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Glossary

Aftermarket: Generally the replacement parts and high performance products market.

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 stands.

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 material.

E.T.: Elapsed time. The total time it takes to go from starting line to finish.

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 traction loss.

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 starting signal.

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 fire.

Headers: Fine-tuned exhaust system routing exhaust from engine. Replaces conventional exhaust manifolds.

Hole Shot: A starting line advantage achieved by the quicker reactioned driver.

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 its pack.

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 equipment.

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 helmet specifications.

Spoiler: See air dam.

Spool: A one-piece ring gear carrier providing equal rotational drive to both axles.

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 production.

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 transmission disintegration.

Tread width: The measurement from centerline of left tire to the centerline of right tire.

Turbocharger: Exhaust-driven intake air compressor (turbo). See Supercharger.

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 traction.

Wheelie bars: Bars with wheels at the rear to prevent excessive front-end lift.

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.