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L-Head
Both valves on one side of the cylinder.
  
Lacquer
A fast-drying pyroxylin paint often used to finish automobile bodies.
  
Lag
Turbo lag. The time it takes a turbocharger to "boost" an engine's power from the moment the driver pushes the throttle.
  
Laminated Windshield
A windshield consisting of a thin layer of rubbery plastic sandwiched between two sheets of glass. When struck by the head in an accident, it bows out without puncturing, and the plastic holds the glass to prevent it from splintering.
  
Lap
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 race.
  
Lap(s) Down
The number of laps a car is running behind the leader of the race. It can range from only one lap to several hundred.
  
Lap-and-Shoulder Belt
A safety belt that secures the driver and/or passenger in the seat with a continuous web of material which fits across the lap and crosses the upper body. It keeps the occupant from jerking forward in the event of a crash. Also called three-way belt, three-point belt, or three-point safety harness.
  
Lapped
When the race leader catches a car from behind and then passes that car. (The passed car has been lapped.)
  
Lapped Car
A car which is running slow enough (or been in the pits long enough), such that the race leader has come all the way around the track and passed it, has been "lapped".
  
Lapped Traffic
Cars that have completed at least one full lap less than the race leader.
  
Lapse
The termination of a policy due to failure to pay the premium.
  
Late Apex
A point on the inside of a turn after the geometric apex. See geometric apex.
  
Late Model
A general name for an advanced-level Stock car class or division. These cars usually have purpose-built tube-frame chassis, fiberglass and aluminum bodies, and aluminum-block engines.
  
Launch
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.
  
Le Mans Start
A type of start in which the drivers, at the starting signal, run to their cars, start the engines, and begin racing.
  
Lead Foot
Slang term for a driver who is very fast, but is also rough on equipment and doesn't know when to take it easy.
  
Lead Lap
The lap that the race leader is on. If passed by the leader, you are no longer on the lead lap and it is said that you are a lap down or you have been lapped.
  
Leadfoot
An aggressive driver who always goes for the lead.
  
Leaf Spring
Suspension spring made up of several thin, curved, hardened-steel or composite-material plates attached at the ends to the vehicle underbody. The curved shape of the plates allows them to flex and absorb bumps.
  
Lean
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.
  
Lean or Rich Fuel Mixture
The fuel mixture is lean when it has too much air, and rich when it has too much fuel. These terms can also be used to refer to adjustments the electronic control module makes to the fuel mixture in response to various driving conditions, particularly on engines with variable-valve technology.
  
Lease
A contract between lessor and lessee for a specified time period and at a specified payment. The title to the car remains in the name of the lessor as owner of the asset.
  
Lease Rate
The monthly finance cost of a lease, similar to the interest rate on a conventional loan. Determined by the money factor.
  
Lease Term
The number of months for which a vehicle is leased.
  
Lease-End Residual Value
Used to estimate the value of the vehicle at the end of the lease.
  
Left Foot Braking
A commonly used technique on oval tracks where shifting gears at speed is not necessary.
  
Leg Room
With the front seat adjusted all the way back, the distance from the accelerator pedal's heel point to the back of the front seat cushion.
  
Legends Car
A Dwarf car, spec series promoted by Charlotte Motor Speedway owner Humpy Wheeler. They are powered by a 4-cylinder Yahama motorcycle engine, and no modifications are allowed. Unlike most dwarf cars, which are open-wheeled, Legends cars have rudimentary fenders, as befits the body style.
  
Lemon
(Slang) A vehicle, usually new, that has a large number of defects.
  
Lessee
The person who leases a vehicle. The party paying for the use of the vehicle (consumer).
  
Lessor
The person or institution who owns and leases the vehicle to the lessee. The party funding the lease of the vehicle placed in lease service. It can be the dealer, a leasing company, or a financial institution such as a bank or credit union.
  
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.
  
Lexan
Trade name of General Electric used for a durable thermal-resistant plastic material used where transparent material is required (i.e., face plates, goggles, windows, etc.)
  
Liability
Any legally enforceable obligation.
  
Liability Coverage
A type of insurance that pays or renders service on behalf of the insured for any loss or damage due to his or her negligence.
  
Liability Limits
The limit of insurance the company will pay for on a particular policy.
  
Lien
A legally documented claim against a vehicle by another party to which the vehicle has been offered as security for repayment of a loan or other debt. A lien against the title may make it impossible to sell the vehicle and transfer the title until the lien is cleared.
  
Lienholder
An individual or company with a financial interest in an insured's vehicle.
  
Lif
It's fairly complicated, but the short version involves the surface area of the car and fluid dynamics combining to cheat gravity causing the car to become airborne. (See Roof Flaps)
  
Lift
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.
  
Lift Gate
The rear opening on a hatchback.
  
Liftover
The distance a person must lift an object off the ground to put it in a trunk or cargo bay.
  
Light-Duty
Adjective that refers to passenger trucks, as opposed to medium-duty or heavy-duty commercial trucks.
  
Lights Out
Lights go out when the starter is ready to go green.
  
Lights, Driving
Auxiliary lights that extend the reach of standard headlights. Driving lights have a narrower beam than headlights.
  
Lights, Foglights
Auxiliary lights that provide a wider beam pattern than standard headlights. Foglights are usually mounted lower than headlights to illuminate below fog and reduce reflected glare.
  
Lights, Halogen
Lights that provide brighter, longer lasting illumination than standard incandescent lights. Halogen bulbs are filled with a gas such as iodine. This gas reduces the gradual evaporation of the tungsten filament and increases its life.
  
Lights, Projector Beam
A special type of headlight that uses a spherical reflector to tightly control the light beam. Projector beams are relatively expensive compared to standard headlights.
  
Limited
A general name for an intermediate-level Stock car class or division.
  
Limited Slip Differential
A differential that uses cone or disc clutches to lock the two separate axle shafts. This forces both driving wheels to transmit the same drive torque regardless of the traction available. It still allows differential action under normal driving conditions but improves traction in mud and snow.
  
Limited-Slip Differential
A device that helps prevent the drive wheels from skidding or losing traction by diverting power from the slipping wheel to the opposite wheel on the same axle.
  
Limousine
A closed, chauffeur-driven automobile in which the driver is separated from the passengers by a glass partition.
  
Line
The combination of braking, turn-in point, acceleration, apex and track-out point through a turn. Also, through a series of turns or around a whole track.
  
Line of Credit
An approved loan amount that has not yet been used.
  
Liter
Used to measure displacement; a liter is 1000 cubic centimeters, about 61 cubic inches, a little more than a quart.
  
Live Axle
A solid axle allowing movement of the wheel on one end to affect the opposite wheel. Found on older rear-drive cars and tucks. Also called a rigid axle.
  
Load Transfer
The shift in the distribution of load, and therefore traction, on the four contact patches, caused by a change in the carís attitude, such as acceleration or braking.
  
Loan to Value Ratio (Ltv)
The ratio of the sales price or appraised value to the loan amount. Obtained by divided price or value into loan amount. A vehicle with a $10,000 price and an $8,000 loan would have a loan-to-value ratio of 80 percent.
  
Lock Down
To apply the brakes hard enough to totally lock the wheels.
  
Lock or Lock-in
A commitment you obtain from a lender assuring you a particular interest rate for a definite time period. Protects you in case interest rates rise during the approval process, or between the time you apply for the loan and actually receive the money you have borrowed.
  
Lock Up
Just like production cars, racers can lock up the brakes and even "flat spot" their tires at race speeds.
  
Locked Rear End
A locked rear end forces both wheels to turn at exactly the same rate.
  
Lockup Converter
A automatic transmission with a mechanical clutch that bypasses the fluid coupling of the torque converter. A lockup converter is more efficient because there is no wasted energy in the transmission fluid of the torque converter. Most automatic transmissions have a lockup converter for the highest ratio(usually 4th or 5th gear).
  
Long Pedal
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.
  
Looks to Pass
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.
  
Loop
When a driver spins out, especially when done deliberately to avoid a wreck.
  
Loose
A condition where the front tires have more traction than the rear tires. This produces the effect where the rear of a racecar wants to exchange positions with the front of the racecar, or the rear end wants to go towards the outer wall. This condition is also known as "Oversteer" and may be hard to control. A car that is loose is faster than a car that is tight.
  
Loose Stuff
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.
  
Loss
The amount sought through an insurer's claim.
  
Loud Pedal
The accelerator.
  
Louver
A slatted air intake or air outlet. Slats used to capture and control the air flow.
  
Low Drag Setup
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 or line."
  
Low-Groove
See Groove
  
Lscc
Lakeshore Sports Car Club
  
Lug Nuts
Large nuts applied with a high-pressure air wrench to wheels during a pit stop to secure the tires in place. All NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division cars use five lug nuts on each wheel, and penalties are assessed if a team fails to put all five on during a pit stop.
  
Luxury Car
A well-appointed, well-equipped, well-designed and constructed auto varying in size from a compact to a large sedan.
  
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