By admin | July 23, 2013
By Richard Allen
No doubt, many NASCAR fans will be watching a type of racing that is somewhat new to them on Wednesday night at the Eldora Speedway when the Camping World Truck Series races on dirt. Since this will be the first time NASCAR has sanctioned a dirt race for one of its top divisions in over 40 years, there are likely to be a few terms that asphalt fans may not be familiar with.
On the average, I attend at least one dirt race per week so I have become familiar with several terms unique to dirt racing. Here is a list of some of those words and phrases:
Rubbered in- This is a condition in which the track has built up large amounts of rubber from the tires. The track often develops one dominant groove when this happens, which will be clearly evident by the black coloration on the racing surface. This is likely to occur in the truck race due to the number of cars and the number of laps to be run. Most dirt late model races start 24 cars for no more than 100 laps. There will be more laps on Wednesday with more vehicles.
Train race- This happens when the track has gone to one groove with cars unable to pass. It looks as if the cars are on a train track.
Tacky- This is a term for a track that has plenty of moisture, and thus, plenty of grip. Cars go fastest on a tacky track.
Dry slick- This is a condition in which the track gets very dry, obviously, and tends to become hard packed. Drivers have to slow down and go easy on the accelerator and brakes under this condition. Dry slick often provides good racing as the track will develop multiple grooves. Expect the Eldora track to be like this on Wednesday.
Hammer down- This is the opposite of dry slick. In this case, the track has been prepared in such a way as to be fully saturated. The moisture provides grip which allows drivers to run almost flat out all the way around the track. Record speeds will be set when the track is hammer down, but much horsepower is required. Drivers and teams often do not like this condition because it tends to be hard on equipment.
Cushion- Usually at the upper part of the track where excess dirt has been blown or pushed by the cars. Cars often find the most grip right against the cushion.
Grooved tires- Tires typically used in the Camping World Truck Series are smooth and without any tread pattern. The tires Goodyear will bring to Eldora will be one inch wider than the norm and will have a tread pattern. Unlike dirt racing, where teams bring their own tires to the track and cut their own grooves, there will be much less leeway given by NASCAR.
Heat races- Many dirt races set the field for the feature event by using both qualifying and heat races. A heat race is simply used to determine the starting order for the main event.
Slide Job- This is a reference to a pass made when a car dives into a turn on the inside at a high rate of speed and slides up in front of the car just passed.
Glazed tires- This happens when, under caution or pace laps, the tires get dirt built up on them and lose grip with the track as a result. This is why drivers often seem so aggressive under caution or on pace laps as they attempt to clean off their tires.
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