After Market - Generally, the replacement parts and high
performance products market.
Air Dam - Used to direct or block air flow. Used in front to
prevent air flow to undercarriage, intended to prevent turbulence and
Air Foil - Stabilizer, generally used to create down forces,
increasing stability and tire-to-track adherence at high speeds.
Arm restraints - Restraining straps to restrict arm movement in
a car accident.
Ballast - A controlled amount of weight, functionally
positioned, used to help car meet class weight requirements.
Belly Pan - Generally, a skin of aluminum or fiberglass used to
cover the under carriage of vehicle, assisting in preventing
turbulence and air drag.
Blueprinting - The meticulous matching to factory
specifications all parts and/or components. Dressing parts to absolute
design callout or manufacturer's specifications.
Bleach Box - Section of track before the starting line where
cars spin the tires in water.
Breakout - (Run Under) When your elapsed time is quicker than
your dial-in, causes you to be disqualified.
Burned Piston - When a cylinder runs lean (too much air in the
air-to-fuel mixture) and excessive heat burns or melts the piston.
Burn-out - Spinning of rear wheels at high RPM in water to heat
and clean drive tire rubber prior to a run, resulting in increased
Bye Run - A lone run given to a randomly chosen car, because of
an unequal number of cars in the round.
C.C - Cubic Centimeter, a metric unit of volume measurement,
equal to approximately 0.061 cubic inch.
C.F.M. - Cubic Feet per Minute. A measure of volume.
C.I.D. - Cubic Inch Displacement. A measure of volume.
Camber - Tilting of the top of the wheels from the vertical. When
tilt is outward, camber is positive.
Caster - Tilting of steering axis forward or backward to
provide directional steering ability. Positive caster recommended for
Catch-can - A container used to catch liquid overflow,
preventing spillage on race track. Also known as catch-tank.
Christmas Tree - An electronic starting device incorporating
calibrated lights displaying a visual countdown for each driver,
activated by a designated official.
Chromoly - Also Chrome Moly. Short for Chromium Molybdenum
steel. A very strong and light tubing highly adaptable for race cars.
Chute - Short for parachute or drag chute. Used to assist
Clutch can - Bell housing, the bell-shaped housing used to
encase clutch and flywheel.
Clutch lockup - The progression of the clutch-disc engagement
controlled by an air-timer management system.
Competition Area - The staging lanes and race track surface.
Deep Staging - When the racer inches his car forward, not
completely passed the starting line (staging line) so much as to turn
off the staging light.
Dial-ins - Driver's predictions of E.T.'s their cars will run
in their first eliminations.
Dialing Under - Allows competitors in Stock and Super Stock the
option of selecting a time faster than the National Index. Applied in
handicap elimination racing where breakout is in effect.
Diaper - A blanket made from ballistic and absorbent material,
often Kevlar, that surrounds the oil pan and serves as a containment
device during engine explosions.
Displacement - In an engine, the total volume of air/fuel
mixture an engine is theoretically capable of drawing into all
cylinders during one operating cycle.
Dropped cylinder - When a cylinder becomes too rich (too much fuel
in the air-to-fuel mixture) and prevents the spark plug (s) from
Dry Hops - Process of spinning your tires on dry pavement.
E.T. - (Elapsed Time). The total time it takes to get from the
starting line to the finish line.
Eliminations - When cars are raced two at a time, resulting in
one winner and one loser "eliminated". Winner continues to
race in a tournament-style competition.
F.I.A. - International Federation of Automobile Clubs. Sole
international body governing motoring sport.
Ferrous - Containing iron, as in metals.
Fishtail - Aft lateral oscillation, generally the result of
Final MPH Light Beam - Shuts off MPH computer.
Finish Line - Line which determines winner and computes Elapsed
Finish Line Light Beam - Light beam to shut off elapsed time
computer and signals win indicator and elapsed time.
First MPH Light Beam - Light beam to start MPH computer.
Flash Shield - A device to encompass the air inlet of a
carburetor's sides, top, rear. To protect driver in case of engine
Foul Start - Leaving the starting line before the green light
Fuel Check - A tech station used to inspect fuels to insure
content is within limits allowed for that particular class. Analysis
Fuel Injection - (F.I.)A system replacing conventional carburetion
which delivers fuel under pressure into combustion chamber of air flow
prior to entering chamber.
Full Tree - The method used to start cars at the starting line.
The method used is one yellow light is used at a time, then the green
light. As opposed to all yellow lights are lit at once then the green light (Pro-Tree).
The reaction time used in full tree is .500.
Gilmer Belt - Toothed or splined drive belt used with matching
pulley, generally a non-slip drive belt.
Guard Beam - Light beam to alert officials if driver starts to
race before the green light appears. Often called a foul start.
Gusset - A reinforcement addition adding web-like or
triangulation reinforcement to car structure, usually welded in place.
Halon - Special Freon Fire Extinguisher. Generally a 3% to 5%
concentration will extinguish fire.
Handicap - When one car is faster than the other, the slower
gets a head start. Headstart depends on previous elapsed times or dial
Headers - Fine-tuned exhaust system routing exhaust from
engine. Replaces conventional exhaust manifolds.
Hemi - Generally an engine with a combustion chamber having
resemblance to a hemi-sphere or round ball, cut in half. Spark plugs
are also located in center of head, not to one side.
Hole Shot - Starting-line advantage achieved by the quicker
Hydralic - When a cylinder fills with too much fuel, thus
prohibiting compression by the cylinder and causing a mechanical
malfunction, usually an explosive one.
Index - Elapsed time assigned by NHRA or IHRA to allow various
classes to race together with an equitable handicap starting system.
Inline - Cylinders in a single row, valve stems in a single
Interval timers - Interval timers are part of a secondary
timing system that records elapsed times, primarily for the racers'
benefit, at 60, 330, 660, and 1000 feet.
Ladder Bars - A 3-point traction device with 2 attaching points
at rear axle housing and 1 point at frame.
Length of Track - 1320' 1/4 mile distance from start to finish.
Lexan - A trade name of General Electric used for a durable
thermal resistant plastic material used where transparent material is required
(i.e.., face plates, goggles, windows, etc.)
M.I.G. - Metal Insert Gas Arc welding. Uses a continuous-feed
filler rod material pulled through the torch from a roll of wire.
M.P.H. - Miles per hour.
- The process of using a
special electromagnet and magnetic powder to detect cracks in iron
which may be invisible to the naked eye.
Methanol - Technically pure methyl alcohol CH3oh(toxic)
produced by synthesis.
Minimum weight - The lowest allowed weight for the vehicle in
Nomex - Trade name of DuPont, a fire-resistant fabric used in
the manufacture of protective clothing.
O.E. - Original Equipment (as originally produced and installed
by factory manufacturing automobile.) Originally equipped.
O.E.M. - Original Equipment Manufacturer. Original Automobile
O.H.C. - Overhead Cam.
Otto Cycle - The four operations of intake, compression, power,
and exhuast(4-cycle engine). Named for inventor Dr. Nikolaus Otto.
Permanent - Pre-assigned, registered competition numbers
assigned by NHRA or IHRA.
Pilot Chute - A spring-loaded device which pulls the braking
chute from its pack.
Pits - Where the race cars are worked on.
Pre-Staged Light Beam - Light beam used to warn drivers they
are inches away from starting line. This beam when broken by front
wheels sets off pre-staged bulb on top of the Christmas Tree.
Planetary Transmission - A transmission in which the various
gears revolve around one another. Consists of a sun gear, carrier with
planet gears and ring gears. Also known as overdrive or underdrive.
Port - The opening in an engine where the valve operates and
through which the air-fuel mixture or exhaust passes.
Protest - A complaint filed against a competitor, investigated
Pro-Tree - The method of starting cars from starting line,
using the Christmas tree. Method used is all three yellow bulbs light
then green as opposed to one yellow light at a time then green (full
tree). Also uses a reaction time of .400.
R.P.M. - Revolutions per minute.
Rake - Bottom of body not parallel to ground (lower in front).
Reaction Time - Computed in thousandths of a second and is the
time how quickly you moved off the starting line after the go signal.
Return Road - Road which leads from shutdown area back to the
pits or staging lanes.
Round - When all cars in a bracket (class) have made a run.
Shutdown Area - Area located after finish line for racing cars
Speed Trap - The final 66 feet to the finish line, known as the
speed trap, where speed is recorded.
Staging Director - A person who directs the flow of traffic
from the staging lanes to the race lanes.
Staging Lanes - Lanes where drivers line up and wait to make a
run down the track.
Staged Light Beam - Light beam used to warn drivers they are on
the starting line ready to race. This beam when broken sets off staged
bulb on top of the Christmas Tree.
Supercharger - The supercharger, or blower, is a crank-driven
air/fuel compressor. It increases atmospheric pressure in the engine,
resulting in added horsepower.
Tech Area - Area where Drag Officials inspect tires, steering,
brakes or anything that might be a safety hazard before time trials.
Time Slip - Printout of Elimination information.
Time Trials - Practice runs.
Timing Booth - Printouts of Elimination Elapsed Times are
Traps - The two beams of light at the end of the drag strip
which compute mile per hour.
Water Burnout - Process of spinning your tires in water to get
the tires hot and sticky for
Wheelie Bars - Bars attached to the rear of the car to prevent
excessive front wheel lift.