Racing Terms and Slang


60' Time - Time it takes a vehicle to travel the first 60' of the track.  Good 60' time is a crucial to achieving superior elapsed times.  It is a good indicator of above average driving skills.

Backpedal - When a driver has to let off the throttle to stop tire shake.

Big End - Far side of the track near the finish line.

Bottom End - Near side of the track past the starting line.

Breakout - When a driver runs quicker than his dial-in time in handicap racing.

Broadway - The dragstrip.

Bumped - When a driver loses standing in qualifying position.

Bump Spot - Minimum elapsed time needed to qualify.

Burnout - Process of spinning tires to clean them off, get them hot, and lay down a patch of rubber in front of the car for better traction.

Christmas Tree - device used to indicate the start of a race.

Chute - A parachute used to help slow cars down.

Deep Stage - Staging a car several inches farther into the stage beam putting the car slightly closer to the finish line.  Drivers who deep stage are more likely to red light.

DNQ - Did Not Qualify

Doorslammer - A race car with doors (as opposed to a dragster)

Elapsed Time - The time it took a race car to travel from the starting line to the finish line.

Foul Start - Red light.  When a car leaves the stage beam before the green light.

Full Tree - Sportsman Tree.  Used most often in Comp, Stock, Super Stock, and amateur racing.  The amber bulbs light up sequentially 1/2 second apart instead of all at once like on a pro tree.

Goose eggs - A perfect reaction time (.000).

Groove - A path of rubber laid down by other cars on the track surface.

Hat - Helmet.

Index - A handicap assigned by NHRA in index classes.

Loose - When a car loses traction or gets out of the groove.

Oildown - When a car breaks down during a race and spills fluids on track surface.

On The Trailer - To be eliminated from competition.

Perfect Light - A perfect reaction time.  Perfect reaction time is .000

Pre-staged - When the race car has broken the first staging beam and the top two double amber lights are lit.

Pro Tree - Used in heads-up racing.  All three amber bulbs flash simultaneously followed by the green light .4 second later.

Rail Car - Dragster.

Reaction Time - Time it takes the driver to leave the stage beam after the green light has been lit.

Red Light - A foul start.  When a race car has left the stage beam before the green light was lit.

Sand Trap - Located at the very end of the dragstrip.  It helps cars that have lost braking ability come to a halt.

Shoe - Driver.

Shutdown Area - Distance between the finish line and the sand trap where cars slow down after the race.

Slick - Race tire without tread.

Speed Trap - The trap is the last 66' before the finish line where an average speed is calculated.

Staged - When the race car blocks the second beam and the second set of double amber bulbs are lit.  Once both cars are staged, the tree will be activated and the race will commence.

Time Slip - The results of the race.  A piece of paper listing the reaction time, 60' time, 330' time, 1/8 mile time and speed, 1000' time, and 1/4 mile time and speed.

Top End - Far side of the track near the finish line.

Treed - Having significantly worse reaction time than the opponent.

Wally - NHRA trophy.