Texas Radial Roundup! Small Tires and Big Power on Parade
Just two Saturday’s ago, The Texas Radial Roundup blew the lid off North Star Dragway. Drag radial racing in Texas is some of the fiercest competition in all of drag racing and North Star Dragway is the place to race if you’re looking to go fast. The Radial Tire Racing Association was formed in 2015 by Gene Nicodemus, owner of North Star Dragway in Denton, Texas just north of Dallas. Within two years, the RTRA and North Star Dragway had claimed monumental achievements as the location of the first-ever “small tire” car to run in the 3.80s (Jason Michalak) and 3.70s (Steve Jackson).
Those marks were set in the fastest of the three-class RTRA program, Pro Drag Radial. Additional records in X275 and Limited 275 racing set the bar as North Star Dragway charged to the top of the charts for drag radial racers looking to maximize their tuning capabilities on this pristinely prepped racing surface.
It’s hard to describe the science of prepping a track for drag radial tires. An immense amount of VHT is mixed to a perfect potion by the track staff then applied heavily to achieve maximum traction. This heavy application is repeated as the racing rounds continue, providing track surface consistency for the racers to tune from as they focus on adapting to the changing weather conditions throughout the weekend. The track is literally so sticky it is not uncommon for shoes to be pulled right off the feet of crew members as they walk the starting line before a run.
The X275 class racing was hot and heavy as Shane Heckel’s 4.406 narrowly edged out local favorite Eric Moore’s 4.408 as the duo led the fifteen car field into eliminations. Both drivers advanced past the first and second round to meet the elite four remaining in the semi-finals. Moore ran into mechanical issues in his pairing with Brad Medlock and the engine gave up as he left the starting line. Moore could do nothing but watch as Medlock spun the tires to a subpar, but winning 7.42 at 92 mph. Heckel advanced to the finals with a 4.43 at 156 mph over Kenny Hubbard who had a flame throwing nitrous backfire at the hit of the throttle. In the last dance of X275 competition, Medlock took a huge starting line advantage but his 4.61 at 151 mph was no match for Heckel’s 4.44 at 158 as Heckel and company were all smiles heading home to Baytown, Texas with the win.
The Pro Drag Radial category was short on cars, but provided plenty of 3-second action as Taylor Lastor and Dewayne Mills charged into the final round, both packing 3.80’s in what shaped up to be a heavyweight battle to decide a winner.
Congratulations to the winners of the “Texas Radial Round Up” at North Star Dragway. Big numbers and more intense competition are expected at the next RTRA event at North Star Dragway – the “Texas Small Tire Throwdown” October 11-13th. We will be onsite to bring you that action!