Cobra Racing Tires is looking to enter the dirt-track market as early as April. They had successfully introduced tires for cars competing on paved ovals last year. The company has produced tires for kart racing for 27 years.
“Last year, we had three tracks using our tires,” said Chester Hester, owner of Cobra Racing Tires. “Now, we have more than quadrupled that number in 2024. We have 16 tracks and series using our tires.”
Some of their tires are also going to dirt racers.
“New customers are grooving our asphalt tires to run on dirt,” Hester said. “There are a lot of people buying them because they can’t get Hoosiers and American Racers.”
Hester said his company’s pavement tires could be successful on dirt.
“The side wall of our pavement tire may be a little stiff for dirt, but the compound will work well, especially on a hard, dry track,” said Hester. “Our compound has a durometer [rating] of 58, while you typically want a 45 to 48 durometer for dirt. Our compound is a great compound — when it heats up, it softens up. Most likely the pavement tires are being soaked or prepped in some way for dirt tracks.”
Currently, Cobra Racing Tires offers three sizes: 27 x 15 x 10, 27 x 15 x 8, and 23 x 13 x 8. The company will be adding two new sizes — 27 x 8 x 5 and 24 x 15 x 8.
“We are aiming for April to start producing tires for dirt,” Hester said. “When we do so, it will be a tire that is racer-friendly and allows racers to do very well while saving money.”
Hester added that the tires they produce last longer.
“Durability and performance has helped our sales,” said Hester. “We have much longer heat cycles. You can run our tires twice as long as the competition’s tires. You’re talking our tires getting up to 500 laps where the others are getting 70 to 150 laps. Our customers are reporting that using our tires have cut their tire bill to a half to a third of what it was in the previous year.”
Hester said he looks forward to having Cobra Racing Tires enter the dirt market.
“Our engineers are gathering information and data as we speak,” Hester said. “Personally, I have more experience with dirt tires than pavement. It will be both challenging and fun to produce a tire that both wins and saves money for dirt racers.”
The Outside Groove Director of Photography has written hundreds of stories since the website’s inception. This year marks his 54th year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.