Street and Drift Wheel and Tire Upgrade With Weld Racing and Falken

It is quite likely that if you mention Weld Wheels to most Mustang enthusiasts, the majority will almost immediately think drag cars. While the iconic Kansas City, Missouri based wheel manufacturer did earn its reputation in the Mustang market by producing strong, lightweight wheels for drag racers and street/strip enthusiasts, Weld manufactures wheels for more than just running in a straight line.

For project sidewayS197, Formula Drift superstar, and Mustang pilot, Justin Pawlak (JTP) required a wheel that was lightweight, strong and durable. sidewayS197 is not just a street car, JTP also regularly slides this car around doing drift exhibitions for fans.

Weld Wheels are for more than just traveling in a straight line. Justin Pawlak’s project sidewayS197 is just one example.

For JTP, Weld’s RT-S S77B, available from, was the perfect match to sidewayS197. These three piece modular wheels are welded together for strength, and feature a forged center, with a cold forged rim shell. The black finish and polished lip is a popular combination for today’s Mustang enthusiasts. With a variety of back spacing and pad heights available to clear almost any brake configuration, and offer perfect fit, the S77B looks right at home on this car.

The S77B also meets SAE standard J2530 for aftermarket wheels and carries a load rating of 1,580 pounds per wheel. According to Weld Racing, the final result of all this is an extremely strong wheel that remains light weight, while performing outstanding on the track, and meeting the latest standards for quality and safety.

For sidewayS197, JTP chose 18×9.5-inch wheels in the front with 11mm offset, and 18×11 inch wheels for the rear with 18mm offset. This size and offset gives the car the proper amount of grip and traction for drifting. Combined with the suspension modifications the car is stable and feels as at home with the tires ablaze as it does cruising down the street.

Hugging the Weld wheels, and doing their best to hold on to the wheels at speed and put on a smoke filled show are Falken Azenis 615k tires, 245/40/18 up front and 275/35/18 rear. Falken has been a long time supporter of JTP in Formula Drift. The Azenis tire is intended for serious enthusiasts, and is designed to offer the characteristics of a motorsports tire, in a 200 treadwear street friendly package. For JTP and sidewayS197 this means the car can be driven around SoCal on the highway and city streets with no worries, and still provide plenty of the right kind of grip when it’s time to get sideways at the track. Large shoulder blocks, a wide center rib, and a race inspired tread compound work with a high tension tire carcass to deliver predictable driving characteristics whether it’s cruising to the local coffee shop, or slaying the asphalt.

The styling of the Weld RT-S S77B wheels, combined with the Falken rubber, and the rest of the exterior modifications to sidewayS197 complete the drift look and feel. We couldn’t be more pleased with the way the wheel and tire package compliments the appearance of the car.

JTP isn’t just running these wheels on his street and exhibition car either, he’s also using them for his Formula Drift ride, pushing the Weld Racing Wheels name into one more frontier of motorsports.

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About the author

Don Creason

Don Creason is an automotive journalist with passions that lie from everything classic, all the way to modern muscle. Experienced tech writer, and all around car aficionado, Don's love for both cars and writing makes him the perfect addition to the Power Automedia team of experts.
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