Tire Stagger

Selecting tire sizes and predicting changes in stagger is somewhat a black art. Top teams always have a designated person who selects, sizes, and manages tires. It is a very important job. Get it right, and the stagger works along with the rest of the setup; get it wrong, and the stagger works against everything else.

If you talk to a dozen tire gurus, you’ll hear different opinions on the correct procedures. But, you will also see critical similarities in each one’s process. These are important facts to know when working with race tires.

Over-Inflation Warning

Stagger is measured with the tires inflated to operating pressures. Safety Note: Some teams stretch the tires by inflating them to very high pressures. Do not ever do this. It is unnecessary and potentially dangerous. Team members have been seriously injured doing this.

Match Stagger to the Racetrack

One of the most important bits of knowledge gleaned from the tire gurus is to match rear stagger to the racetrack. Using more or less stagger than the racetrack requires ruins your handling.

Only one stagger amount is needed for a particular track, and it is dependent on the track width, the turn radius, and the car’s tire size. Adding more stagger is a crutch and less stagger is a mistake. You can find a more valid solution to your handling problems.

A racetrack with a given turn radius (average radius of both turns) requires a distinct, pre-calculated rear stagger amount. That stagger number represents the difference in circumference of the two tires on the same axle, with the left the smaller one (for left turns), which results in both tires turning the same number of revolutions through the middle of the turns. This is truer in asphalt racing than dirt but the same applies, also it is hard to get stagger in a dirt tire, but do the best you can.

Dirt Cars Stagger

One thing you need to understand is on dirt someone is not making our tires for each track like Nascar has, and the run out is not as great as it is for asphalt cars, but you can still achieve some stager. The other consideration is that dirt driver can over drive the tire were asphalt guys can't. I guess what I am trying to say is do the best you can because it will help but don't feel like you are at a disadvantage because you can't find the correct stager. Remember that stager in the rear of a dirt car is more important than in the front because it is hook to a solid axle, small amounts of stage, like 3/4 inch work well in a dirt car.

Important Considerations

Correct stagger is a must. To determine the best tire sizes, consider the correct stagger amount for the track, how much and how quickly each tire might enlarge, and how to quickly solve a stagger problem using your car’s