- Jul 7, 2013
- Northern California
Last week at Sonoma, Robert Hight went 339.87 miles per hour. Mighty fast indeed. Now comes the hard question. Once the cars reach the limit of the tires, what will the NHRA do. Goodyear will only guarantee their tires to 350 MPH. After that, the materials that make up the tires cant hold the centrifugal forces, and the aerodynamic forces that deform the sidewalls. The cars need flexible sidewalls, so they can get "up on the tires" in order to get those speeds. They have already shortened the quarter mile, to 1000 feet, so shortening the track further is not an option. If they try that, they may as well award the wins to the quickest reaction time. Goodyear doesn't want to forge ahead with tire research, because there is no other application that can use the technology. That makes the research cost prohibitive. Only drag racers need tires to perform the way they do. If they knew how to make them, they would be upward of one hundred thousand dollars per tire. (Just a guess, possibly more.) Neither myself, nor anyone else I have discussed this with, has had any suggestion as to what to do. They might reach the limit next year. It would seem the only option is to slow the cars down, but I'm not sure how that would go over with fans. This problem is unique in sports, in that they have reached the limit of what is physically possible. So what is next?