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Glossary

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PACE CAR
The car, which leads the field to set the pace before NASCAR and Champ Car World Series races and restarts after cautions.
PACE NOTES
Special hand-written notes made by the World Rally co-driver and used on special stages to tell the driver about the corners ahead and the likely speed (pace) at which they can be driven.
PADDOCK AREA
The enclosed portion (or infield) of a race track.
PARADE LAP(S)
The warm-up lap before a NASCAR or Champ Car World Series. Drivers use this lap to warm up their engines and often zig-zag to warm up tires.
PARC FERMÉ
Literally a "closed park" in French, it describe a secure area where rally cars must be parked at certain times.
PARKING LOT
After a big crash, which takes out a lot of cars, the track looks like a parking lot.
PHYSICAL CIRCUIT
Usually refers to road courses which require a lot of turning and, hence, great physical strength.
PICK UP
Debris built up on tires from rubber bits and small stones.
PIT BOARD
A board used by Champ Car World Series crews informs drivers of lap times, lap until pit and various other information. The board is used along with team radios to keep in constant communication.
PIT LIZARD
Nickname for a racing groupie.
PIT ROAD OR ROW
The area designated for teams to set up temporary garages during races accessible to ("pit out") and from ("pit in") the track. Each team is allotted one pit area (or space) per car. Drivers pit so crews can refuel, change tires and make any other repairs or adjustments. Simply called "the pits" most often.
PIT STOP
An integral part of most racing series where drivers stop in pit row so their crews can change tires, refuel, and make repairs or other adjustments.
PITS
Short for pit row or a dejected driver. Also see hot pits or cold pits.
PODIUM RAMP
Raised platform located at official start and finish of World Rally events, over which all competitors must drive their cars.
POINT PAYING
In some series (i.e. Champ Car World Series), you must finish a certain place or higher to receive points toward the championship. Conversely, NASCAR awards points to any driver who starts a race.
POINTS RACING
A driver will compete in races with the primary goal of earning enough points to win a championship, rather than winning the race. A driver competes conservatively in order to finish the race with enough points to maintain or achieve a series points lead.
POLE POSITION
The driver qualifying fastest is awarded the first starting position. This means the driver will start on the inside (relative to the first turn) of the first row.
POP-OFF VALVE
In Champ Car World Series-style racing, this valve is connected to the plenum exiting the turbocharger. Champ Car World Series supplies these valves in order to restrict the pressure generated by the turbocharger.
POWER PLANT
Commonly used term for engines.
PRE-STAGE
To position an NHRA car's front wheels about seven inches behind the starting line so the small yellow lights atop that driver's side of the Christmas Tree are glowing. The next step is to stage and be ready to race.
PRO TREE
Used in Funny Car, Pro Stock. All three large amber lights on the Christmas Tree flash simultaneously, followed four-tenths of a second later by the green starting light. A perfect reaction time on a Pro Tree is .400.
PROVISIONAL STARTING SPOT
Special performance-based exemptions allowed drivers who do not initially qualify for a race. A driver awarded a provisional spot must start at the back of the starting grid.
PUSH
The rear end of a NASCAR or Champ Car World Series car has more grip than the front. This condition makes a car harder to turn into a corner. Commonly known as understeer.
PUSHING AND SHOVING
Race cars making contact.

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