Philip J Reed is an auto racing enthusiast who loves to delve into research about how things work. He is an accomplished essayist and is always on the lookout for the next interesting topic that he can write about next!
Everything you need to know and more about the fast-paced world of Auto Racing, all right here in one spot on one site!
Auto racing is a passion for many people, and like most popular sports a specialized language has grown up around it. This is common in situations where technical terms are often used, and those unfamiliar with the science of racing often shorten these words and phrases through frequent use.
Are you unsure of the meaning of the word “chicane” or other racing related terms? The Glossary at Autoracing.com is your online dictionary to the language of racing, providing you with a useful list of specialized words and terms relating to auto racing, along with their definitions. Use the Glossary at Autoracing.com as a handy reference tool. The terms have been listed in alphabetical order for your convenience. Why not bookmark this page – should you come across an unfamiliar term you can return here for quick reference.
Apex – The part of a turn at its center where the car is turning most sharply. The apex is usually the slowest part of the turn; the car slows down into the apex and then accelerates out of it.
CART – Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) is the sanctioning body of the FedEx Championship Series.
Chassis – The basic frame/structure of a racecar to which all other components are attached.
Chicane – A sudden sequence of serpentine turns found at the end of a long, high-speed straightaway that forces drivers to reduce their speed so that the car can be maneuvered into the next part of the course.
Crew Chief – The lead mechanic who makes decisions or implements changes to the car before and during a race.
Displacement – The total volume of air-fuel mixture that an engine is theoretically capable of drawing into all cylinders during one combustion cycle.
Drafting – The relative vacuum left in the trail of any fast-moving car that can often “pull” trailing cars forward by reducing the drag caused by wind resistance. Drafting enables a trailing driver to save fuel.
Drag – A term used in auto racing that relates to anything that causes wind resistance or affects the aerodynamics of air flow over the race car.
Groove – The unseen “line” that provides the fastest way around a racecourse or racing circuit. The groove is not a fixed point or “trajectory” as it may change during a race. The groove may depend on such factors as temperature and moisture, as well as oil, water and rubber deposited on the track during a race – all of which impact race conditions to various degrees.
Horsepower – A unit that measures the relative strength or pulling force of an engine. In its simplest terms, one horsepower equals approximately 33,000 foot-pounds per minute.
Methanol – Pure methyl alcohol used as fuel in all Indy Racing League cars.
NASCAR – The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body of American stock car racing. The three racing series currently overseen by NASCAR include the Sprint Cup Series (formerly the Winston Cup Series), the Camping Word Trucks Series and the Nationwide Series.
Pace Car – A Pace Car is the car that leads the field of auto racers around the track prior to the official start of the race. Typically modified and decorated production cars, pace cars sometimes feature celebrity drivers who either ride in the pace car or on occasion drive it.
Pit Stop – During a race, a driver may leave the race track and enter the off track area known as the “pit lane”. Once the car is stopped at the team’s designated location, the car may be repaired, examined, adjusted or refueled.
Pole Position – The favored position when the race begins. The pole position is located on the inside of the front row. The driver with the fastest qualifying time is awarded the pole position and the cars are lined up from the pole in order of the fastest to the slowest qualifying lap times.
Yellow Flag – The Yellow Flag signifies “caution” during a race and is usually waved to signal that an accident has taken place or debris (such as gasoline, oil or parts) remains on the track after a crash. Cars are required to slow down and not to pass while the hazard is being cleared.
If you would like to contribute to the Glossary at Autoracing.com by adding useful terms and definitions, please contact us!
Looking for something different to do this weekend? Taking a long-awaited vacation and planning an itinerary? Why not include an auto museum on your schedule – it’s something that provides interest to adults and children alike. Auto museums offer a wonderful opportunity for an educational and exciting vacation activity.
Often publicly owned and operated, auto museums are open to the public and allow a rare glimpse into a world gone by. There are various types of auto museums, some housing all kinds of cars and other specializing in certain types of vehicles from racing cars to motorcycles. Some museums may feature a section with new, space-age designs and concept cars. Discover classic, vintage, antique cars and motorcycles and learn about their development over the years. There are some museums, such as the new International Motor Racing Research Center at Watkins Glen, NY that are exclusively devoted to racing vehicles. There are also larger, more inclusive auto museums like the National Automotive History Collection (NAHC) located at the Detroit Public Library, a fantastic resource for all things automotive. Of course, you’ll find some of the most historic cars in US history at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. At the other end of the scale, local and regional auto museums offer visitors a close up look at cars and trucks that have local significance. All in all, a visit to an auto museum provides one of life’s rare pleasures – and usually at a very reasonable cost.
Auto Racing, like many professional sports, is also a business, and like all businesses certain financial factors need to be taken into account for the good of the sport. Number one is the fans – those who pay for race tickets and merchandise. Fans drive the sport of auto racing, literally. If auto racing events are well-attended and race merchandise is flowing off the store shelves, then the various auto racing organizing bodies such as NASCAR, the Indy Racing League and F1 have a lot of money with which to advertise and promote their events.
Advertising and promotion are directly related to the second factor – sponsorship. Operating an auto racing team is a very expensive proposition, and the costs can run into the millions of dollars. Formula One is the most expensive racing sport, since F1 teams must construct their own cars instead of simply buying off-the-shelf parts. How is it all paid for? Sponsors. Companies pay – and pay very well in the case of winning drivers – to have their logos and products emblazoned on a race car driver’s car and uniform. Even the events themselves may be sponsored, and often are: the Busch Series, the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto and the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 are just a few examples. Here are some of the topics we’ll be elaborating on to assist you in learning about the business of auto racing:
The Industry – Race car manufacturers and component suppliers are squeezed between the desire to win at all costs and the need to conform to rules and regulations that can change suddenly. It’s a roller-coaster ride, and we’ve got the latest scoop on how the winds of change are buffeting the auto racing industry.
Services – A modern auto racing team simply cannot function without the various services that they depend on to keep their cars performing at a fine edge. Many such services are offered to racecar owners and drivers.
Sports Book and Betting – Gambling on sports events is a multi-billion dollar business, and racing fans are no different than other sports fans when it comes to putting their money on the line. Learn more about the world of sports wagering – it’s a fascinating science whether or not you’re a participant.
The sport of auto racing, despite its massive popularity, faces a number of key business challenges – not least of which are how it develops and grows in the future and how it can retain the interest of those who follow its twists and turns both on and off the race track. Here at Autoracing.com, our challenge is to provide our visitors with the finest, most up-to-date information on racing. We invite you to not only learn about the auto racing business at Autoracing.com, but also to contribute to our site for the benefit of auto racing fans everywhere!