Project DeadSpool: New Mickey Thompson ET Street R Showing Promise

For the last year or so, we’ve used a set of Mickey Thompson drag radials on Project Deadspool. The tire of choice was the ET Street R measuring out to 305/45R18. This size was the tallest option for an 18-inch wheel and to say that it has treated us well is a complete understatement. In fact, we nearly won a championship on these tires.

The 305/45R18 tires were 29-inches tall, which weren’t as big as I’d like — but given our 18-inch wheels, it was the biggest we could get. The truck, weighing in at 5,750-pounds, managed to reach the 60-foot cone before the majority of the class. In a sea of other branded tires, these Mickeys were a key component to the success of this truck.

I kept Mickey Thompson in the loop during this time and let them know how well these tires have performed for our program and couldn’t express to them enough that we needed more tires out in this arena like these. In fact, there is a possibility that there could be a truck-specific tire someday. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Jason Moulton, Senior Product Development Manager for Mickey Thompson had a few words to say about these tires. “The ET Street R is truly a race tire but with an added bonus. It uses the same technology for the carcass and compound as our ET Street Radial Pro tire but it can be street driven,” Moulton says. “When you want to take your race car or truck out for a weekend cruise on those nice summer days, you have that option with the ET Street R.”

Although we don’t street drive this truck in particular, there are a lot more of you guys and gals out there that race a more street-driven truck. For example, you can see illustrated above that these tires are helping the truck get out in front of the competition.

The success I had with these tires quickly made me forget about the smaller size. After all, if it isn’t broken, why fix it, right? Wanting to lighten things up some more to eventually bump up into the 5.90 index class of the Outlaw Diesel Super Series, I went with a smaller 17-inch wheel on all four corners. With that being said, that opened up opportunities.

Going to a 17-inch wheel allowed me to run the same tire in a larger size. Now we’re laced with a fresh set of ET Street R’s measuring out to 315/50R17 or 30-inch by 13.50-inch. I wanted to lighten the truck up more and give it more of a footprint. Why not give ourselves more surface area on the racing surface and put this power to the ground, right?

The 315 over the 305 is clearly larger but when you look at the specifics, you can really see the difference. On the left, you're seeing the older 305/45R18 tires. On the right, the latter.

Size Matters, Right?

305/45R18

  • 29.0-inches Outside Diameter
  • 11.8-inches Section Width
  • 10.7-inches Tread Width
  • 91.2-inches Circumference
  • 32-pounds Approximate Weight

315/50R17

  • 29.4-inches Outside Diameter
  • 12.7-inches Section Width
  • 11.2-inches Tread Width
  • 92.4-inches Circumference
  • 35-pounds Approximate Weight
With an approximate weight difference of 3-pounds each, it may seem like we’re working backward when in fact this tire will work better. We have more height, more width, and more tread surface. All of these features are going to make getting out of the hole much easier.

Unfortunately, the truck suffered a hurt engine at the beginning of 2019 which delayed us getting to test these tires out, but we had a few weeks here at the beginning of the 2020 racing season to try them out. In only the first two weekends, these tires are showing promise. In a mixture of losing more weight and making more power, tires are critical in winning rounds.

I picked up a set of wheels for our new tires and I think their sleek new machined look blends perfectly with this huge footprint the ET Street R offers.

It’s safe to say these are working out. In the 2018 season, our best 60-foot elapsed time was a 1.42-seconds. On average, the truck would 60-foot about a 1.46-1.47 based on all different track surface conditions. Luckily for us, that was enough to get out in front of most of the competition, but as we climb the ranks of classes, we needed to step it up.

Our first weekend out making tire pressure adjustments, we only managed to get a best of 1.45-seconds. Keep in mind, we were reaching these times spinning all four tires. It’s just taking some time to figure out what tire pressures work best with what surfaces and how these tires will react to leaving with as much boost as we do.

Not only are we working with a different size wheel and tire, but we’re also working with different power delivery. Before, with 305 tires, we had a smaller compound turbocharged setup that hit all the boost and torque at once. Now, things are a little bit different with a large single turbo. This means we’re having to leave harder to stay on top of the charger and this all weighs on how the suspension and tires work.

Our next weekend out, after spending a lot of time on adjustments at the previous track, we had a good idea where we needed to be. First lick out, doing the same thing as we did prior except with tire pressure adjustments right where we wanted, the truck managed to travel 60-feet in 1.38-seconds. That is the truck’s new personal best 60-foot time.

In index racing, which is what we’re doing 90-percent of the time, the race is usually won in the first sixty feet. If you can get a good reaction time and reach that first cone before your competitor, you’re heading towards victory already. (Assuming your car/truck can run the number needed.) The rest of the day of testing the truck managed to keep up the good work and liked the new rubber underneath.

More Testing

Unfortunately, with all of the cancellations of practically everything over the last few months, it’s been tough to find places to test new parts including these tires. Luckily we managed to get into a Diesel World “Test Session” at Wagler Motorsports Park where we entered into the 6.70 Index class. Since we don’t have a chassis certification from the NHRA yet, we can’t enter into the faster 5.90 class.

We made the tire pressure adjustments we needed that have seemed to work so far throughout a few weeks of testing, but, again, three different tracks mean three different surfaces. This surface wasn’t allowing much traction at all with our power level but it was consistently getting just above a 1.50 60-foot time.

Like I mentioned before, the still-good sixty-foot times, matched with our reaction times, worked well enough to push us into the final round of the competition. On our first outing of competition, we managed to make it down to the last two trucks. Unfortunately, due to a steering failure, I had to lift my foot off the accelerator mid-pass and give up the race.

I am thankful for the help these tires have provided in our racing program and really look forward to seeing just how far we can push them on the racetrack the rest of this year and beyond. For more information about Mickey Thompson tires, or to find out which tires will work best for your truck, be sure and check out their website. What tires are you looking at for your truck? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

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About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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