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Glossary

B

BACK OUT
When a driver takes his foot off the gas pedal (all the way or part way), he "backs out" or "lifts off."
BACKMARKER
Cars running near the back of the field.
BALACLAVA
Fire resistant headgear worn under a helmet by a driver to protect their face and neck.
BANKING
On oval tracks, the corners are often tilted inward to provide faster speeds. On some road courses, certain turns may actually be banked outward, a very difficult type of corner known as "off-camber."
BITD
Abbreviation of Best in the Desert, an off-road racing series in the Western United States.
BLACK BOX
Unlike those recording devices in airplanes, a race car's black box contains high-tech electrical systems, which control most engine functions. More technically referred to as the Engine Electronic Controls, the Engine Control Unit or the Engine Management System.
BLACK FLAG
Flag waved by the starter to signal a driver that they must immediately report to the pits for consultation related to a dangerous mechanical condition or a driving infraction. Failure to heed the flag can result in exclusion from the final results of the event. This flag may also be displayed in a rolled-up manner as a warning. Corner workers may also display a black flag if the session has been halted by the display of a red flag by the starter.
BLISTER
Excessive heat can make a tire literally blister and shed rubber. Drivers can detect the problem by the resulting vibrations and risk more serious damage if they choose not to pit.
BLOCKING
Auto racing term for changing position on the track to prevent drivers behind from passing. The technique is acceptable if a car is defending position in the running order, but it is considered unsportsmanlike if lapped cars hold up more competitive cars.
BLOW UP
Irreparable engine failure ends a racer's day.
BLUE FLAG
Flag displayed by corner workers around the track to signal to a driver a faster car is either approaching (steady flag) or attempting a pass (waved flag). The driver being flagged has no obligation to do anything other than be alert, maintain the racing line and avoid intentionally obstructing the faster car.
BOOST
The amount of pressure generated by a turbocharger or supercharger on a Champ Car World Series vehicle as it forces the air/fuel mixture into a forced induction engine.
BRAKE BALANCE KNOB
Cockpit control that allows World Rally driver to alter amount of braking effort between front and rear wheels.
BRICKYARD
Nickname given to the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway because of its 3.2 million brick surface. Only three feet of this surface is now visible at the start/finish line.
BURN OFF
Burning fuel during the course of a race. As fuel is burned, the car becomes lighter and its handling characteristics change, challenging the driver and crew to make adjustments to achieve balance.
BURNED PISTON
When a cylinder in an NHRA racer runs lean (too much air in the air-to-fuel mixture) and excessive heat burns or melts the piston.
BURNOUT
Spinning the rear tires in water to heat and clean them prior to a run for better traction in NHRA races. A burnout precedes every run.

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