Lycos Crew Chief James Ince Explains Racing Terms


#10 Lycos Crew Chief James Ince Explains Some Everyday Racing Terms Not Everyone Might Know

What is wedge?

"That is term we use for adjusting the amount of weight on the Lycos Pontiac's chassis. You turn a jackscrew built into the car and either add pressure to the coil spring or take it off. If you add pressure, it means that wheel and the one diagonally from it carry more weight and it changes the handing accordingly.

What is the draft?

"A single car traveling at high speed must push through the air in front of the car and pull against a vacuum created behind the car. The combination of these two effects is called drag. The drag determines the top speed capabilities of the car.

"When two cars line up nose to tail, the vacuum behind the first car is greatly reduced and the second car does not have to push that wall of air in front. This means that two cars will essential have the drag effect of one car. With the drag reduced two or more cars running together can go quicker than a single car by itself."

What is a spoiler?

"The spoiler is the wing on the rear deck lid or trunk that catches the air coming off the roof and back window. The air that hits the spoiler creates rear downforce that helps keep the rear wheels glued to the track in a turn."

What is the groove?

"The groove is the fastest racing line around the track. If you go to a track, you can almost see the groove because of the oil and tire marks left on the pavement because some many cars have driven the same line."

What are scuffs?

"Scuffs are a set of tires that have only one or two laps on them. We use scuffs sometimes in qualifying because at times stickers do not feel as good as scuffs. Sometimes they just are faster with the newness taken off of them. As a general rule the first lap on a tire is where the tire is the best.

Quarter Panels

"Those are the pieces of the body immediately behind and in front of the tires. Those are usually good places to sell sponsorship because they are highly visible on television. "


"Stagger is the difference between circumference of the left side tires compared to the right side tires. The left side tires are always smaller to help the car rolling through the turn.

Roof Flaps

"When a car gets sideways on the racetrack the wind hitting the roof will force the two rooflaps to pop up adding a lot of downforce which we hope will keep the car down on the track and not get airborne or start flipping. Roof flaps are strictly a safety device NASCAR added in 1995."

Loose vs. Push

"Loose means the rear of the car wants to come around in the corner and push means the car won't turn and the front end wants to keep going straight. Obviously, you don't want either condition. A happy medium is what we all strive for."

Plug Check

"Sometime during practice we try to have the driver shut the motor off when he is at top speed. Usually on the backstretch. When he comes in the engine guys look over the eight spark plugs with something like a microscope. They can look at the spark plugs and tell if the fuel mixture is right.

Restrictor Plate

"The restrictor plate is a metal plate that bolts on top of the carburetor and limits the amount of air into the carburetor which in effect reduces horsepower. It's a way for NASCAR to slow us down on the superspeedways.

Short track, superspeedway, intermediate track

"We call any track less than a mile a short track, anything over a mile an intermediate track except for Daytona and Talladega which are superspeedways."

Rear deck lid

"That's what racers call the trunk of the car. The rear deck lid is important in funneling the air to the rear spoiler which can create more downforce and alter the handling of the car."

Race Information:

a.. Race: Sunday, March 12, 2000 in Hampton, GA

b.. TV: ABC 1:00pm/et

c.. 1999 Race Winner: Jeff Gordon

d.. Spring Race Speed Record: Dale Earnhardt, 1996, 161.298mph

e.. Track/Race Length: 1.54 mile quad-oval, 325 laps, 500.5 miles

f.. Practice: Friday, Mar 10th 11:00am-12:30pm/et; 1:40-2:30pm/et; Saturday, Feb 26th, 9:30-10:45am/et

g.. Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, Mar 11th, after the BGN race, TV-ESPN2 tape delay 6pm/et

h.. Qualifying Draw: Friday, Mar 10th at 10:30am/et

i.. First Round Qualifying: 1 lap for positions 1-25, Friday, Mar 10th at 3:30pm/et, TV-ESPN2 tape delay 5pm/et and live via PRN radio/internet

j.. Second-Round Qualifying: 1 lap for positions 26th on back, Saturday, Mar 11th at 11:00am/et

k.. Track Qualifying Record: Geoffrey Bodine, 197.478mph, November 1997

l.. Race Qualifying Record: Bobby Labonte, 194.957mph, March 1999

m.. Last Year's Pole Sitter: Bobby Labonte, 194.957mph

n.. Track Specs: Degree of Banking: Turns: 24 degrees Straight-aways: Banking: 5 degrees; Straights: Frontstretch - 1471 feet; Backstretch - 1380 feet.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Labonte , Geoffrey Bodine