Radial vs The World is a dynamic form of radial tire racing that seems to be in a constant state of evolution. The class has seen growth that is rarely witnessed in drag racing and that has led to some outstanding racing. Tim Slavens has been on the Radial vs The World rocketship and he’s ready to stake his claim as a legitimate contender for the title at Lights Out 10.
When Slavens first stepped into the Radial vs The World ring with his Tydo Race Cars-built 1969 Camaro his team was relatively unknown. The combination of the BAE Hemi, twin 106mm Precision turbos and M&M Transmission TH400 made possible some good runs, but the car just wasn’t consistent enough. Slavens made a strategic choice to bring in some help that changed the course of his program.
“A few things happened at the same time that really let us step up our program; first, Joe Oplawski from Hyperaktive Performance Solutions came onboard to assist us. When Joe came on, so did Mark Menscer from Menscer Motorsports to help in setting the car up. We went from being horribly inconsistent if the car would go down, to almost a bracket car. The combination of those two allowed us to take advantage of the parts we had,” Slavens explains.
That newfound ability to make repeatable passes led to a marked improvement in the Camaro’s performance. At Lights Out 9, Slavens took full advantage of the power under his right foot and went deep into Radial vs The World eliminations, leaving the team feeling very confident doing so well against the talented competition the class brings out.
Part of doing well at Lights Out 10 for Slavens will come from how his team prepares for the event. They leave nothing to chance and are coming to South Georgia Motorsports Park with a very capable car.
“Since this race happens at the beginning of the year we can be fairly prepared. We go from one end of the car to the other and do maintenance on every area we can. Everything is fresh and everything is stocked as far as spare parts, too, so it’s a good situation. It helps to do all of that because you feel confident about your resources,” Slavens explains.
Having a fresh car and good spare parts will only take you so far at a big event. To optimize everything the team has developed a plan for Lights Out 10. Slavens hopes that using a methodical approach to the race will allow him to see his biggest success yet in the Radial vs The World class.
“The game plan is to qualify well and make our path through eliminations easier. When it comes to raceday, anything can happen, so we try to make sure that we don’t do anything that will cause us to beat ourselves. I’ve been guilty of red-lighting myself out of the game. You also don’t want to put too big of a tune-up in a car because of who’s in the other lane. You have to run your own race and if they beat you that’s fine, but you have to make them earn it,” Slavens says.
Reading the tea leaves and predicting what will happen in a class that’s rooted in the unpredictable is difficult. If the past is any predictor of what the future might hold for Lights Out 10, Slavens believes it will take solid and consistent performance to be in the mix come Sunday at SGMP. With his career-best 3.64-second pass at the U.S. Street Nationals, Slavens showed he will be a player at Lights Out 10.
“You have to be ready for both the day and nighttime conditions you might see. You have to be able to go down in the heat of the day. Time-wise, I think the field will have a top half in the mid to low 3.70s. That all depends on the weather, too — if we get good air it could be a 3.60 top half. We’re going in with the mindset to be a mid-3.70 car off the trailer and chip away from there,” Slavens says.
South Georgia Motorsports Park is going to be a powder keg of horsepower ready to explode during Lights Out 10. You can see all of the Radial vs The World racing February 15-18 live RIGHT HERE on SpeedVideo.com. This broadcast is brought to you by presenting sponsor COMP Cams along with ProCharger, Lithium Pros, FuelTech, and FAST.