Racing Terms G
- The garage area
at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
- GAS CAN
- Large steel can
used to fill the tank of NASCAR racers during a pit stop.
A car usually holds two 10 gallon cans of fuel.
- GAS CATCHER
- The person on
a NASCAR pit crew that uses a small catch can to catch the
overflow of gas from a rear pipe as the tank is filled on
a pit stop.
- GAS MAN
- The person on
a pit crew with the job of filling the car with fuel from
either a can (NASCAR venue) or from a filler hose (IRL, CART
- Drivers use this
to describe a mechanical part that fails.
UP THROUGH THE GEARS
- Refers to a driver
upshifting from the lowest to the highest gear.
- GOT UNDER
- A driver out
brakes an opponent on the inside of a turn and makes a pass.
- This French term
meaning grand prize is widely used to refer to a race. At
one time in racing, it was used exclusively for a series'
grand finale, usually the most important race.
- A track that
has little or no rubber on it from previous races. A green
track is a bad condition that allows little or no traction
for a race car.
designed parts which are fitted to the lower areas of a car
to create additional downforce. Many production car owners
add ground effects more for style than function.
- A vertical extension
to the back edge of an Indy car wing invented by racing legend
Dan Gurney to generate more downforce, especially at higher
angles of attack. This device is usually made of metal, aluminum
or carbon fiber and is also known as a wickerbill or a return.
- A slow, 180-turn
which exits in the opposite direction a driver enters.
- The driver has
the pedal to the metal or has "dropped the hammer" full throttle.
- A fire resistant
head mask or balaclava.
- Used to cover
and protect exposed areas from flying debris as helicopter
technicians developed it to protect rotors.
- A drag racing
term for beating an opponent off the starting line and winning
a race despite having a slower elapsed time. Other racers
use this term to describe a good start or restart.
- When a slower
race car causes cars running faster on the track to slow and
does not heed the "move over flag" of the race officials.
- A car that is
performing great because all parts are "hooked up" or working
- The estimated
power needed to lift 33,000 lbs. one foot per minute roughly
equated with a horse's strength.
- HOT LAP
- A car(s) is running
at or near racing speed on the course.
- HOT PITS
- A car(s) is/are
on the track. Only crew members and racing officials are allowed
into the pits for safety reasons.
- The Indianapolis
Motor Speedway. Also referred to as the Brickyard.
- The International
Motor Sports Association. The North American road racing sanctioning
body featuring prototype GTS sports car series.
- The machine used
to removed wheel nuts. Also an air wrench or air gun.
- The enclosed
portion of a track which includes team garages on most oval
tracks. During race weekends, this area is usually filled
with large transporters, merchandise trailers, and driver
and fan motorhomes.
GROOVE OR LINE
- On an oval track,
this is the innermost racing line which is usually separated
from the infield by a distinctly flat surface called an apron.
On road courses, the inside groove refers to the line closest
to the curbs or walls forming the inner portion of turns.
- Dale Earnhardt’s
nick name because of his driving style, which some might call
- IN THE
- A phrase used
to describe the wreck of a race car involving several cars
or only one car.
- A driver is distracted
(or kept busy) by another driver who is relentlessly pursuing.
A LEG OUT OF BED
- An engine breaks
a connecting rod which penetrates the engine block and ends
a driver's day. Announcers describe this as the engine "blowing
- The unofficial
title given retired racer Richard Petty. Petty has a career
high of seven NASCAR driving championships and a record setting
200 separate victories on the track.
- Turbo lag. The
time it takes a turbocharger to "boost" an engine's power
from the moment the driver pushes the throttle.
- One time around
a track. Also used as a verb when a driver passes a car and
is a full lap ahead of (or has lapped) that opponent. A driver
"laps the field" by lapping every other car in the race.
- LAP CAR
- Any race car
that is running one or more laps down to the leader of the
- The number of
laps a car is running behind the leader of the race. It can
range from only one lap to several hundred.
- A car can be
propelled or launched into the air (all four wheels are off
the ground) by hitting a severe bump or another car.
- Turning into
a corner late and missing the optimum apex point.
- The race leader's
lap. If the leader laps you for the first time, you are no
longer on the lead lap.
- High tech race
cars (e.g. Indy cars and Formula One cars) have engine management
systems which can adjust air/fuel mixtures. Drivers trying
to conserve fuel will "run their engines lean" by using a
decreased fuel/increased air mixture.
- LET GO
- Most commonly
used when an engine fails or "blows up." Announcers also use
this term for other parts of a car that fail.
- To raise or lift
your foot of the gas pedal. Commonly used when drivers have
to "lift" after an unsuccessful pass attempt to slow down
and get back into the racing line.
- Just like production
cars, racers can lock up the brakes and even "flat spot" their
tires at race speeds.
- Commonly refers
to a car's gas pedal because of the design. Also used to describe
a brake pedal when brakes wear out because the driver has
to push the pedal harder and further to slow down.
- A driver ponders
a pass. The driver will actually move over, look at the possible
passing area and make a decision to go or not.
- A car has more
grip in the front than the rear end and tends to "fish tail."
Drivers often report whether the car is "loose" or "tight"
so the crew can make Pit Pass adjustments. Please see oversteer.
- Area above the
racing line that contains chucks of rubber, stones and other
materials that can harm the car or tires and cause a driver
to lose control.
- LOW DRAG
- Adjusting a car's
aerodynamic features to minimize drag which also reduces downforce.
This setup achieves better performance on straightaways and
reduced cornering ability.
- LOW LINE
- See "low groove
- A driver is catching
up to or gaining ground an opponent.
- Rocks and debris
that collect off the racing line. If a driver enters the marbles
at an excessive speed, his car will lose grip and drive perilously
into awaiting hazards as if a person walked across a bed of
- MAX REVS
- Revving a car
to its maximum RPM levels.
- A name given
Bill Elliott after his win of the Winston Million in 1985.
He was the first driver to meet the required three out of
four wins on the major speedways of NASCAR. Only one other
driver has done this to date and that was Jeff Gordon in 1997.
- When a driver
is using the race car in a prudent and wise fashion and not
demanding more of the car than it can perform.