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Timing and Scoring staff. They take and record laptimes and produce race results.
Occurs when a car is hit ,during a wreck, in the door. The two cars make a T shape. Is a very dangerous type of wreck for a driver to be involved in.
An accident where one car runs into another, hitting it square in the left side.
Exhaust valve on one side and inlet valve on the other side of the cylinder. (Twin-camshafts).
During a wreck, when a car is hit in the door. The two cars make a T shape.
The instrument gauge that shows engine speed, or revolutions per minute. On a vehicle with manual transmission, the driver can use the tachometer to tell when to upshift or downshift. Also called tach.
Taking Air Off the Spoiler
A condition that occurs when one car pulls up behind another car making the lead car get loose. The lead car then must slow down allowing the second car to pass.
Taking the Air
Occurs when one car pulls up behind another taking the flow of air off the spoiler. This affects the downforce of the lead car making it loose. The lead car then must slow down allowing the second car to pass.
Television announcers.
Taped Off
Usually refers to applying racer's tape to the brake duct opening in full bodied cars.
A pivoting actuator that opens and closes cylinder intake and exhaust valves.
Tear Offs
Transparent plastic strips applied to helmet visors or windshield (NASCAR). As these strips accumulate debris, a driver or pit crew can tear a dirty strip off for a clear view. Drivers in open cars go through about five tear-offs a race. In NASCAR, this is a new approach to the old problem of giving the driver a clear view.
[1] A layer of clear plastic that covers the visor on a full-face helmet. The tear-off is attached with a weak adhesive, and has a tab so that the driver can rip it off and remove it when it becomes dirty. Some tear-offs have several layers, each with its own tab, so that the driver can tear them off one at a time as they get dirty.

[2] A large layer, similar to those described above, which covers the entire outer surface of a windshield.
Short for tech (or technical) inspection. Each car is submitted to tech inspection so sanctioning body officials can confirm all chassis and engine parts meet series' guidelines. A "teched" car has passed inspections.
Tech, Technical Inspection
Location where cars are inspected for safety before they are allowed to race. Also, Technical Inspection staff.
Technical Inspection
NASCAR's inspection of the race car to ensure that it is within the guidelines set by the sanctioning body and meets all NASCAR mandated rules. This is done to "ensure a level field".
A radio device that relays information such as engine, tire, steering and throttle performance to the engineers' computers in the pits. The team can monitor both car and driver activity to ensure the car is performing properly. Also enhances driver safety by allowing the team to notice any developing mechanical problem the driver cannot foresee.
A piece of aluminum that is placed on the car's body to gauge and regulate the body's shape and dimensions. NASCAR officials refer to this as "aero-matching". The process where they attempt to equalize the different manufacturers body styles. View Picture of NASCAR officials comparing the Hot Wheels car to the Pontiac template. (This is a Paul Melhado Photo scanned from Racing Milestones magazine February 2001)
Driving at the car's absolute limit.
Term Loan
A loan repaid in a lump sum, including interest, at the end of the loan period.
Termination Fee
An amount sometimes charged at the end of a lease.
That's Racing
A term usually uttered when describing an accident, mechanical problem.
The King
Former Winston Cup champion Richard Petty.
The Line
The start/finish line.
The Shoe
Formula One driver Michael Schumacher.
The Stealth
Winston Cup driver Rusty Wallace, who can start near the back of the pack and fly forward to get to the top 10.
Third Party Insurance
Protection for the damage of property or bodies of others.
Threshold Braking
The technique of applying brake pedal pressure to just before the point of lockup-the threshold-then maintaining that braking level through gentle modulation of the pressure.
The gas pedal.
Throttle-Body Fuel Injection
A form of electronic fuel injection in which the injectors are centrally located in a throttle-body housing that contains a valve to regulate air flow through the intake manifold. Less efficient and precise than multi-port or sequential fuel injection.
Thunder Valley
Nickname for Bristol Motor Speedway, which is actually built in a valley
Also known as "understeer." A car is said to be tight if the front wheels lose traction before the rear wheels do. A tight race car doesn't seem able to steer sharply enough through the turns. Instead, the front end continues out toward the wall.
Timing Valve
A valve in a fuel injection pump which times the delivery of fuel.
Tire Rule
One of the few rules unique to the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division, in order to hold down costs. It limits the number of sets of tires that can be changed during a race under a caution flag, with allowances made for tires flattened or damaged because of an accident. Penalties are imposed for exceeding the limits.
Tire Softener
A solvent which is applied to the surface of tires to make the rubber softer and stickier.
Tires - All Season
Tires that provide acceptable traction for winter snow and slush driving conditions, without excessively compromising dry and wet traction.
Tires - Aspect Ratio (E.G. "60-Series Tires")
Tire aspect ratio is refers to the ratio between the tread(section) width and the sidewall. For example, a 205/50-15 tire would have a sidewall height of 0.50 x 205 or 102.5 mm. Lower aspect ratios(e.g. 40-series) provide superior handling at the cost of increased ride harshness.
Tires - M+S
Rating Tires especially designed to perform well in mud and snow. M+S tires are usually superior to all-season tires under these conditions. The tradeoff is often higher noise and reduced tread life.
Tires, Ratings (E.G. 300ab)
The tire treadwear rating gives an approximate idea of the expected usable life of the tire. A tire rated 300 will probably last 50% longer than a tire rated 200 under identical conditions. Note that since each manufacturer rates tires by its own standards, 300 rated tires from two manufacturers may not provide identical tread life. The traction rating(the first letter) is the manufacturer’s rating of wet traction. "A" is best, "C" is worst. The letter gives some indication of the tire’s resistance to hydroplaning(losing contact with the road at speed). The temperature rating(the second letter) is the manufacturer’s rating of the tire’s resistance to heat build-up. "A" is best, "C" is worst. Heat is the enemy of tires. The cooler the tire temperature, the longer it will last.
The government-issued document that proves ownership of a specific vehicle.
Touring Car Association - Responsible body for BTCC.
One of the three major front suspension geometry adjustments. The angle of the front wheels, relative to the car's forward motion. With the steering wheel in the straight-ahead position, if the wheels are pointed inward (in other words, the left wheel is steering a bit right, and the right wheel is steering a bit left), the wheels are said to be "toed in"; the opposite condition is "toed out".
A wheel-alignment term that indicates the leading edges of a pair of wheels angle slightly toward each other. Front-drive cars are often aligned with slight toe-in to compensate for the effects of torque steer, or the tendency of the front wheels to pull to the side under hard acceleration.
A wheel-alignment term that indicates the leading edges of a pair of wheels angle slightly away from each other.
Top End
(1) The parts of the engine above the cylinders, including the cylinder heads and valves. (2) The part of an engine's RPM range near the redline.
Top End Power
The amount a car accelerates at high speeds or in its highest gear.
Top Fuel
Top Fuel cars are the fastest, most powerful dragsters in the NHRA. They have an extended wheelbase and 5,500-horsepower, fuel-injected 500-cubic inch engines that are mounted behind the driver.Its primary brakes are two driver-activated parachutes.
Top-Fuel Dragsters
The fastest of drag racing vehicles, these have a characteristicly long body and use top fuel which accounts for the tremendous speeds these vehicles can attain.
An open sports vehicle generally with an unbroken design line from the hood to the back of the car.
A measure of twisting force, given in foot-pounds (abbreviated as lb.-ft.) or Newton-meters (N-m). In the case of an automobile, it is the twisting or rotational force the engine exerts on the crankshaft. Vehicle specifications often include the maximum torque an engine produces at a specific number of revolutions. An engine that produces 200 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000 revolutions per minute, or 200 [email protected] 3,000 rpm, accelerates better at low speeds than an engine that provides 200 [email protected],000 rpm.
Torque Converter
In an automatic transmission, a fluid coupling or electronic control that transmits power from the engine to the wheels. It allows the transmission to remain in gear while the vehicle is stopped. The fluid absorbs power and prevents the engine from stalling.
Torque Steer
The tendency of the front wheels on a front-drive vehicle to pull to the side under hard acceleration.
Torsion Bar
A rod in the suspension system that, when twisted from a grip at one end, functions like a spring.
Torsional Stiffness
A vehicle body's resistance to twisting motions.
Total Loss
Any loss of sufficient size where there is nothing left of value of the property.
Touring Car
A production-based utility car that is raced with the same engine it came from the factory with, albeit with modifications.
Touring Car (British Tourer)
An open car with seats for four or more passengers. Early models had no side weather protection but later were fitted with detachable side screens and curtains. Made until about 1930.
A driver is said to "get a tow" when he drafts another car.
As a car moves around the track at 215 mph, it literally splits the air, some of which goes over the car, and some of which goes beneath. This lack of air behind the car creates a vacuum, which a trailing car may use to be pulled, or "towed," by the lead car.
Elevated (usually) structure housing Timing & Scoring, race officials and starters.
Towing & Labor
Pays for towing and labor at the site of an automobile breakdown.
Towing Capacity
The amount of weight a vehicle can tow behind it.
Abbreviation for "three-quarter" midget, a sort of downsized Midget.
Vehicle width, measured from the center of one tire's contact patch to the center of the opposite tire's contact patch.
Track Bar
Also called a panhard bar. A rear suspension component, a lateral bar that prevents the axle from moving left or right. It is generally attached to the end of the axle housing on the left, and to a frame bracket on the right.
Track Out
Exit Point. The area past a turn, typically at the far outside edge, at which the car has completed the turning stage and all the dynamic forces acting on the car are in balance.
Track-Out Point
Point at the end of a turn where car is usually at the outside edge of the track, stabilized and accelerating down the straight following the turn.
The amount of friction between the tire and the ground.
Traction Bars
A device to control rear end torque and stabilize suspension. Transmits torque to frame, increasing traction.
Traction Control
A system for limiting wheel slip under acceleration, thus maintaining each wheel's contact with the road surface. Traction-control systems generally use the anti-lock braking system to stop wheel spin and reduce power from one or more engine cylinders when an electronic sensor detects wheel spin.
Trade-in Value
The amount a dealership credits you for the used vehicle you provide as partial payment for another vehicle. The amount credited is often about 5 percent below the vehicle's wholesale market value.
Trading Down
Buying a less expensive vehicle than the one currently owned.
Trading Paint
Slang term used to describe aggressive driving involving a lot of bumping and rubbing.
Trading Up
Buying a more expensive vehicle than the one currently owned.
Trail Braking
The technique of continuing to brake while turning in for a corner, accomplished by gradually reducing ("trailing") brake pressure.
Trailing Arm
A rear suspension piece holding the rear axle firmly fore and aft yet allowing it to travel up and down.
Trailing Throttle Oversteer
Oversteer caused by letting up on the throttle while cornering. This transfers weight from the back to the front tires and reducing the traction at the rear.
Trans am
(1) Pontiac Firebird model. The name is licensed from the racing series. (2) A road-racing series for Stock cars, sanctioned by the SCCA. Trans Am cars are based around American-made sports cars such as the Camaro, Firebird, and Mustang.
A combined transmission and differential on front-drive vehicles.
Transfer Case
On four-wheel drive vehicles, a gearbox that allows power to be delivered to front and rear wheels.
Transfer Spot
In a race that uses heat races to determine qualifying for the feature or main race, the transfer slots are the finishing positions in the heat races that qualify the drivers who finish in those positions to advanced to the feature.
The gear-changing or gear-shifting system through which engine power is transferred to the wheels. The purpose of gear-changing is to keep maximum engine power applied to the wheels at all times for all conditions, from start-up to high speeds.
Transmission Blanket
A flexible wrap intended to contain parts in case of transmission disintegration.
Transportation Expense
Pays for car rental expenses if the vehicle is not driveable.
A large tractor-trailer used to transport race cars and parts to a race track. Those used by teams in in the major series usually have the space to carry two cars (one above the other), spare engines, transmissions, and axles, and a small workshop complete with machine tools, all in the trailer. Very expensive.
Truck Racing Developments - Caterpillar's Truck Racing Division.
Width of a car measured from the center line of the wheels. Sometimes called the track. Also the pattern on the surface of a tire.
Tread-Wear Index
A tire rating consisting of a number followed by two letters, such as 300AB. The number indicates the useful life of the tire, the first letter (A, B, or C, A for best, C for worst) indicates its traction in wet conditions, and the second letter (A, B, or C, A for best, C for worst) its resistance to heat buildup.
Tri-Link Suspension
A fully independent rear suspension featuring a single fiberglass or composite leaf spring.
Said of a race track that has a 'hump' or 'fifth turn' in addition to the standard four corners. Not to be confused with a triangle-shaped speedway which has only three distinct corners.
A three-wheeled, early-type open automobile using bicycle wheels and a steel-tube frame.
Trim Level
The level of options or features added to a model (Ford Mustand GT, Chrysler LeBaron XL).
A roughly triangular track, with three turns.
Truth in Leasing
Also known as the Consumer Leasing Act of 1976, this act was designed to protect consumers against inadequate and misleading lease information.
Talladega Short Track
Time Trial - Often road-races where rider race against the clock.
The chassis or monocoque of a Indy-style race car.
Tuck Under
A driver follows an opponent close enough to move into (or tuck under) their draft.
A regularly scheduled maintenance to check normal operation of the vehicle.
The aerodynamic devices underneath Indy cars that generate substantial downforce.
An integral piece of the turbocharger, this small fan drives the compressor.
Turbo Lag
The time it takes the turbocharger to kick in after the driver accelerates; the lag results because a turbocharger compressor is spun by exhaust gases in the exhaust manifold.
Turbo or Turbocharger
A device which pressurizes air, pumps it into the engine and "boosts" a car's performance. Essentially the condensed air increases the air/fuel mixture to create more power.
Turbocharged, Turbocharger
Device that compresses and forces extra air into the intake manifold to produce extra power. Both turbochargers and superchargers are used to produce more power without increasing engine displacement, but neither are particularly fuel efficient and both can require costly maintenance as vehicles age.
A device which uses exhaust gases from the racecar to turn a turbine at speeds approaching 100,000 rpm. The turbine in turn spins a compressor, which compresses the intake air and forces it into the intake manifold, resulting in much more efficient engine operation and a substantial increase in horsepower.
Rough air encountered by race car drivers.
Turn a Lap
One full circle around the race track.
Turn-in Point
Point before and usually on the outside edge of a turn where braking is completed, the car is turned into the turn, and acceleration begins.
To fine tune an engine or make any minor modification that will result in a slight power increase.
Twist Beam Axle
A semi-independent axle often used on rear suspensions of front-wheel drive vehicles. A horizontal beam connects the two rear wheels together. The beam can twist to reduce the effect of one wheel’s motion on the other wheel. A twist-beam axle is less expensive than a fully independent suspension. It is also more compact.
Twist-Beam Axle
A semi-independent rear axle often used on front-drive vehicles. The horizontal beam, which connects the two rear wheels, can twist to reduce the effect of one wheel's motion on the other. Less expensive and more compact than fully independent suspension.
Trying to induce a policyholder under false pretense to terminate an existing policy to take a new one.
A vehicle that can only accommodate the driver and one passenger.
Two-Stroke Cycle
An internal-combustion engine that requires only one revolution per cylinder or two piston strokes (up and down) to achieve a power stroke. Rarely used in automobiles.
Two-Wheel Drive (2wd)
A vehicle drivetrain which distributes power to two wheels.
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