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A device which reduces vibration.
Darlington Stripe
A streak of scraped-off paint that appears on the right side of a car, from having made light contact with the outside wall. The term originated at Darlington back in the '60s, when the track had Armco for its retaining walls. Darlington has peculiarly-designed corners, and in the days of narrower tires, the fastest way for Stock cars to get through turn 2 (which was at the time turn 4) was to get right up next to the Armco, actually touching it, so that the corrugated metal rail produced a characteristic pair of scrape marks down the right side of the car. Richard Petty once said of Darlington: "Turn 4 would be perfect, if we were allowed to mount roller skates on the side of the car."
Daytime Running Lights (Drl)
These lights come on whenever the vehicle is turned on; they make the vehicle more visible to other drivers. Mandatory in Canada and standard equipment on many vehicles sold in the United States.
De Dion Axle
The nineteenth-century axle principle of Count de Dion. The wheels tied by a transverse tube curved to clear the final drive unit rigidly mounted to the car's chassis frame. Drive to the wheels is by universally jointed half shafts. The tube moves vertically on a slide to allow the wheels to rise and fall independently. General use was dropped in 1914, but still is used on many sports and racing cars.
An idiomatic phrase used in the NASCAR racing community to describe any number of events. Examples could include: "It was just one of them deals", " it was simply a racing deal", or "I not sure what his deal was".
Dealer Charges
Any extra charges for additional services or products sold by the dealer such as rust-proofing or extended warranties.
Dealer Holdback
Also known as "pack." Manufacturer refund to a dealer after a vehicle is sold. Usually a percentage (2 to 3%) of the MSRP.
Dealer Incentive
A limited time discount offered by the manufacturer to a dealership.
Dealer Incentives
A cash refund or attractive lease or loan rate offered by an automotive manufacturer toward the sale/purchase of a new vehicle.
Dealer Invoice Price
Also called dealer cost. The amount the dealer pays for a car or truck. Deducted from this price may be a dealer incentive, which is a set discount offered for a limited period of time, or a dealer holdback, which is a percentage of the vehicle's wholesale price.
Dealer Preparation Fee
Extra charges for getting the car ready.
Dealer Sticker Price
The base price, or the price on the Monroney sticker, plus the suggested retail price of dealer-installed options, dealer preparation, and add-ons such as undercoating.
A tradition as old as Stock car racing itself. Decals are a low-budget form of advertising that sometimes provide rewards that are small, yet important to struggling teams. Contingency awards are sometimes tied to the display of decals.
Deck Lid
The trunk lid. On most Stock cars, the trunk is vestigal, but the lid remains for access to the fuel cell, oil tank, battery, and other things that might be stashed away in that space.
Decreasing Radius Turn
Turn that tightens up as you progress through it.
The amount of money or percentage of expenses that will be covered by the insured.
Deep Staged
A driver is deep staged when, after staging, he or she rolls a few inches farther, which causes the pre-stage lights to go out. In that position, the driver is closer to the finish line but dangerously close to a foul start. This technique is often used to get a better reaction time. Sixty-foot time: The time it talkes a vehicle to cover the first 60 feet of the racetrack. It is the most accurate measure of the launch from the starting line and in most cases determines how quick the rest of the run will be.
Default Charges
Fees charged the lessee as a result of missing payments or otherwise defaulting on the lease. Typical charges include all remaining payments and any additional costs incurred in reclaiming the vehicle. The security deposit may also be lost.
Delay Box
An electronic device with adjustable timers used to release trans brakes or line locks.
A sum of money to hold a deal until the paperwork is complete. If the deal is closed, the deposit is applied to the down payment.
The decrease in a vehicle's market value over time. The amount of yearly depreciation is affected by vehicle condition; resale-marketplace supply and demand; and make and model reputation. Convertibles, high-performance cars, trucks and vans tend to depreciate less than other vehicles.
Destination & Delivery Charges
The cost of transporting the vehicle from the assembly plant to the dealership. Usually a flat fee passed on to the buyer without any markup.
Detroit Locker
A brand name of a ratchet rear end commonly used in Winston Cup.
Dial Under
Dialing under allows drivers in Super Stock and Stock, which are handicap categories, to select an elapsed time quicker than the national index. As with a dial-in, a driver selects a dial-under, or e.t., that he or she thinks the car will run based on qualifying performance. The breakout rule is in effect. (Drag racing)
The number you write on your windows that you think your car will run without going faster.
Dialing under allows drivers in Super Stock and Stock, which are handicap categories, to select an elapsed time quicker than the national index. A driver selects a dial-under, or e.t., that he or she thinks the car will run based on previous performance. The breakout rule is in effect. Slider clutch: A multi-disc clutch designed to slip ntil a predetermined rpm is reached. Decreases shock load to the drive wheels.
Dialed in
When a car is performing at its maximum. Also called "hooked up."
Dialing in
This refers to the driver and crew making setup adjustments to achieve the car's optimum handling characteristics.
Taking corners by driving into the corner fairly straight, making a sharp turn in the middle of the corner, and then driving out fairly straight (such that, as the car goes through the corner, it moves from the inside to the outside and then back to the inside). On an oval, this causes the car to describe a diamond-shaped trajectory around the track, hence the term. This is, in a way, the opposite of the standard technique for taking a corner, and often results in slower lap times, but it may produce faster times from a car that is severely pushing, or on a very slick track.
A blanket made from ballistic and absorbant material, often Kevlar, that surrounds the oil pan and serves as a containment device in the event of an engine explosion. Required on Top Fuel dragsters, Funny Cars, Federal-Mogul Dragsters, adn Federal-Mogul Funny Cars. Speed trap: The final 66 feet to the finish line where speed is recorded.
Close, dangerous driving; from the notion that the driver is gambling with lives.
An internal combustion engine in which the air-fuel mixture is ignited by compression in the cylinder rather than by a spark. Diesel engines use diesel fuel rather than gasoline and tend to be more fuel-efficient and require less maintenance than gasoline engines, but it is more complicated to get them to run cleanly. Also used as a slang term: after turning off the ignition, the engine continues to run for a short period.
Diesel Engine
An internal-combustion engine in which the fuel is injected into the cylinder near the end of the compression stroke and is ignited by the heat of the compressed air in the cylinder. No spark plug or carburetor is needed.
Diesel Fuel
The fuel used by a diesel engine. Usually found in tractor trailers and other trucks.
A mechanical gearbox or fluid coupling that allows wheels to rotate at different speeds. Usually located on an axle, it allows the outside wheels to turn faster than the inside wheels during cornering. Four-wheel-drive and all-wheel drive vehicles have two differentials, one for the rear axle and one for the front. all-wheel drive vehicles also may have a third or center differential on the drive shaft that runs between the front and rear axles.
Differential Gears
The gears that convey engine power to the driving axles and are arranged so as to permit the rear wheels to turn at different speeds as required when the vehicle is negotiating a turn.
A small dent or scrape in the body of the vehicle.
Direct Financing
Arranging the loan directly through a bank or credit union rather than through the dealer.
Direct Loss
Damage or loss directly due to a particular event or peril.
Dirt Track
A track which is not paved, but rather has a dirt (usually red clay, or some mixture including clay) surface. American oval track racing all originated as dirt racing; paved tracks (with the exception of Indianapolis) didn't began to appear until the '30s (although there were board tracks before then. Dirt tracks host mainly Late Model, Midget, and Modified classes in weekly racing and some touring series. Dirt tracks are nearly always short tracks; most range from 1/8 to 5/8 mile.
Dirt Tracking
Driving hard into a corner on a paved track causing the rear end to swing out wide as if on a dirt surface.
Dirty Air
Aerodynamic term for turbulent air currents caused by fast-moving cars that can cause a particular car to lose control.
In brakes, the rotor, the part which revolves, and against which brake linings are pressed during braking.
Disc Brake
A type of brake in which two friction pads grip a steel disc that is attached to the wheel, with one pad on each side. Used on race cars, sports cars, and better passenger cars.
Disc Brakes
Shiny metal discs, called brake rotors, are attached to the wheel hub, rotating with the wheel. When the brake pedal is depressed, the brake calipers squeeze the discs to slow the vehicle. See Brake Caliper and Brake Rotor.
In an engine, displacement is the total volume of air/fuel mixture that an engine theoretically is capable of drawing into all cylinders during one operating cycle. Staged: A driver is staged when the front wheels of the car are right in the starting line and the small yellow lights belos the pre-stage lights in his or her side of the Christmas Tree are glowing. Once a driver is staged, the calibration counter may begin at any time.
Disposal Fee
Also called Disposition Fees. Charge for costs associated with picking up and processing the returned car at the end of the lease. This runs from $200 to $400. Sometimes rolled into monthly payments. Often absorbed by dealers when another vehicle is leased.
The most severe during-race punishment that a sanctioning body can impose. Disqualification is imposed only for the most severe infractions, such as ignoring a black flag or deliberately wrecking another car. It may also be imposed after the fact for severe technical violations which may not be discovered until after the race, such as having an engine that is too large or carrying illegal equipment. Note that disqualification does not necessarily mean that the disqualified car finishes last; usually for a during-race infraction the scoring simply stops counting that car's laps at the time that the infraction is committed. A disqualification will nearly always bring about some other penalty, such as a money fine, a points fine (which is much more serious than a money fine), probation, or suspension.
Part of the ignition (electrical) system. Delivers electricity from the ignition coil to the distributor cap and the spark plug wires in the correct firing order. (The firing order is that sequence in which each cylinder begins its power stroke.) The spark plugs ignite the fuel and air mixture in each cylinder thousands of times a minute, producing the explosion that pushes the piston down in the cylinder to power the vehicle.
Acronym for "did not finish". The opposite of running at finish. Most racing box scores will list, for each car, either "running" or a very brief reason why the car DNF'ed, such as "engine" or "accident".
The driver Did Not Qualify for the race.
Acronym for "did not start".
Double overhead camshafts.
The black circular mark resulting from contact with competitor's tire(s), usually found on side of the car.
Slang term for black, circular, dent-line marks on the side panels of stock cars, usually caused after rubbing against other cars at high speed.
Slang term for the homebrew fuel mixtures that were used in Indy car racing in the '20s and '30s. In the days when available gasoline was very low in octane, teams often mixed their own gas so that they could run higher compression ratios. However, this quickly evolved into the use of weird and unstable mixtures containing volatile high-energy fuels and oxidizers (for instance, a mix of gasoline, benzene, ether, and nitric acid). Homebrewed dopes were phased out after WWII and most engine builders switched to methanol at that time, but exotic fuels weren't totally banned until 1965.
Dot (Usually Pronounced as "Dot Tires")
Used to refer to street-legal tires that can be purchased by the public, as opposed to racing tires. Many lower-cost forms of racing require use of DoT tires.
Double Wishbone Suspension
A type of independent suspension in which the upper and lower support pieces, or members, look somewhat like a wishbone.
[1] Circular patterns that are formed on the side of a car when it comes into contact with the front or rear fenders of another car, and that car's tires (perhaps slightly protruding from the fenders) rub off the paint, forming a circular rub pattern. Compare with Darlington stripe.

[2] A spring rubber.
Down Payment
The up-front cash payment that the buyer makes to reduce the amount borrowed to purchase a car; the difference between the loan amount and the purchase price. A trade-in allowance and/or rebate also may be used as down payment. The down payment helps protect the bank, credit union or finance company in case the borrower defaults on the loan. A typical down payment is about 20 percent of the vehicle's sale price.
Basically, the pressure of the air on a car as it races. Downforce increases with velocity - that is, rapidity of motion or speed. In other words, the more downforce the faster it goes. It is affected and controlled by the shape of body components, such as air dams, fenders, and rear spoilers.
Shifting from a higher to a lower gear, used in road racing to slow a car without any significant change in engine speed.
Dq, Disq
Disqualify or disqualified for some rule infraction.
Airflow creates a low-pressure air pocket (or draft) behind moving objects. Most notably in NASCAR, drivers try to follow opponents closely enough to enter their draft and produce a "towing" effect. That's right, the car creating the draft actually pulls the pursuing driver who can ease off the throttle and save gas.
Practice of two, or more, cars, while racing, to run nose to tail, almost touching. The lead car, by displacing air in front of it, creates a vacuum between its rear end and the following car's nose. The second car is actually pulled by the first. This also helps to push the front car, allowing the cars to gain speed and save fuel.
The resistance a car experiences when passing through air at high speeds. A resisting force exerted on a car parallel to its airstream and opposite in direction to its motion.
A controlled, four-wheel slide through a turn, to get a car line up for a straightaway with a minimum of steering.
Drive Axle
Connects the transaxle to the front wheels on a front-wheel drive vehicle.
Drive Plate
A sort of ring-and-pinion gear that allows a rear wheel to be slightly off-axis with respect to the axle that drives it. The "pinion" is attached to the axle, and the "ring" to the wheel.
Drive Range (Ev)
The distance an electric vehicle can drive without re-charging its batteries.
Drive Shaft
A rotating metal shaft that transfers power from the transmission differential gear assembly to the rear wheels on a rear-wheel drive vehicle.
Drive Train
The system that carries power from the engine to the driving wheels; it includes the crankshaft and the differential.
Drive Wheels
The wheels, front, rear, or both, to which the engine transmits its power.
Driver School
On-track training and testing session where licenses are earned.
Drivers Meeting
A meeting which usually takes place 10-30 minutes prior to a major race, conducted by race officials, and which all drivers in the race are required to attend. Often, the meeting is merely a formality, but sometimes it is used to discuss unusual conditions, pass on last-minute rules changes, or work out issues between drivers.
Drivers' Championship
Points are awarded at each race based on finishing position. The driver accumulating the most points by the end of the season wins the drivers' championship. A similar award system is used by most major series for a manufacturers' championship.
A steel tube, painted white under NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division rules, that connects the transmission of a race car to the rear end housing. Dyno - Shortened term for "dynamometer," a machine used to measure an engine's horsepower. Engine Block - An iron casting from the manufacturer that envelops the crankshaft, connecting rods and pistons. Aluminum engine blocks are not allowed in NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division racing.
Driveshaft Strap
A U-shaped strap that is fastened to the bottom of the car, and passes beneath the driveshaft. Its purpose is to keep the driveshaft in the car if the shaft or one of its U-joints breaks. A broken driveshaft can fly crazily out of a car and present a serious hazard to other cars.
Vehicle components which act together to move the vehicle forward or backward. On a rear-drive vehicle, it is the combination of the engine, transmission, differential and drive shaft. On a front-drive vehicle, it consists of the engine, transaxle and drive axles.
Driving Away
This is when a driver is pulling away from the field with little challenge from anyone else in the race.
Droop Limiter
An electronic device which controls suspension travel, assuring conformity to mandated limits.
Drop the Hammer
Means a driver puts the petal to the metal.
Dropped Cylinder
When a cylinder runs too rich (too much fuel in the air/fuel mixture) and oprevents the spark plug(s) from firing. Supercharger: The supercharger, or blower, is a crank driven air/fuel-mixture compressor. IT increases the atmospheric pressure in the engine, resulting in added horsepower.
A Cylinder A generic term for any condition that causes an engine cylinder to stop producing power. In racing engines, this usually results from either an ignition failure, or from a valve failing to open or close properly.
Drum Brakes
A braking system that uses a metal drum. Brake shoes press against the drum to slow or stop the car.
Dry Break
A connector used for fueling apparatus (gas cans or hoses) that can be connected or disconnected under pressure without spilling any fuel.
Dry Line
A clear (or dry) line which develops after rain because of more frequent use.
Dry Sump
Type of internal-combustion engine in which the lubricating oil is stored either in a separate tank or cooling radiator instead of in the crankcase pan. The oil is pumped to and taken from the engine by separate pumps.
Dry Weight
A car's weight without any liquids such as gas and oil.
Dual Overhead Cam (Dohc)
Engine with two camshafts on top of the cylinder head, one to open and close intake valves, the other to open and close exhaust valves. See also Overhead Cam and Overhead Valve.
Midwestern Council dues are $16/year, included in the $40 + 1 day of service annual dues for North Suburban SCC members.
A device used to measure the hardness of the rubber on the surface of a tire.
Dwarf Car
A racing car, with a vintage-replica body (usually of a car from the '30s or '40s) built on a tube-frame chassis, and usually with some type of 4-cylinder engine. Many dwarf-car divisions are spec series, with all competitors being required to purchase the cars from a specific builder, and with very few or no mods allowed. .
An instrument used to measure engine output.
A device used to measure the power output of an engine, without installing it in a car, by applying its power to a load. The load is usually some form of brake or friction device (such as a water turbine). The term is often used loosely for any kind of test stand where engines are run out-of-car, whether under load or not. Recently, some people have also began using the term to refer to any piece of testing gear that tests the performance of a racing component, such as the "shock dyno".
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