Destination Auto Racing

February 27, 2006

Calendar

NASCAR

NEXTEL CUP

Next race -- UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400

Site -- Las Vegas

When -- March 12

FORMULA

ONE

First race -- Bahrain Grand Prix

Site -- Manama, Bahrain

When -- March 12

INDY

RACING LEAGUE

First race -- Toyota Indy 300

Site -- Homestead, Fla.

When -- March 26

CHAMP CAR

WORLD SERIES

First race -- Streets of Long Beach

Site -- Long Beach, Calif.

When -- April 9

NASCAR 101

FAMILIAR TERMS

Aero push -- When following another vehicle closely, the airflow off the lead vehicle does not travel across the rear one in a normal manner. Therefore, downforce (see definition, below) on the front of the trailing vehicle(s) is decreased and it does not turn in the corners as well, resulting in an "aero push." It is more apparent on the exit of the turns.

Balance -- When a car doesn't oversteer or understeer, but goes around the racetrack as if on rails, it's said to be in balance.

Banking -- The sloping of a racetrack, particularly at a curve or a corner, from the apron to the outside wall.

Camber -- The angle at which a tire makes contact with the track surface. "Positive camber" indicates the angle of the tire is tilted away from the vehicle's centerline while "negative camber" indicates the tire is tilted toward the centerline.

Downforce -- The air pressure traveling over the surfaces of a race vehicle creates "downforce" or weight on that area. To increase corner speeds, teams strive to create downforce that increases tire grip.

Handling -- Generally, a racecar's performance while racing, qualifying or practicing.

Loose -- (Also "free" or "oversteer.") A condition created when the back end of the vehicle wants to overtake the front end when it is either entering or exiting a turn.

Neutral -- A term drivers use when referring to how their car is handling. When a car is neither loose nor pushing (tight).

Sway bar -- Bar used to resist or counteract the rolling force of the car body through the turns.

Tight -- (Also "push" or "understeer.") A car is said to be tight if the front wheels lose traction before the rear wheels do. A tight racecar isn't able to steer sharply enough through the turns.

NASCAR.com

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