Let’s talk about smoke…and Tony Stewart

If you’re like me, you obsess over car trivia and stats much like a kid does with a new set of baseball cards, or in my little cousin’s case, Pokemon cards. That leads me to NASCAR driver Tony Stewart. Stewart’s nickname is “Smoke.” His early skills for smoking the right rear tire and later for blowing up engines, has earned him the famous moniker. While he may not be known for drifting theatrics, or for a coveted collection of pimped-out street imports, I’m a fan. Recently, Mobil 1 asked their fans to vote on Facebook for which of four vehicles they’d like to see him drive in an exhibition. They voted him into Formula D driver Tyler McQuarrie’s Mobil 1 Formula Drift Chevy Camaro SS. My reaction? “Wow.”

Tony’s NASCAR season will be winding down in a couple more months and that got me to wondering what his winter plans are. Now that he’s driven Tyler’s car, has he ever given any thought to competing in Formula D? Maybe, he’ll spend the off-season building the ultimate drift car—in my dreams. But, if he did ask for my opinion, I might steer him toward an AE86, perhaps an RX-7, or maybe even a 944 Turbo. What are your thoughts on the subject? Regardless of what he would choose in this fantasy project, he’d be wise to pay some attention to car tires, like I do.

When you think about your import’s high performance parts, car tires have to be part of that equation, much like adjustable shocks, performance suspension, lowering springs or other performance upgrades. Whether you’re driving a 2012 Scion tC that’s been Optimized, or an old-school Mazda RX-7 SA/FB with a performance suspension, the rule applies – neglect your tires, and you’re sitting on the side of the road—instead of driving to one of this year’s Wekfests to check out the latest in suspension tuning or aftermarket performance auto parts.

Car tires matter—as much to your tuner’s performance as to its overall look—and should be included within your vehicle’s high-performance parts equation. Running the wrong tire pressure can seriously undo investments made into a performance suspension, or for several other aftermarket performance auto parts you may have installed. Checking tire pressure regularly is the best way to ensure that your car tires deliver long, reliable performance, and will help you save money at the gas pump. So, when you’re shopping for aftermarket performance auto parts, add a good digital tire pressure gauge to that list.

Look for the recommended inflation pressure on your driver’s side door-jamb or in the glove box, and check the pressure when the car tires are cool. You can improve fuel economy and reduce wear. Of course, if you’re smoking your tires every weekend, you’re not going to be too worried about wear. It’s already happening.

Watch Tony Stewart drive Tyler McQuarrie’s Mobil 1 Formula Drift Chevy Camaro SS here.

Editor’s note: Advance Auto Parts carries a wide selection of car tire accessories, and high performance parts. Get your order fast—buy online, pick up in store.

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