I always did fine with radials and a stick. In my car, how it worked depending a whole lot more on the tire composition and suspension than if it was a radial. I could easily pull the front tires on the 1-2 shift using a TKO600 with M&H street legal drag radials, and if they spin they still push the car along.
Aside from the obvious RPM change by changing diameter, a shorter tire has less footprint and can't be run quite as low on air. The shorter tire, if you have stock arm angles, gives better geometry for the same ride height.
A narrower rim will take weight off the outer tire edges or even pull the edges up, especially with a short tire. You can offset this with less pressure if you don't run into drifting around at high speed or if you don't go so low the tire wads up. I wouldn't run much less than a tire manufacturer says.
The entire interaction between things is complex.
If you just have marginal power, like below 500-600 HP, something like an M&H drag radial will be a very good tire. It will handle well, be good on the street or marginal track prep, last a while, and hook way better than many other DOT legal tires. If you have a ton of power you'll have to watch the tire choice, the MT ET Street SS is a good tire. It will work almost like a slick or one of the minimum tread drag radials.
Hoosiers just don't last in my car. The rubber rolls up and the sidewalls go away in a few passes, while a MT tire will last 15-20 passes.
This is a 295 55R15 DOT street legal full tread MT ET SS that fits in the mildly hammered stock wheel wells of a 3200lb car. This is an easy 1.2 second 60 ft street legal tire. The best I've been on an M&H street legal is high 1.3 second 60.
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89 LX. 363, single turbo, Super Vic EFI, TFS high port heads by TEA, solid roller, glide. Holley HP EFI. (exact combo varies)