By Ainsley Jacobs
here’s only one “Dream Team”
when it comes to radial tire racing, and
that’s none other than the epic partnership between Southern Speed Promotions’ Tyler Crossnoe and VP Racing Fuels’ Jason
Rueckert. The two men took the radial tire world
by storm when they started working together half
a decade ago and dominated the track prep scene
with their unparalleled skill; now they are some of
the most highly sought-after traction gurus and
event promoters out there. Crossnoe and Rueckert’s latest collaboration, though, isn’t all about
the racing surface – it’s about the racing itself.
Their newly-created Limited Drag Radial
(L DR) class has spawned a dedicated mini-series
to which racers – and major sponsors and manufacturers – are flocking in droves. An eighthmile, heads-up category running on a .400 Pro
Tree with a Pro ladder, Limited Drag Radial is a
single power adder class and began its inaugural
season in 2016. LDR door cars must retain their
original appearances, profiles, and dimensions.
Back-half style cars are permitted, but full tube
chassis cars, as well as wheelie bars, are strictly
prohibited. There is no cubic inch limit on the
engines themselves, but guidelines and weights
are defined given the different power adders and
setups. Lastly, racers may run on any 275/60/15
drag radial or 315/60/15 drag radial tire.
This is the first year that Limited Drag Radial has
been around. How did it get started?
Jason Rueckert: I’ve been in radial racing
since about 2005, and I’ve followed the progression of it over the years. I liked where it used to
be, but now, how the heck can the average racer
keep up with what’s going on? You’ve got guys
like Keith Haney building cars specifically to
run just two races a year. There was no class for
the original radial guys except for maybe Outlaw
Drag Radial at Donald Long’s events twice a year
– everything else runs Radial vs. the World rules
and that’s a lot more than what most people can
afford. We needed a middle ground. Radial racing
was never meant to be the number one class; it
was always meant to be the filler whether it was
with Outlaw 10.5, Pro Mod, or whatever, but now
radial racing is the top dog.
Tyler Crossnoe: There was a big bridge between Radial vs. the World and X275, and Outlaw
275 rules were different across the country. So,
we got a couple of people involved and tried to
get a lot of combinations that were legal with
Outlaw Drag Radial and Outlaw 275 mixed in.
We wanted to make a class where people could
go 4.20s and be competitive, and that’s how I got
started. There are probably at least thirty cars just
sitting in garages right now that had no place to
go but could win a Limited Drag Radial race. It
took us about three months in 2015 to get the
first set of rules accomplished and approved by a
few ex-racers and others on the initial committee.
How is Limited Drag Radial different than Outlaw
Drag Radial or Radial vs. the World?
JR: It’s a middle class. With Radial vs. the
World, the payout is huge and people run purposebuilt cars. We don’t pay more than $5,000-to-win
but we pay further back into the ladder; we try to
keep it where it’s nice to win the cash but it isn’t
going to change someone’s plans for the season
to cherry-pick for money. We want to make it a
fun class that’s obtainable for the average guy. We
want personalities, not celebrities.
TC: The main difference is that Limited Drag
Radial is a little more forgiving. Outlaw Drag
Radial is really strict for certain combinations
or chassis setups. In Radial vs. the World, you’ve
got to have a six- or seven-figure operation to
compete, and not many people can swing that. A
lot of guys are in simply in between, and Limited
Drag Radial was created for them.
What sort of elapsed times did you guys have in
mind when putting LDR together?
TC: Our goal was to have guys running in the
4.20s, but on a good track, we expected someone
could run in the 4.10s. We accomplished that
right off the bat with the rules, and Don Burton
went 4.146 at Maryland International Raceway
in prime conditions. We’ve got guys like “Mustang Mike”, Eric Gustafson, Barry Mitchell, Isaac
Preston and others all out there killin’ it. We know
it’ll get faster, that’s the progression of the class,
but right now it’s exactly where we want it to be.
JR: The goal was 4.20-4.30s – something that
we knew a lot of cars were capable of. Plus, we
felt like it would make for some really exciting,
side-by-side racing that both the drivers and the
How are things going so far with the class in this
TC: I’m really happy with where we’re at after
these first six months. We’ve had solid growth
and good support from our racers. We’ve talked
to certain chassis builders and one guy has four
cars in his shop right now being built for Limited
Drag Radial. A lot of guys are starting to come
back after being out of it for a few years.
JR: Lots of guys are happy with the rules and
the car counts at our events are really strong. We
need a class that will live for years to come. Yes,
it’ll be more restrictive from the get go, but if
we let it escalate too quickly, it won’t live. We’re
protecting the longevity of the class and preserving its future by making the rules so that even if
someone has big money, it doesn’t mean they can
go faster than anyone else.
What does the LDR schedule for 2016 look like?
TC: We’ve run at the U.S. Street Nationals at
Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida in January – that was our first event. Then we ran at the
Outlaw Street Car Reunion in March at Tennessee’s Memphis International Dragway, Radial
Fest at Huntsville Dragway in Alabama in April,
and the Ohio Valley Prize Fight in May in Kentucky. PSCA just added Limited Drag Radial to
the Street Car Super Nationals: Anarchy at the
Arch event in August in St. Louis, the Radial Tire
Racing Association (RTRA) may run an LDR
class at their Denton, Texas race, and we’ll be back
at Huntsville for Radial Fest in October, possibly
with a few other events added in.
Is there an LDR points championship on the line
TC: We’ve talked about it, and we’ll most likely
have a points championship in the 2017 season
instead. We thought about doing it this year but
wanted to get going and see how things went first.
JR: We’d like to get a five or six race series. We
wouldn’t offer huge cash payouts, but manufacturers would give prizes and parts that would
make it really worthwhile for racers.
What do you predict for the future of the class?
TC: A major organization with a points series
has approached us about adding Limited Drag
Radial to their program, but it’s not official yet.
W e think it would be a good fit with a lot of cars.
Whether or not that happens, though, we’ll still
run LDR at several events and big radial races
throughout the country.
JR: We’re working really hard to maintain
parity between all the power adders and combinations. I’ve raced for twenty years, and what I
really want more than anything is to see is this
class grow and survive, and, in two years, to have
it be the top working man’s radial class.
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I l l u s t r a t e d | DragIllustrated.com
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PHOTOS: CHRIS SEARS, JAMES SISK
The Working Man’s Drag Radial Class