Drag racing is all about violence. From gear banging shifts to multi-g launches to engines powered by what basically equates to a liquid explosive, he or she who harnesses that violence best usually wins. Outside of the factors just mentioned, there is another element of violence in the sport that attacks high horsepower machines and that is the devil known as tire shake.
A drag slick’s functional brilliance is the sidewall that can wrap up, absorb some of the initial shock of the engine’s load on the launch, plant into the track and then maintain that grip as the car accelerates. Those sidewalls are a double edge sword though. When the car does not jump “up on the tire” and head down the track, as you’ll see in this video, they can wrap up, basketball, and in racing terms, “go square”. This whole phenomenon takes place in increments of hundredths or thousandths of a second and produced violent shaking and vibration in the car. We’ve seen it happen so bad that welds in chassis have broken, doors have flown off, and guys have been literally knocked out cold.
This video shows tire shake in ultra slow motion and it is enthralling to watch. Realizing that it all happens so quickly in “real time” seeing it in this realm is really something else. Watching the tires work and then go crazy in slow motion gives us a whole new appreciation for how badly they get abused on every run!
Press play to watch a cool video featuring tire shake in super slow motion!