Dirt track tire prep is a detailed and technical discipline, and there is also quite a lot involved to understand such as beginner dirt track racing or dirt racing flag meanings. There are different preparation methods depending on the tires being used and the particular track being raced on.
Two main tire preps can be applied to tires. These are grooving and siping. They allow each tire to grip tightly to the surface of the dirt track, and this results in them performing better than they otherwise would have. To conduct tire preparation the method used and the process will depend on how the track will alter as the day progresses, and what the conditions of the track are before use. This means no single method of tire prep is better than another, but we will focus on tire grooving and tire siping.
When a tire is grooved, this means the rubber is removed and the tire doesn’t build up as much heat during use. It also helps the tire grip to the track better. The process involves the creation of sharp edges. These edges build resistance so that the tires don’t slip and slide when they’re on the track and the car is moving at speed. Dirt track tire grinding is one way to achieve this, but before choosing your specific approach, it helps to know some details about the tires themselves. The tires at the rear of the vehicle are responsible for relaying torque, which means when grinding them, they should be cut in line with the tire rotation. If you choose to groove the front tires, then the car will be easier to maneuver and you’ll face less difficulty when steering it. If you cut grooves that are parallel to the rotation of the tire, then you will get these results. Doing this also helps the tire to press into the surface of the track, which decreases the heart and increases stability. Grooves also give more paths by which heat can escape.
Siping yields the opposite results compared to grooving by increasing the level of heat rather than decreasing it. Sipes refer to small incisions made into the tread of the tire. When the tire rotates and touches the track, the sipes will come into contact and generate friction. As a result, the tires warm up. Another consequence of siping is increased flexibility within the tread, which also leads to more heat. The increased heat is beneficial when it comes to the tire grip because it will become stronger in less time than tires without siping. Siping is also somewhat simpler than grooving because there is no need to take off the rubber.
When performing either of these techniques, the depth of cutting must be carefully observed. If the cuts are too deep, the tire can split, and in a worst-case scenario, it can fail especially when balancing the wedge. It’s also worth keeping in mind that any alterations to a tire will decrease its lifespan because it exposes the tire to more wear. That’s why the number of cuts made should also be controlled. Too many can cause damage, just as cuts that are too deep can cause damage.
For the best understanding attend dirt racing classes, each racer should decide what they want their tires to achieve. If they want faster grip times, then siping is worthwhile. However, some types of track can become extremely abrasive and cause the tire to overheat. If the racer would like to have extra speed near the end of the race, then siping is not recommended if the tires are soft. Harder tires can withstand additional siping and are less likely to fail. Alternatively, you can research some tire softener recipes to see if these will help you. Ultimately, the bottom line is that every track is different, and the tire preps performed will have to be different as well.