Let's Talk Tires

15th Mar 2024

Let's Talk Tires

To the Esteemed Members of the Dirt Track Racing Community, I

In the realm of dirt track racing, where the roar of engines and the spirit of competition unite us, we stand at the threshold of a new era. Our cars have evolved, harnessing the power of innovation to push boundaries and achieve greater heights. From carburetors to shocks, and rear ends to the very bolts that fortify our machines, no stone has been left unturned in our quest for excellence. Yet, amidst this relentless pursuit of performance, one question lingers – why does the realm of “Tire Treating” remain untouched?

For years, concerns about safety have cast a shadow over the practice of treating tires. But as we've conquered countless challenges with technological advancements, the same ingenuity now offers us a path forward. Modern solutions promise not only to enhance performance, especially with pre-loved tires, but to do so without compromising the tire's integrity or the safety of those dedicated to their preparation. 

Historically, the concern with “tire treating” stemmed from the use of harmful chemicals, which, while softening tires for a competitive edge, also posed significant safety risks. These risks included not just potential harm to the environment and the racers, but also the risk of tire delamination, a serious safety issue on the track. It is understandable, then, why stringent measures, including monetary fines and suspensions, have been enforced by racing officials to curb such practices. 

However, it's crucial to recognize the advancements in tire conditioning technologies and practices that have emerged. New, safer types of tire treatments have been developed, which do not pose the same safety risks as their predecessors. These innovations offer several benefits: 

1. Enhanced Safety and Durability: Modern tire treatments have been proven safe, not causing the safety issues or delimination concerns historically associated with tire treating. 

2. Extended Tire Life: These treatments allow tires to last longer, offering racers extended value from their investment and reducing waste. 

3. Competitiveness of Older Tires: Properly conditioned, older tires—two to three years old—can still be competitive, safe, and a cost-effective option for racers. 

4. Successful Implementation: Magellan International Lube and Chemical, has collaborated with a racing series in the Midwest, The DAYTONA1 Gen X Late model series, that allows only used tires to be used in the series. This initiative has run for over 4 years without delamination or safety issues, demonstrating the viability of these practices. 

5. Cost Efficiency: This approach enables racers to save significantly, making racing more accessible and competitive without compromising safety. 

Given these advancements, we must ask ourselves: What lies at the root of the current restrictions on tire treating? If the primary concerns—safety, environmental harm, and competitive fairness—can be effectively addressed with modern products, shouldn't our regulations evolve as well? 

As enthusiasts, competitors, and guardians of Dirt track racing across the United States, our collective mission is to celebrate and safeguard the essence of our sport: competition, skill, and the sheer joy of racing. It's with this mission in mind that we address the complex issue of tire treating and tire softening—practices that have sparked considerable debate within our community. 

We eagerly invite all stakeholders—racers, fans, track owners, promoters, and officials from every relevant agency—to join us in a comprehensive round table discussion. This collaborative effort aims to explore the possibilities and pave the way for a brighter future in dirt track racing. 

Together, let's seize this opportunity to open dialogue, share insights, and collectively assess the potential of embracing advanced tire conditioning methods within our sport. 

Let's embark on this journey together, reimagining the possibilities that lie within our grasp, for a future where every aspect of our beloved sport benefits from the best of what technology has to offer. Your participation is crucial in shaping the next chapter of dirt track racing, ensuring it thrives on innovation, safety, and the passion that unites us all. 

Respectfully, Buck Parker