Aftermarket: Generally the replacement parts and high performance products
Air dam: Used to direct or block airflow. Used in front to prevent airflow
to undercarriage and intended
to prevent turbulence and lift.
Arm restraints: Restraining to restrict arm movement.
Ballast: A controlled amount of weight. Functionally positioned, used to
help traction or prevent wheel
Belly Pan: Generally, a skin of aluminum or fiberglass used to cover the
undercarriage of vehicle,
assisting in preventing turbulence and air drag.
Burn out: Spinning of rear wheels at high RPM in water to heat and clean
drive tire prior to a run,
resulting in increase of traction.
Camber: Tilting of top wheels from the vertical. When tilt is outward,
camber is positive.
Castor: Tilting of steering axis forward or backwards to provide directional
steering ability. Positive
caster is recommended in drag racing.
Catch-can: A container used to collect liquid overflow preventing spillage
on the race track. Also known
as catch can.
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 or Moly. Short for Chromium Molybenum steel. A
very strong tubing
highly adaptable for race car construction.
Chute: Short for parachute or drag chute. Used to assist high speed braking.
Competition area: The staging lanes, race track, and return road area.
Delay box: A devise that causes a delay between the release of a button and
action of the vehicle.
Dial In: Elapsed time selection which relates to the vehicles actual elapsed
time in practice. The elapsed
time racer thinks his car will run.
Driver's Suit: Generally, protective clothing made of fire resistant
E.T.: Elapsed time. The total time it takes to go from starting line to
Eliminations: When vehicles are raced two at a time resulting in one winner
and one loser. Loser is
eliminated and winner continues to race tournament-style competition.
Fire resistant: Represented by the manufacturer as being fire resistant.
Fishtail: Rear of vehicle swaying from side to side. Generally the result of
Flash Shield: A device to encompass the air inlet of a carburetor's sides,
top, and rear. To protect driver
in case of engine backfire.
Foul start: when a vehicle leaves the starting line before the green light
Fuel Injection: (F.I.) A system replacing conventional carburetors which
puts fuel under pressure into
combustion chamber or into air flow prior to entering chamber.
Gussett: A reinforcement addition adding web-like or triangular
reinforcement to car structure, usually
welded in place.
Halon: Special Freon fire extinguisher. (Ref FE 1301) Generally a 3% to 5%
concentration will extinguish
Headers: Fine-tuned exhaust system routing exhaust from engine. Replaces
Hole Shot: A starting line advantage achieved by the quicker reactioned
Hotchkiss-Type: An open exposed driveline assembly. The type of rear
suspension in which the springs
absorb the rear axle torque.
Ladder Bars: A 3 point traction device with 2 attachment points at the rear
axle housing and one point
at the frame.
Lexan: A trade name of General Electric used for a durable and clear plastic
material. Used for
replacement windows and windshields.
M.I.G.: Metal Inert Gas arc welding. Uses a continuous-feed filler rod
material pulled through the torch
from a roll of wire.
M.P.H: Mile per hour
Magnaflux: The process of using a special electromagnet and magneting powder
to detect cracks in iron
which may be invisible to the naked eye.
Nomax: Trade name of Dupont, a fire resistant fabric used in the
manufacturing of protective clothing.
O.E.: Original Equipment Manufacturer. Original automobile manufacturer.
Otto Cycle: The four operations of intake, compression, power, and exhaust
(4-cycle engine). Named for
the inventor, Doctor Nikolaus Otto.
Pilot Chute: A spring loaded device which pulls the braking parachute from
Planetary transmission: A transmission in which the various gears revolve
around one another.
R.P.M.: Revolutions per minute.
S.E.M.A.: Specialty Equipment Market Association
S.F.I.: Foundation Inc-Administers standards for specialty/performance
automotive and racing
Shoulder harness: An upper torso restraining device.
Slider clutch: A multi-disc assembly clutch designed to slip until a
predetermined R.P.M. decreases shock
load to drive wheel.
Snell: Snell memorial foundation. A foundation generally known for its
Spoiler: See air dam.
Spool: A one-piece ring gear carrier providing equal rotational drive to
Staging lanes: The designed build-up area for lining up before making runs.
Stick: Generally a manual transmission requiring a clutch and gear changes.
Stock: As originally produced by O.E.M.
Street: Equipment generally required by law or needed for legal street
operation; license plates,
windshield wipers, horn, lights, etc.
Subframe: Utilized in construction of unibody vehicle when a full
front-to-rear frame is not used.
Supercharger: Crack driven air/fuel compressor (blower), raises atmospheric
pressure in engine
resulting in added horsepower.
T.I.G.: Tungesten Inert Gas arc welding-uses filler material which is fed
into the molten puddle from
side of the torch by hand. Produces high quality, but is very time consuming
weld. Preferred for race car
Tech Committee: Any local drag way or NHRA Technical staff.
Terminal Speed: Maximum or top speed at the finish line.
Traction bars: A device to control rear-end torque and stabilizing
suspension. Transmits torque to
frame, increasing traction.
Transmission blanket: A flexible wrap intended to constrain parts in case of
Tread width: The measurement from centerline of left tire to the centerline
of right tire.
Turbocharger: Exhaust-driven intake air compressor (turbo). See
Weight Transfer: The setting up of suspension to transfer weight from the
front to the rear during
takeoff & acceleration. In drag racing weight transfer is critical for
Wheelie bars: Bars with wheels at the rear to prevent excessive front-end
Windscreen: Used to deflect wind and/or debris from driver. Used on some
cars in place of windshield.
Wings/Airfoil: Stabilizer generally used to create down forces, increasing
stability and tire to track
adherence at high speeds.