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Glossary

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SAVING THE CAR/TIRES
Driving a car somewhat moderately to conserve the car's mechanical parts and lessen tire wear. This allows a driver to be more aggressive during the all-important final laps.
SCRUBBED TIRES
The best kind of NASCAR or Champ Car World Series racing tires because they've had a few laps of wear to normalize the surface.
SCRUTINEERS
Team of officials who check the eligibility and legality of rally cars before and after the event.
SEEDING
The method used by World Rally organizers to decide the starting order with fastest, most successful crews at the front.
SEQUENTIAL GEARBOX
Design of World Rally gearbox that allows fast, clutch-less gear changes up or down - one ratio at a time.
SERVICE PARKS
Designated areas during World Rally events where teams may carry out work on their cars subject to time limits.
SETUP
Combination of settings for a NASCAR or Champ Car World Series vehicle's engine, aerodynamic features and tires/wheels, teams make continual adjustments to a car's setup during pit stops based on driver input.
SETUP SHEETS
Documents with recorded setups from different tracks under varying weather conditions. NASCAR and Champ Car World Series teams use this baseline to adjust setups when they arrive at a track.
SHAKEDOWN
First test with a brand-new car or engine. Also, in World Rally, shakedown is the pre-event day that provides teams with the last chance to test their cars on roads or trails typical of the rally.
SHIFT POINTS
The best engine rpm at which to shift gears. Some production and racecars have lights to indicate when a driver should shift gears.
SHOOT OUT
Two or more drivers race to the end for victory.
SHUNT
British term for crash or accident.
SHUT DOWN
Turning a car off to avoid mechanical damage or an accident. Often times, drivers shut down so a mechanical problem doesn't lead to more severe and expensive consequences. Drag racers often shut their cars down when they get out of control.
SIXTY-FOOT TIME
The time it takes an NHRA 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.
SLICKS
Tires with no tread, designed for dry weather conditions.
SLIDER CLUTCH
IN NHRA racing, a multi-disc clutch designed to slip until a predetermined rpm is reached; decreases shock load to the drive wheels.
SLIP
An acronym heard on the NHRA's in-car audio, referring to the electronic "Speed Limiter In Pitlane" device, which automatically keeps the car at the pit lane speed limit by holding a button on the steering wheel.
SLIP STREAM
The cavity of low-pressure area created by a moving object. In racing, drivers use this slip stream to draft another vehicle.
SPEED TRAP
The final 66 feet to the NHRA finish line where speed is recorded.
SPOILER
The spoiler is a strip of aluminum that stretches across the width of a NASCAR vehicle's rear decklid. Designed to create downforce on the rear of the vehicle, thereby increasing traction. However, the tradeoff, again, is that more downforce equals more aerodynamic drag, so teams attempt, particularly on qualifying runs, to lay the spoiler at as low an angle as possible to "free up" their vehicles for more straightaway speed. Also referred to as a "blade."
SPOTTERS
Teams on an oval track will usually have crewmembers on top of the grandstand where they can see the entire track and warn drivers of an accident or advise them where to go in traffic.
STAGE
To position the front wheels right on the NHRA starting line so the small yellow lights below the pre-stage lights are glowing. Once both drivers are staged, the calibrated countdown may begin. Also, in World Rally, a stage or special stage is a speed test on public roads or forest trails, closed for the rally.
STAGE TIME
The officially recorded time taken by a rally car to complete a special stage, from standing start to flying finish.
STAGGER
On ovals, teams may use a different tire circumference between the left- and right-side tires on the vehicle (or stagger) on the outside wheel to improve the car's handling ability. Typically, the left-side tires would be a smaller circumference than the right-side tires to "help" the vehicle make left-hand turns. The concept has largely been eliminated with the use of radial tires in NASCAR.
STICKERS
Brand-new tires with the manufacturer's label (or sticker) still on the surface. Teams generally use sticker tires during qualifying then use scrubbed tires in a race.
STOP LINE
The line where a car must stop to have its stage time recorded on the time card.
STOP-AND-GO PENALTY
This penalty requires a NASCAR or Champ Car World Series or driver to stop at their team's pit for a timed penalty before reentering the race. This penalty can be assessed for anything from speeding in the pits to contact with an opponent.
STUDS
Metal spikes fitted into the treads of World Rally winter tires to give extra grip on snow and ice.
SUMP GUARD
A reinforced panel under the rally car's engine bay to protect the engine's sump and the transmission.
SUPER SPECIAL STAGE
A World Rally stage specially set up to allow pairs of cars to race alongside each other for maximum spectator entertainment and TV appeal.
SUPERCHARGER
On an NHRA vehicle, a crank-driven air/fuel-mixture compressor, also called a blower. It increases atmospheric pressure in the engine to produce more horsepower.
SUPERSPEEDWAY
An oval track usually measuring between one mile and two-plus miles.
SWEEPER
A large sweeping corner on a road or street course.
SWOL
A Champ Car World Series acronym heard on the in-car audio, referring to the electronic "Shift With Out a Lift" device, which allows gear shifts without lifting off the throttle, making the shift faster.

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