- Alternate - Also called "Alternate Starter."
The car that just missed a transfer spot to the main event. In
case a car that already qualified for the main event fails to
start, the alternate can join the field and start the race.
- A-Main Event - Also called the "A-Feature." The feature event
and biggest race of the program. This
is the race that has the most cars, points, prize money, and is generally from 30 to 50 laps.
- Apex - the point in a corner where a car is closest to the inside edge of the track. Drivers try to "hit" the apex to take the straightest line and maintain
- Arm Restraints - Straps attached to a driver's arms to
limit range of motion and keep the arms and hands inside the car
in case of a flip.
- ASCA - Arizona Sprint Car Association.
- Ascot Park - Legendary race track, located in Gardena,
CA. Closed in 1990.
- Attrition - The rate at which cars
drop out of a race. This is due to mechanical failures or
- "Backing It In" - Term used to describe a
non-wing sprint car's entry into a corner. The car enters the
turn in a slide with the rear of the car leading the front of
- Back Marker - A car running at the
rear of the field.
- Back Out - When a driver takes his foot off the gas pedal (all the way or part way), he "backs out" or "lifts."
- Bandits - Non-Wing 360 Sprint Car Group, based in
- Banking - The
slope of the turns, which can help cars enter and exit the corners.
A flat track would have 0 degrees of banking. A track with 15
degrees would have significant banking. The higher the degree of banking,
the faster the cars will be able to travel.
- BCRA - Bay Cities Racing Association.
- Bead Lock - A device used to fasten the tire bead to
the wheel rim. This helps to keep the tire on the wheel and
prevents the tire from slipping.
- Bench Racing - Talking about racing.
- "Big George" - SCRA Sprint Car driver George
- Binders - Brakes. Used in the expression "jumped
on the binders."
- Bite - The amount of traction that a race car has at the rear wheels.
- BK - Northern California driver Brent Kaeding.
- Black Flag - Signals a driver to pull immediately into the pits for
safety reasons. Failure to enter pits after receiving the black
flag can result in disqualification.
- Bladder - The bladder keeps the fuel from spilling and catching fire in the case of a rear impact.
- Blistering - Racing tires when they overheat. The top
layer of rubber comes off in small chunks.
- Blown Engine - An engine that has failed completely.
Most often it will "go up in flames."
- Blue Flag w/ Yellow Stripe - This flag is displayed to
direct the cars to allow the traffic lapping them to pass without delay.
- B-Main Event - The "last chance race" to get
into the main event.
- Bobble - A miscue by a driver.
- Bolt-On Parts - Term used to describe the parts that
attach to the car's chassis. Ex. radius rods, arms, and axles.
- Brain Fade - A lack of focus that can lead to making a
mistake during a race.
- Bubble - The last position available to qualify for the
heat races. Slower qualification times will result in starting
the consolation races.
- Bull Ring - An oval track of a half-mile or less.
- "Bullet" - ASCA / SCRA Driver Bob Ream Jr.
- California Modifieds - A Wingless Spec Sprint Division
that competes at Orland Raceway in Northern California.
- Catch Fence - The fence along the wall that protects spectators from
errant cars, parts, etc.
- Caution - A yellow flag condition, where no passing is
allowed (unless ordered by officials for racing order) and cars
must slow down.
- CC - Cubic Centimeters. The standard measure of
displacement in Europe. A liter, 1000 cubic centimeters, is
approximately 61 cubic inches.
- "Chargin' Charlie" - ASCA / SCRA Driver
Charles Davis Jr.
- Chassis - The basic frame/structure of a race car to which all other components are attached.
- Checked Out - Expression when the leader drives
away from the rest of the field and will seem impossible to
- Chili Bowl - A nationally recognized indoor Midgets
race in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This event draws over 100 cars.
- Chute - A race track straightaway.
- CLS - California Lightning Sprints.
- C-Main Event - A race that is sometimes referred to as a
'consolation race'. The participants did not qualify fast enough
to earn a spot in the heat races. Usually filled with rookies or cars that had
- Collected - When a car is caught in an incident that
they did not cause. If a car spins and is struck by a second car
to a stop, the second car is said to be collected.
- Compound - The rubber
mixture for tires. A softer compound tire provides better traction but wears out much faster than a harder compound tire which doesn't provide as much grip.
- Cone - Marker to indicate the starting spot for the
- Contingency Award- Money or prizes that are awarded to
racers by parties other than the race promoter. Typically based
on the use of a sponsor's product.
- "Cowboy" - SCRA driver Tony Jones.
- CRA - California Racing Association.
- Crossed Flags - The race has reached the half-way
- Crew Chief - Lead mechanic that makes decisions or
implements changes to the car for racing conditions.
- Cushion - A dirt curb or edge formed by cars running
the same line in a corner.
- Cylinder - A hollow tubular area in the cylinder block
where the piston travels and combustion takes place.
- Cylinder Head - The top of the cylinder block that
contains the spark plugs and valves. It seals the cylinder and
forms the top of the combustion chamber.
- "CZ" - SCRA / CRA Sprint Car Driver Charlie
- "Deano" - CRA Sprint Car Driver Dean
- "Demon" - SCRA driver Damion Gardner.
- Dicing - Close, exciting driving between 2 or more
racers. Positions are exchanged frequently.
- Displacement - A measure of an engine's size. It's the difference between the volume contained in the cylinders when the pistons are at the bottom of the stroke and the volume that remains when the pistons are at the top of the stroke. It can be calculated by multiplying bore times stroke times 0.785 times the number of cylinders.
- DNF - Did not finish.
- DNQ - Did not qualify.
- DNS - Did not start.
- Dialing In - The driver and crew making setup adjustments to
for better handling.
- Diamond - Taking corners by driving into them fairly
straight and then making a sharp turn in the middle of the
corner. The car will then drive out of the corner fairly
straight. This will give a diamond-shaped trajectory around the
- Dirt Track - A track that is not paved, with dirt,
clay, or a mixture of the two.
- Don Peabody Classic - Sprint Car Race that was held at
Ascot Park to honor the late CRA President.
- DQ - Disqualifed from the event. Usually for safety
reasons, the car not meeting certain standards, or for negative
- Driver's Championship - The driver earning the most points by the end of the season wins the drivers'
- Driver's Meeting - A meeting prior to a major race that
is conducted by race officials. All drivers in the race are
required to attend. Used to discuss rule changes, unusual
conditions, and race format.
- Dropped Cylinder - A cylinder becomes too rich (too much fuel in the
air/fuel mixture), which prevents the spark plug (s) from firing.
- Dry-Slick - A dry dirt track with little or no
moisture. Often associated with a dusty track.
- Fast Time - The time for the driver who had the fastest
lap during qualifying. Also called quick time.
- Fast Qualifier - The driver that had the fastest lap
- Feature - Main Event.
- "Fidgets" - Slang for the Ford Focus Midgets.
- Field - The group of cars that starts a race or the
total number of cars in attendance.
- Fire Suit - Fire-resistant clothing which is required
clothing for drivers.
- Five - The starter will show the field their hand or
"five fingers" to indicate 5 Laps remaining.
- Flagman - The person standing in the tower above the Start/Finish Line who controls the race with a
selection of flags.
- "Flyin' Brian" - SCRA Sprint Car driver Brian
Venard. Second generation driver, son of Sprint Car legend
Buster and brother to Steve.
- "Flying Canuck" - Sprint Car driver J. Hicks.
- "Flying Greek" - SCRA Sprint Car driver Alex
- Fours - Four car wide salute to the fans
from the racers. Normally at the start of the nights main event.
- Fresh Rubber - Adding new tire(s).
- Gary Sokola Classic - Sprint Car Race held at Manzanita
Speedway to honor the late CRA President.
- "Gasman" - SCRA Sprint Car driver Richard
- Grand Marshall - An honor awarded for a special race.
Ventura promoter Jim Naylor served as Grand Marshall for the
2002 Oval Nationals.
- Green Flag - Displayed to signify
the start of the race.
- Grid - Lineup of cars before the start of the race.
- Groove - The line through a corner which drivers have
found to be the fastest.
- GSC - Golden State Challenge.
- Hammer Down - The driver has the gas pedal "to the
metal"- full throttle.
- Hard Charger - The driver that has passed the most cars
in the main event.
- Harness - The safety belt system worn by a race driver.
- Hauler - A tractor trailer that carries the
crew, car, equipment, and tools needed.
- "Haulin' Hollywood" - SCRA / USAC driver John
- Headers - System that routes exhaust from the engine.
- Head Sock - A fire resistant head mask.
- Heat Race - Race where typically the top 4 finishers
will transfer to the main event. The rest of the field will go
to the Semi-Main or B-Main.
- "Hollywood" - Central California Driver Danny
Faria Jr., VRA Driver Luis Espinoza.
- Hooked Up - A car that is performing great because all parts are
working well together.
- Horsepower - The unit for measuring the power output of
an engine. One horsepower is defined as lifting 33,000 pounds
one foot per minute.
- HoserVille CA - Northern California Sprint Car Fan
- "Hotfoot" - SCRA / NASCAR Winston West / USAC
Western States Sprint Car driver Troy Cline.
- IMCA - International Motor Contest Association.
- Independent - A driver that owns the own racing team.
Typically referred as "low buck" and relies on race
winnings as much or more than sponsorship money.
- Infield - The inside of the race
- In/Out Box - Contains direct drive slider gears on a
Sprint Car. Since Sprint Cars do not have a clutch, the car has
to be put in gear to be ready to race. The slider gear has to be
engaged before the sprinter is pushed off and the engine will
start by compression, like a running start on manual-shift
- Inside Line - The shortest line around the track.
Also, the part of the track that is closest to the infield.
- IRL - Indy Racing League.
- Jack Kindoll Classic - Sprint Car Race held at Perris
Auto Speedway to honor the late CRA Car Owner.
- Jeff Bagley Classic - Sprint Car Race held at Ventura
Raceway to honor the late 1988 CRA Rookie of the Year.
- "Jimmy Neutron" - VRA Driver Jimmy Crawford.
- "Johnny 3-Wheel" - A nickname used by
Manzanita Speedway Announcer Windy McDonald for driver JJ Yeley.
Yeley is known to pitch a Sprint Car through the corners on 3
wheels- with the left front wheel high in the air.
- Jumping The Start - When a driver anticipates the
start (green flag) too early.
This will cause a complete restart. Continued violations will
result in a penalty.
- "King of Trona" - Sprint Car driver Michael
- "Kruser" - SCRA / USAC / IRL / NASCAR Truck driver
- Lap - One complete circuit
around the track. As a verb, when the leaders pass the cars at
the back of the field, thus putting the second driver more than
a lap behind, he is said to have lapped him.
- Lapped Car - A car that is
running slow enough such that the race leader has come all the
way around the track and passed it. It is said to be
- "Leadfoot" - A driver
that is very fast and rough on equipment.
- Lead Lap - The race leader's lap.
If the leader laps you for the first time, you are no longer on
the lead lap.
- Let Go - Term to describe when an
engine fails or "blows up." Also when other parts of a
- Lift - To raise or lift your foot
of the gas pedal.
- Lights Out - The lights go out when
the starter is ready to display a green flag.
- Line - The route taken by a driver, especially through
a turn. The high line is a route close to the wall or "on
the cushion", a low line is closer to the track's infield
and shortest distance around the track.
- "Little Red Sucker" - Term used to describe
the Red Bruce Bromme Sprinter. Now the term goes for the Chaffin
- Loose - Term to describe a condition in which
the car's front tires have more traction than the rear, causing
the rear of the car to point toward the outside and the front to
point to the inside. Also called "oversteer."
- Loose Stuff - Loose dirt on the edge of the track.
Contains little or no traction and can result into hitting
the track's wall. Same as marbles.
- Loud Pedal - The accelerator, gas pedal, or throttle.
- LVMS - Las Vegas Motor Speedway, located in Las Vegas,
- Main Event - The A-Main is "The Show." It is
the race that pays the racers.
- Manzy - Manzanita Speedway, located in Phoenix, AZ.
- Marbles - Loose dirt on the edge of the track.
Contains little or no traction and can result into hitting
- "Maverick" - SCRA Driver Adam Mitchell.
- Methanol - Sprint Car Fuel - technically pure methyl
- "Mexican National Champion" - SCRA Sprint
Car driver Steve Ostling.
- Midget - An open wheel car with the engine in front of
the driver and the driver is enclosed in a tall roll cage.
- "Mighty Casey" - SCRA / VRA Driver Casey
- Modifieds - An open-wheeled car with the engine in
front of the driver with an enclosed cockpit.
- NARC - Northern Auto Racing Club.
- NASCAR - National Association for Stock car Auto Racing.
- NCMA - Northern California Modified Association.
- Neutral - Condition of a race car that is not loose or
tight. It is setup to go where it is pointed.
- NMMRA - New Mexico Motor Racing Association.
- NMRA - National 3/4 Midget Racing Association.
- Nomex - A trademark for a fire-resistant fiber often
used in fire suits.
- Non-Wing Sprint Car - A traditional sprint car without
- NWWC - Non-Wing World Championship.
- "One Man Band" - SCRA driver Dan Tedrick, who
drives, wrenches, and tows the car by himself.
- Open Wheel - Cars that have their
wheels exposed- no fenders. Examples are Sprint Cars and
- Oval Nationals - A prestigious national event held at
Perris Auto Speedway. Bud Kaeding won in 2002 and the $30,000
- Oval Track - An elliptical race track with 4
turns/corners. Left turn only.
- Oversteer - The condition in which the car's front
tires have more traction than the rear, causing the rear of the
car to point toward the outside and the front to point to the
inside. Also called "loose."
- Pace Car - The car that leads the
field around the track, prior to the start of the
- Pacific Coast Nationals - Sprint Car Race that was held
at Ascot Park. Once a part of Sprint Car Racing's Triple Crown.
- Parade Lap - A lap taken by cars at slow speed,
normally in 4-Wide formation.
- PAS - Perris Auto Speedway, located in Perris, CA.
- Passing Masters Dash - In SCRA, the 6 lap race that
will determine the starting 4 rows in the night's main event.
This race features the fastest 8 qualifiers the transferred from
their heat races.
- Pinched - When a race car on the inside squeezes an
outside car by the outside wall, This will cause the outside car
to slow down and follow.
- Pit - An area beside the track (or in the infield,
depending on venue) where cars get serviced.
- Pit Crew - The members of the team
that services and repairs a race car.
- Pole - the inside, front row starting position. In
SCRA, the winner of the Passing Masters Dash will start on the
pole for the night's main event.
- Promoter - Someone who organizes a race, puts up the
purse, gets race sponsors, handles advertising and ticket sales,
and assumes the financial risk of putting on the race. The
promoter might be a track owner or the owner of a series'
- Promoter's Option - A promoter can designate
one or more cars to start a race even though they failed to
qualify. Infrequently used.
- Purse - The total prize money to be awarded to the race
participants by the promoter.
- Push - A term
to describe a car's tendency to head toward the outside wall on
a turn. The car will not have the ability to turn sharply
enough. The front tires have little or no traction. Also called
- PVQMA - Pomona Valley Quarter Midget Association.
- Qualifying - The process of competing for starting
positions of heat and consolation races. In SCRA, the racers get
two timed laps. The best/fastest lap is used for the racer.
- Quarter Midget - A
scaled down version of a full midget, with about an 80-inch
wheelbase and the size of a go-kart. An introductory car for
future racing stars, usually from 5 to 16 years old.. In
Southern California, the PVQMA, is a club for kids to join and
- Race Director - The coordinator of the racing event.
Racing procedures are among the directors responsibly.
- "Ready To Run" - VRA / SCRA Driver Chris
- Red Flag - The
flag used to stop the race. Normally due to a crash.
- Red/Yellow Flag - Complete restart. Line up in original
- Restart - The resumption of a race after a caution or
red flag period.
- "Rim Rider" - Driver Chuck Gurney.
- "Ripper" - SCRA Sprint Car driver Rip
- "Roarin' Oren" - VRA Seniors and Southern
California Stock Car Legend Oren Prosser Sr.
- "Rocket" - VRA Driver Ronnie Case, SCRA
Driver Lance Gremett
- Roll Cage - Welded frame that surrounds the driver for
- Rookie - A driver who is inexperienced in the type of
cars that he/she is currently running.
- Rookie Flag - A small yellow flag waving from the back
of a racecar. This indicates to the other drivers that the car
is driven by a rookie driver.
- Rookie of the Year - The outstanding rookie of a series
for a certain year.
- RPM - Revolutions per minute.
- Rub - Light contact between 2 or more cars.
- Sanctioning Body - An organization that sets and
enforces the rules for a race or series..
- Sandbag - To hold back on a car's performance, during
qualifying, to mislead other drivers as to its potential.
- Sawing On The Wheel - Expression
describing when a driver turns the steering wheel back and forth
in a rapid manner.
- SCOA - Sprint Car Owners of Arizona.
- SCRA - Sprint Car Racing Association.
- SCRAFAN.COM - The website that you are visiting right
- Seaside Park - Ventura County Fairgrounds where the
Ventura Raceway is located.
- Seat Time - Time
sitting behind the wheel, competing in a race, qualifying, etc.
- Semi-Main - Referred to as the B-Main or last chance
race. Transfers will go to the main event and the rest are done
for the night.
- Setup - The combination of settings for a car's engine,
tires, and chassis. Teams make constant adjustments to a car's
setup based on driver input.
- Shake Down - Testing a brand-new car or engine.
- "Sheriff" - VRA Sprint Car Driver John
- "Shermanator" - SCRA / ASCA / Midget driver
- Short Track - A
track that is less than a mile long in length.
- "Showtime" - SCRA driver Danny Sheridan.
- Shunt - A collision.
- "Silverado Bullet" - SCRA driver Steve
- Silver Crown - Larger and heavier Sprint Cars,
typically sanctioned by USAC, that are a successor to the
roadster-style front engine cars that raced at Indy.
- Slide Job - A passing technique used in the corners to
slide up in front of another car.
- SMS - Santa Maria Speedway, located in Santa Maria,
- Spec Sprints - Carbureted non-wing sprint cars in
- Sprint Car - An open wheeled race car, typically around
1300 pounds. Composed of a frame (chassis), engine, seat, and a
fuel tank. Traditional Sprint Cars are famous for "backing
it in" the corners and turning right to turn left.
- Stagger - Different size tires are
put on the car to lean the car to one side. This helps the car
turn and improve cornering.
- Straightaway - The long straight stretch of
an oval track, where the car can reach its highest speed.
- "Super" Rickie - SCRA Sprint Car Driver
- Tacky - A track condition where the racing surface is
slightly wet and sticky.
- "Tamale Wagon" - Famous West Coast Sprint Car
owned by Alex Morales.
- "T-Ball" - NMMRA driver Tom Ball.
- Tear Offs - Clear plastic strips applied to helmet visors.
As these strips accumulate debris, a driver will tear a dirty strip
off for a clear view.
- "Tempe Tornado" - Sprint Car Legend Lealand
- Throttle - The gas pedal
- Thunderbowl - Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway, located in
- "Tiger" - CRA Sprint Car Driver Tony Simon.
- Tight - A
term to describe a car's tendency to head toward the wall on a turn. Also called
pushing or understeering.
- Torsion Bar - A rod in the suspension system that, when
twisted from a grip at one end, functions like a spring.
- TQ - A Three-Quarter scaled midget.
- Traditional Sprint Car - Non-Wing Sprint Car.
- Transporter - A large tractor-trailer used to transport
race cars and parts to a race track.
- Tread - The surface pattern of a tire.
- Turkey Night Grand Prix - A large nationally known
Midget race held on Thanksgiving with that has a rich
- Understeer - A condition in which the rear tires have more traction than the
front tires. The front tires will slide across the track toward the outside
wall rather than turning into the corner. Also called push.
- Unlap - A driver down one lap passes the leader to regain
their position on the lead lap.
- USAC - United States Auto Club.
- USAC NM/AZ - United States Auto Club's New Mexico &
Arizona Regional Sprint Car Series.
- Ventura Raceway - 1/5 Mile Dirt Track located in
- Victory Circle - The
desired destination of any race car driver. The location for the
race victory ceremony- trophy presentation, interviews, and
- VRA - Ventura Racing Association.
- VRA Senior Division - A
division for Sprint Car Drivers 45 years young and older.
- "Wags" - Sprint
Car fan Ken Wagner. Leader of the Wagtimers.
- Wagsbucks - Money collected by the Wagtimers from fellow race fans
and is donated to the hard luck racer of the night.
- Wagsdash - A special race and event, organized by the
Wagtimers. Participants in the race have received Wagsbucks
earlier in the season. The purse is raised by fan donations.
- Wagtimers - Sprint Car fans that support and raise
money for the racers. Led by Ken and Terry Wagner.
- Western World Championships - Sprint Car Race held at
Manzanita Speedway. Once a part of Sprint Car Racing's Triple
- Wheelbase - The distance between a car's front and rear axles.
- White Flag - Flag used to signify that there is one lap remaining in the race.
- "Whizkid" - ASCA / SCRA driver Eric Wilkins.
- "Wild Child" - Sprint Car Driver Jac
- "Wildman" - SCRA Sprint Car driver Rodney
- Windy - Manzanita Announcer Windy McDonald.
- Wing - A device not found on a
Traditional Sprint Car. Referred to as a "barn door"
or billboard by fans.
- Wing Sprint Car - Sprint Cars that utilize wings.
- WoO - World Of Outlaws.
- "World Famous" - SCRA / VRA / CRA Driver Tom
- WSS - Wingless Spec Sprints, carbureted sprint cars in
- WRA - Western Racing Association.
- "X" - The work/repair area for cars that were
damaged during a race.
- Yellow Flag - Flag that signifies caution during a
race. Usually resulting from a crash, spin, or debris on the track.
Cars are to slow down and not to pass
while the hazard is cleared from the track.
- Yellow Light - Caution on the track. Maintain position and do