MRO Magazine

Industrial belt design captures attention in drag racing

Toronto -- A positive drive belt and sprocket system has made a huge accomplishment in drag racing performance. Goo...


August 20, 2004
By MRO Magazine

Toronto — A positive drive belt and sprocket system has made a huge accomplishment in drag racing performance. Goodyear’s Eagle Pd positive drive belt and sprocket system was originally designed to reduce industrial noise.

The belt’s use in drag racing was never imagined during its development, said Mike Gregg, chief engineer for Goodyear Engineered Products.

Used as a supercharger blower belt, the Eagle Pd helps three-time champion and International Hot Rod Association Top Fuel driver Clay Millican and others complete successful quarter-mile runs, time after time.

"Of course, we’re proud that Eagle Pd can lower equipment production noise to safe standards," said Gregg. "But seeing the belt’s big yellow logo positioned directly behind the cockpit and handling the power of a 6,000 plus-horsepower dragster engine is very exciting."


With conventional blower belts, engine shutdown with rubber pieces flying through the air are not uncommon at drag racing events. When a supercharger blower belt breaks, the driver’s race is over. That’s why most crew chiefs replace the blower belt between each heat.

But Millican and the Peter Lehman race team, led by Crew Chief Mike Kloeber, have such confidence in the integrity and strength of Eagle Pd, they’ve been known to run a single belt for seven consecutive rounds before changing it out.

IHRA and NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car teams have taken notice of Eagle Pd’s strength and endurance and its use in competition is growing. The Lehman team first tried Eagle Pd in 2001, when Millican captured his first of three consecutive Top Fuel championships. Since then, he has surpassed a 24-year-old mark set by "Big Daddy" Don Garlits to become the winningest driver in IHRA history.

The belt’s look is distinguishable from all others. Its self-tracking, chevron-like helical-offset-tooth design eliminates the need for sprocket flanges. Its thin profile belies its strength needed to meet the demands of drag racing. Gregg said that the belt’s cords resist load shock, stretching and fatigue.

The belt’s synchronous helical-offset-tooth chevron pattern provides continuous tooth engagement and self-centring tracking, which eliminates the need for sprocket flanges. No flanges — combined with added strength — allow for a narrower belt drive and more engine space. It also avoids energy-robbing friction and belt wear related to flange and belt edge contact.

Goodyear Engineered Products, a leading producer of power transmission products is also a global manufacturer of conveyor belts and industrial hose products.

For more information on Eagle Pd Drive Systems, visit, call 1-888-275-4397 or email the company at