Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels. “This tire was specifically designed for racing applications that require an ultra-high performance tire in this size, and for these types of racing environments. Seeing these results right out of the gate is truly astonishing, and speaks to the proven technology that goes into every product we make.”
“We had a lot of complaints from the racers that they couldn’t keep the front end down, which told us that the tire was working very, very well,” explained Kundrik.
The previous ET Street Radial design, according to Kundrik, was what the market called for at the time. But as others in the tire business rolled out their new offerings, things were taken to a new level with purpose-built race tires. As sanctioning bodies – most notably X275 that represents the primary market for 275 radial tires – removed the required DOT designation from their rules package, allowing the freedom to push the proverbial envelope.
Said Kundrik, “We begged and pleaded with the sanctioning bodies not to allow a non-DOT tire into their series. Our competitors had decided they were going to create a purpose-built, race-only tire with a DOT stamping on it. In response, we followed up on the first street and strip tire that we originally made 10 years ago and spent the money on a new mold and built a purpose-built race tire to compete against Brand X.”
“Its really just the evolution of the radial tire, you could say.”
The new ET Street Radial Pro features a newly-designed internal construction as compared with its predecessor, with softer sidewalls more like that of a slick that makes it more forgiving. It does, however, utilize the very same compound. Per Kundrik’s explanation, this new tire isn’t as forgiving as a slick, but it’s along those lines.
So, will we see this new tire translated into a 315 version for the Outlaw Radial racers?
“I can tell you we do have plans to expand the line, and the 315 is definitely one of the major players in that,” said Kundrik. “The 315 tire was originally developed on and for a 9-second car, and now these guys are running 4.30′s to the eighth-mile and 6.50′s in the quarter.”
Kundrik and the Mickey Thompson staff have been inundated with calls and orders for the new tire of late, and additional production has been slipped in anywhere the production team can find a place to keep up with the demand.
“We’re trying to get them out to the distributors as quick as we can so that we can supply the public,” explained Kundrik. “This is probably the best product debut we’ve had in a long time. Racers like to see and try something new; it’s just part of the sport. If you don’t have new product, you just sit still. We’re just very very happy with it and how it’s gone so far.”
The ET Street Radial Pro P275/60R15 is specifically for racing, and should not be used on the street. Its design uses next-generation tire technology and a lower tread profile for fast, consistent, reliable launches and a sticky, responsive grip on the strip. For more information or to order, visit Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels.