2020 Donruss Panini Nascar Cards Unboxing PACK 25 (2.1)

Both Blaster Boxes
After unboxing and unwrapping a box of 2020 Donruss (Panini) Nascar trading cards, I decided to keep going.  Now we dive into two “Blaster Boxes”—small boxes of 7 packs each.  Join us as we go through each eight-card pack to find the good, the bad, and the downright weird.

PACK 25—Orange, Seig…uh…ah Dammit
Our first look at a pack from one of the two “Blaster Boxes”, aka Those Things For Sale On That Display By The Registers At Target.  Its not the most auspicious debut, but we DO get three former champions, ironically including two who spent some time irritating Roger Penske.

FIRST THING’S FIRST: The “Blaster Boxes” have Blaster-exclusive orange parallels, shown here with Chris Buescher.  So by MY count that means we have Optics, Border Variants (black instead of gray, gray instead of white), Red, Blue and Purple variants, with another one to come.  And people wonder why people don’t collect cards to “collect em all” anymore.

SECOND LOOK: Why look, it’s Nascar’s Official Underdog of the Xfinity Series!  And is it just me or does “Larry’s Hard Lemonade” sound a little creepy?

TO THE BACK: Rusty Wallace managed to enter the top-ten all-time for top-five race finishes, mitigated somewhat by the fact that he did so in Delaware.

FINAL SCORE: 4 quarts of oil out of 10

Speed Racer Rumored for Hendrick 48 Ride

As Nascar’s annual “Silly Season” rumor mill continues to swirl, a new candidate has surfaced as a favorite for the prized Hendrick Motorsports 48 car being vacated by Jimmie Johnson: sports car racer Speed Racer.

Speed Racer

“We’re looking at all our options for 2021”, team owner Rick Hendrick said earlier this week as the rumor picked up steam on Twitter, “and that includes looking at all possibilities.  It could be a driver let go from another major team for sponsorship concerns, a driver who lost his ride for making an idiot of himself online, or even a young hotshot from outside the sport.  Heck—wouldn’t be the first time.”

Racer has long competed for his family owned team, piloting the famed Mach 5 in a number of major “point-to-point” contests around the globe.  When contacted about the Nascar rumors at an event in the Sahara Desert, Racer was his typical indecipherable self.

driving coach
“To race in Nascar would be a definite honor ahhh”, Racer said in a fast, staccato speech pattern.  “However to do so I would have to leave my family team and that would possibly be very bad for everyone ahhh.”

Racer’s career has largely been steered by his parents and team owners, the bizarrely named “Mom” and “Pops”.  When reached for comment Pops was livid at the possibly of his son leaving the family team.

“You get out of here with those rumors!” Pops said while stomping on each foot.  “I will not hesitate to thrash you if you try to ask me about that again!”

The move would increase HMS’s current dominance on road courses, with Racer joining road racing ace Chase Elliott.  No, seriously—Chase Elliott.

“Having another driver who can turn both left and right would be a real boon for our team”, Elliott said, while emphasizing that he had no knowledge of any impending decision on the driver of the 48 car.  “Who knows who it could be, but whoever gets the ride better realize that you can’t race with a kid and a monkey in the trunk—well, unless you’re Tim Flock.”

While nothing has been confirmed as of this writing, rumors believed to originate from the Racer camp have stated that negotiations are centering around a buyout of the Racer race team, allowing Speed Racer to choose his own crew chief, and figuring out how to position a spotter in Trixie’s helicopter.

Uncle Max vs. Last Year’s Winners: Las Vegas

EDITOR’S NOTE: Uncle Max is busy at work this week, so he texted me his picks.

Friday Night TRUCK SERIES Westgate 200 (4 wins) Grant Enfinger—but don’t doubt the coming dominance of Sam Mayer.

Saturday Night XFINITY SERIES Alsco 300 (4 wins) Justin Allgaier—showing the young contenders how its done.

Sunday Night CUP SERIES South Point 400.  LAST YEAR’S WINNER (7 wins) Martin Truex Jr.  FAVORITE: (2 win) Kevin Harvick—mock me if you must, but I’m down to the wire against Last Year’s Winner.  NEXT FAVORITE: (2 wins) Denny Hamlin—dip in performance?  What dip in performance?  DARK HORSE: (0 wins) Ryan Blaney—throwing a successful Hail Mary after the game has ended.

2020 Donruss Panini Nascar Cards Unboxing PACK 24

Continuing a tradition of limited esteem, Spade Racing bought, unboxed, and unpacked a sealed box of 2020 Donruss (Panini) Nascar trading cards.  Join us as we go through each eight-card pack to find the good, the bad, and the downright weird.

PACK 24—Byron Times Two, An Old Hot Shoe, and We’re Through
Going WAY across the age spectrum here for active drivers, from a 20 year old to a 78 year old.  We also get William Byron twice (with a slight difference) and Top Tier Kevin Harvick.

FIRST THING’S FIRST: Morgan Shepherd, simultaneously The Ageless One AND The Aged One.

SECOND LOOK: Nice shot of one of my favorite paint schemes in years, the Adam Petty throwback.

TO THE BACK: The back of said throwback scheme has a nice quote from Kyle Petty.  Hey—they don’t all have to be snarky!

FINAL SCORE: 7 checkered flags out of 10

Spade Racing: THE ROOKIES—Mid-September Rakings

New for 2020, Spade Racing will take a monthly look at the heralded Cup Series rookie class to determine who’s hot and who’s not.  The PRETTY grade: Performance Relative to Equating Team’s Typical Year (its pretty much how well each driver is doing considering their equipment).  Here’s how things look going into tonight’s Bristol Night Race:

1. Cole Custer (Stewart Haas Racing). Best race finish: 1st (Kentucky).  PRETTY grade: B+.  Cole is still head-and-shoulders above the rest thanks to his win, but he’s settled a bit more into the midfield on the back of four top-15 finishes in five races—only one of them a top-ten.  On the plus side his Playoff berth has given plenty of exposure to Haas Tooling, whatever the heck THAT is.

2. Tyler Reddick (Richard Childress Racing).  Best race finish: 2nd (Texas).  PRETTY grade: B.  Austin Dillon has been pouring it on lately, so it seems like RCR has the resources to run one contending car at a time.  So of course they might absorb the 13 car into their team.

3. Christopher Bell (Leavine Family Racing).  Best race finish: 4th (Pocono).  PRETTY grade: C+.  Not much has changed for Bell—other than his team announcing they’ll be shutting down at the end of the year, its still struggles for top-20s and looking ahead to 2021—where he’ll promptly be competing with three championship-caliber drivers.  Out of the fire and into the erupting volcano.

4. John Hunter Nemechek (Front Row Motorsports).  Best race finish: 8th (Talladega).  PRETTY grade: C.  An 11th at Daytona (the oval) breaks up a disappointing stretch for the FRM driver.  Then again there are worse things to be known for than being a plate-track contender—like, oh, I don’t know, racing for Rick Ware.

5. Brennan Poole (Premium Motorsports).  Best race finish: 15th (Daytona).  PRETTY grade: C-.  Poole’s shown that he can contend at plate tracks…and that’s about it.

6. Quin Houff (StarCom Racing).  Best race finish: 23rd (Indianapolis/Daytona).  PRETTY grade: D.  In case you’re wondering, yes—the rankings have stayed pretty much set-in-stone for the past few months.  Come on Quin—make me change the formatting!

Uncle Max vs. Last Year’s Winners: Bristol

By the time you read these picks I’ll be deep into my busiest time of the year at work—prepping for holiday displays.  We always get ready near the end of September for Christmas, but this year will be even odder—less employees thanks to everything going on means more work for us managers.  So it’ll be more than a week straight of 12-hour workdays (if I’m lucky) rearranging the stock room, stripping the sales floor, and listening to yahoos complaining about the holidays coming earlier every year.  Wish me luck, and hopefully I have a better go of it than I’ve had this year in fantasy Nascar!

Thursday Night TRUCK SERIES UNOH 200 (4 wins) Zane Smith—he needs to win more so we can call him “Victory Lane Zane”.

Friday Night XFINITY SERIES Food City 300 (4 wins) Austin Cindric—perfect way to cap the regular season championship.

Saturday Night CUP SERIES National Ringworm Association Night Race (500).  LAST YEAR’S WINNER (7 wins) Denny Hamlin.  FAVORITE: (2 win) Martin Truex Jr.—well, its his SPONSOR’s home race (sorta).  NEXT FAVORITE: (2 wins) Kyle Busch—turning around his seasonnnnnn NOW.  DARK HORSE: (0 wins) Christopher Bell—sending the whiny LFR crew out with a win.

2020 Donruss Panini Nascar Cards Unboxing PACK 23

Continuing a tradition of limited esteem, Spade Racing bought, unboxed, and unpacked a sealed box of 2020 Donruss (Panini) Nascar trading cards.  Join us as we go through each eight-card pack to find the good, the bad, and the downright weird.

PACK 23—Stars of the Past, A Random Modern Cast, and Bubba’s Tire—What a Blast!
This pack really runs the gamut—another tire piece (from Bubba Wallace no less!), former champions, current stars, but also Matt Tifft and Gray Gaulding.  If there were some more promising rookies instead of those two oddballs, this would’ve gotten the rare 10 out of 10 rating.

FIRST THING’S FIRST: Texas Terry from the late-90’s looking very Texas Terry in the late-90’s.

SECOND LOOK: Clint Bowyer gets the awesome “beautiful day in the sky reflected in his shades” look, only slightly cut down by the fact that it looks like this picture was taken from a dwarf.

TO THE BACK: Some fun facts about Bubba playing some catch with fans on the back of his tire card.  Come to think of it—whatever happened to that football?

FINAL SCORE: 9 rain delay interviews out of 10

NFL Stars Owning Nascar Teams: Part 2--Other Stars

NOTE: All pictures courtesy Wikipedia and/or Pixabay unless noted

The NFL and Nascar.  They both compete on Sunday.

And that’s about where the comparisons end.

Pro football and stock car racing have little else in common, but that hasn’t prevented a litany of pigskin stars—some legends, some less-so—from crossing over in Nascar via team ownership.  Here’s a rundown of the football heroes who’ve stepped in Nascar—and how they’ve done.

Other Stars—more than just the guys behind center 

Joe Gibbs—Joe Gibbs Racing

The standard-bearer—not just for football legends in Nascar, but for Nascar ownership overall.  Gibbs, who’d coached the Washington club to three Super Bowl wins, started his race team in 1992, and exploded onto the scene in 1993 with Dale Jarrett’s emotional Daytona 500 win.  Since then its been nothing but growth, with JGR now a four-team powerhouse on the Cup level with strong sponsor relationships, an ironclad partnership with Toyota, and several successful developmental programs as well.  FUN FACT—Joe returned to coaching in Washington in 2004, which put the best owner in Nascar together with the worst owner in football.

Randy Moss—Randy Moss Motorsports

The superstar wide-receiver bought into the successful but faltering Morgan-Dollar Motorsports team, changing one of the truck’s numbers to his own 81.  The team’s primary 5 truck saw success with veteran Mike Skinner, but a lack of sponsorship, instability at crew chief, and no Cup team affiliation would see the team shut down in 2012, eventually being bought and resurrected by Richie Wauters.  FUN FACT—Jimmie Johnson made his Truck Series debut for this team.  There—that’s a thing you know now.

Joe Washington—Washington-Erving Motorsports

courtesy Jayski
After a solid NFL career, Joe Washington transitioned successfully into the business world.  In 1998 he convinced basketball legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving to join him in a unique Nascar venture—a wholly minority-owned race team competing in the Busch Series.  While Erving provided lucrative Dr. Pepper sponsorship, Washington was the owner of record.  Unfortunately the team failed to make much of an impact, failing to post a win in two-plus seasons, regularly struggling to qualify for races, and folding shortly after Dr. Pepper left the team midway through the 2000 season.  FUN FACT—this team had a dozen racers in its existence, which would be fine if it had lasted longer than two-and-a-half seasons.

Jerry Glanville—Glanville Motorsports

The longtime coach (most-notably for the Houston Oilers and Atlanta Falcons) was a hobby racer in his spare time, racing primarily in the early years of the Truck Series, even competing in the series’ first-ever race in 1995.  Usually racing for his own Glanville Motorsports team, the flamboyant coach failed to post a single top-ten in thirty-three national series starts.  FUN FACT—Glanville raced car number 81.  So football, Nascar, and car number—Randy Moss and Jerry Glanville have three things in common!

NFL Stars Owning Nascar Teams: Part 1--The Quarterbacks

The NFL and Nascar.  They both compete on Sunday.

NOTE: All graphics/pictures courtesy
Wikipedia and/or Pixabay

And that’s about where the comparisons end.

Pro football and stock car racing have little else in common, but that hasn’t prevented a litany of pigskin stars—some legends, some less-so—from crossing over in Nascar via team ownership.  Here’s a rundown of the football heroes who’ve stepped in Nascar—and how they’ve done.

The Quarterbacks—signal callers on the gridiron, check-signers for racers off it

Troy Aikman & Roger Staubach—Hall of Fame Racing

Hall of Fame Racing certainly lived up to its name—in a football sense.  The 

two greatest Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks of all-time in Aikman and Staubach brought plenty of attention to the new team (ironically later aligned with former Washington coach Joe Gibbs’s team) as well as business savvy and Texas Instruments sponsorship.  While the team showed flashes of brilliance, unfortunately they always seemed to be whenever regular driver Tony Raines wasyanked from the car on road courses.  A driver change to JJ Yeley and an alliance with Gibbs did little to improve matters and, shortly after Aikman and Staubach exited the ownership group, the team was merged into Yates Racing.  FUN FACT—the alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing allowed Troy Aikman to do what he does best—repeatedly say “You’re absolutely right, Joe”.

Mark Rypien—ppc Racing

Primarily owned by Greg Pollex, the ppc Racing team competed in all three of Nascar’s national touring series, seeing its greatest success in the then-Busch Series in the 90’s.  Rypien, the Super Bowl XXVII MVP, was an investor in the team, perhaps learning from former head coach Joe Gibbs that Nascar team ownership can be a fun diversion in the off-season.  However, the ppc Cup team would show little results until it was sold to Roush Racing, where it would eventually become Kurt Busch’s Cup championship car—with Rypien long having left the ownership group.  FUN FACT—Pollex is the father-in-law of Martin Truex Jr., because I guess people with X’s in their last names stay together.

Dan Marino—Elliott-Marino Motorsports

In a bid to stay competitive amidst the growing number of multi-car teams, Bill Elliott Racing sought to add a second car to its single-car operation for 1997.  Enter Dan Marino, who brought sponsorship from First Plus Mortgage and became co-owner of Elliott-Marino Motorsports, BER’s second team.  With a car decked out in Miami Dolphins colors and sporting Marino’s famous number 13, the team made quite an entrance…but did little else.  Driver Jerry Nadeau was released midway through the year, and a rotation of journeyman substitutes failed to improve performance.  The team was folded at the end of the year, with Elliott’s self-owned team eventually being bought out after 2000.  FUN FACT—Nadeau criticized the car’s lack of performance, and while most of his criticism was towards Elliott’s teams’ declining fortunes, one has to wonder if he blamed Marino for putting his tires on backwards—failing to put them “Valve Stems Out”.

Brett Favre—Jarrett/Favre Motorsports

Originally part of a deal to buy out Bud Moore Engineering with Tim Steele, Favre later became business partners with Dale Jarrett in 1999 and 2000 with this Busch Series team.  A continuation of Jarrett’s off-and-on self-owned team, the Rayovac-sponsored car had a number of drivers but failed to make its mark.  Unlike the spectacular careers of Jarrett and Favre, this team made minimal impact before folding before the 2001 season due to a lack of sponsorship.  FUN FACT—Favre must’ve been pretty intimidated coming into Nascar, knowing he’d always be the second-most-famous Mississippian in auto racing after the immortal Lake Speed.

Jim Kelly—Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly

The Frank Cicci team was a major success in the Busch Series throughout the 90’s with support from business partners Jeffrey and Scott Weilliver.  Amid struggles (and without outside support at the time), Cicci brought in Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly as a business partner in 2002 in a bid to attract sponsorship.  While on-track success was unattainable (the team even skipped a year in 2004), the team would attain a certain level of notoriety for bringing Dollar General into the sport.  So there’s that.  FUN FACT—Jim Kelly got his pro start in the USFL, which was a bit like the forthcoming Superstar Racing eXperience except that it was extremely poorly run and didn’t have Ray Evernham involved.

Terry Bradshaw—FitzBradshaw Racing

Originally started by Armando Fitz (son-in-law of Cup team owner Felix Sabates), Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw joined the ownership group in 2002, bringing a slew of new sponsors.  Despite a high-profile, several drivers, and major exposure through Speed Channel’s “NBS 24/7” show, the team failed to post a single win during its existence.  FUN FACT—remember that terrible faux-Spanish accent Terry did doing an impression of Armando?  Yeah, that wasn’t very good.

Part 2 Tomorrow!

Uncle Max vs. Last Year’s Winners: Richmond

After last Sunday Night’s fantasy football draft (19 years running and can’t be stopped by weather, pandemics, OR marriage!) I learned something—doing a draft via Zoom is, well, annoying.  You only have 45 minutes or so per round before you get kicked off, there’s always one guy with a bad connection with a garbled answer, and everyone wishes it could be done in person.  Unfortunately we have the gift of being responsible so there was no way 12 of us were going to meet up and possibly spread some viruses.  Heck, I remember the Draft Day Disaster of 2012—one case of the flu turned into nine of them!  I guess what I’m saying is, be responsible to other people don’t get sick—there’s enough sickness going on with my Cup picks this year anyways.

Thursday Night TRUCK SERIES ToyotaCare 250 (4 wins) Sheldon Creed—the march towards a championship continues.

Friday Night XFINITY SERIES Go Bowling 250 (4 wins) Austin Cindric—boy somebody thinks Nascar fans really love bowling.

Saturday Afternoon XFINITY SERIES Virginia is for Racing Lovers 250 (4 wins) Chase Briscoe—but Pennsylvania racing fans have intercourse.

Saturday Night CUP SERIES Federated 400.  LAST YEAR’S WINNER (7 wins) Martin Truex Jr.  FAVORITE: (2 win) Denny Hamlin—save me Denny—my season’s almost lost!  NEXT FAVORITE: (2 wins) Kevin Harvick—desperate times call for desperate chalk.  DARK HORSE: (0 wins) Tyler Reddick—joining Custer as a rookie winner this year.

2020 Donruss Panini Nascar Cards Unboxing PACK 22

Continuing a tradition of limited esteem, Spade Racing bought, unboxed, and unpacked a sealed box of 2020 Donruss (Panini) Nascar trading cards.  Join us as we go through each eight-card pack to find the good, the bad, and the downright weird.

PACK 22—Youth Watch, Crotch, and a Tire Swatch
Pay dirt!  A piece of Chase Elliott’s tire!  We get some young’uns in this pack as well as a bizarre picture of Reed Sorenson apparently searching for his keys in his pocket…a little too deeply.

FIRST THING’S FIRST: Paul Menard(tm)—most modern drivers have trademarked their names and likenesses after the Dale Jr. debacle in the early-00’s (and, apparently, something with Geoff(rey) Bodine a few years prior).

SECOND LOOK: Here Kevin Harvick(R) not only gets the registered trademark “circle R” but also the Optic treatment, making it look like he’s shifting dimensions.

TO THE BACK: Nice to see the “Relics” cards getting designs on the back now—a nice addition to an already awesome program.

FINAL SCORE: 8 burnouts out of 10

Nascar for Newbies Part 10--Nascar Glossary

Hello, and welcome to the wonderful world of Nascar!  If you’re a new fan of stock car racing, this is the place for you!  In this ten-part series we’ll take a look at what you should and could know about America’s #1 auto racing organization.  Let’s get started! 

10. NASCAR GLOSSARY—What means what

There’s plenty of terms you’ll hear in Nascar that might seem confusing.  Here’s a handy guide.

(Note: Thank you to the Wikipedia article “Glossary of Motorsports Terms” for reminding me of a few of these.)

Aero Push—the loss of control/handling of a car when following another car in the “Draft” too closely, caused by "Dirty Air".

All the Boys Back at the Shop—a stereotypical way to thank team members who don’t travel to the track after a win.  Popular in the 90’s, now typically only used jokingly.

Backmarker—a team (typically with a low budget) that rarely contends for wins, instead usually finishing in the back of the running order.

Banzai Lap, the car running High Wide & Handsome

Banzai Lap—typically refers to qualifying, when a driver will run his car as fast as possible, risking a crash, in order to post the fastest time possible.  See “Runnin Wide Open”.

Behind the Wall—a car that skips making a pit stop and goes directly to the garage to be packed up, resulting in a “DNF”.

(the) Big One—a byproduct of “Restrictor Plate Racing”, which creates dozens of cars running closely together in “Pack Racing”.  If one car makes a mistake, the entire field behind it can be wrecked, resulting in the “Big One”, a major wreck collecting numerous cars.

Blown Engine—a terminal issue with an engine that forces the race car to go “Behind the Wall” and “DNF”.

Bump and Run—tapping a driver from behind, causing his car to get “Loose”, allowing the tapper to get by.  See “Rubbins Racin”.

Buschwhacker—a Cup driver that regularly competes (and wins) in lower-series events such as Xfinity and Truck Series races.  Originally referred to the Xfinity Series’ old name of the “Busch Series”, but now refers to noted Buschwhacker Kyle Busch.

Car Chief—team member in charge of the car’s setup, typically subordinate to the “Crew Chief”.  Akin to an assistant head coach.

Catbird Seat—being in prime position to capitalize on a strategy call (example—having enough fuel to win a race when everyone ahead of you is running out).

Catch Fence—a tall fence above the concrete retaining wall separating the fans from the racing surface.  Meant to “catch” any debris that goes flying from a crash.

Caution Clock—if a car is damaged in any way, a pit crew has five minutes to fix it.  If they can’t, the car goes “Behind The Wall” for a “DNF” and is retired from the race.  If they can get the car fixed well enough to return to the track at full-speed, the car can pit again with a fresh five minute Caution Clock.

Charter—Nascar Cup’s version of a franchise.  Guarantees all 36 Charter teams a starting spot in each points race.  Can be revoked due to poor performance (i.e. if a team was “Start and Park”ing).  Opposite of “Open Entry”.

Checkers or Wreckers—an "all or nothing" strategy, typically taken late in the race, where a driver will take major risks to try to win (the checkered flag), upping the chance of a major crash (a wreck).

Clean Air—the advantage the lead car has by not having anyone in front of him to disrupt the aerodynamics of his car.  Opposite of “Dirty Air”.

Commercial Caution—when a broadcaster takes a commercial break and a crash happens, necessitating a yellow flag.  Missing seeing the action on live TV is a major complaint of race fans.

Competition Caution—a pre-planned caution period early in the race to allow teams to check tire wear.  Usually implemented with a “Green Track”.

Concord—refers to Nascar’s R&D headquarters in Concord, North Carolina.  A car that Nascar thinks might be trying to bend the rules is often said to be “taken back to Concord”.

Cookie Cutter Track—any 1.5 mile speedway, most of which have only superficial differences from each other.

Coopitition—a portmanteau of “cooperation” and “competition”, referring to drivers needing to work together to “Draft” at “Restrictor Plate Racing” tracks like Daytona and Talladega.  Coined by Darrell Waltrip.

Crew Chief—the person in charge of in-race strategy and driver communication.  Akin to a head coach.

Daytona—refers to Daytona Beach, Florida, the birthplace and headquarters of Nascar.  Major decisions are said to be made “by Daytona”, or “coming from Daytona”.  Also obviously refers to Daytona International Speedway.

Decklid—the “trunk” of a race car, located between the rear windshield and the “Spoiler”.

Dirty Air—a car whose aerodynamics are disrupted by running in traffic.  Opposite of “Clean Air”.  Causes “Aero Push”.

DNF—“Did not finish”, scoring notation for a car that doesn’t finish the race, usually due to a crash, a “Blown Engine”, or other mechanical issues.  Sometimes this is done on purpose by a “Start and Park” team.  Compare to DNQ—Did not qualify.

Pack Racing to take advantage of the Draft at
a Restrictor Plate track

(the) Draft—a slipstream created by a car in front cutting through the air, reducing drag on the car following it.  If the car behind starts pushing the car in front, this is known as “Bump Drafting”.  The draft is most-important in “Restrictor Plate Racing”.  Can also lead to “Aero Push”.

Field Filler—a low-budget team that is only entered because it is guaranteed a starting spot due to a lack of entries.  Related to “Start and Park”.

Fire Suit—the fire-retardant racing uniform worn by drivers and most pit crew members.

Flat-spot—after a car locks up its brakes, the skidding will result in a flat spot on each tire where it ground against the asphalt.  Will result in a flat tire if not fixed immediately.

Green Track—a track with no “Groove”, usually caused by rain washing off the rubber that had been laid down on the track.

Green-White-Checkered—Nascar’s version of overtime.  To avoid having a race end under caution, a caution period near the end of a race will cause the race’s total distance to be extended.  After the caution is over, there will be a two-lap shootout to the finish—however, if another caution is called on the green flag lap, the whole process starts over again.  Once the white flag is waved, the race ends either with a caution flag or the checkered flag.

Groove—a path around the race track that provides extra grip and speed.  Typically has dark lines from the amount of tire rubber being rubbed onto the surface.  See “Preferred Line”.  Opposite of the “Marbles”.

Hat Dance—in victory lane, pictures are taken with the winning team wearing the hats of each sponsor.  The process of putting on a hat, whooping it up for the picture, taking it off, and repeating numerous times is called the hat dance.

HANS Device—Head And Neck Support Device.  A head restraint system implemented after a number of deaths in Nascar from basal skull fracture.  Keeps the head from whipping forward in a crash.

Happy Hour—the final practice session before a Cup race.  Used facetiously since teams are typically frantically trying to get the car just right.

Hauler—the tractor trailer used to haul the cars, team equipment, and other materials from the race shop to the track and back again.

Hung Out to Dry—in “Pack Racing” when a driver falls out of the “Draft”, causing them to slow down and fall to the back.

High, Wide, and Handsome—running the car inches from the wall.

Loose—a car that turns too easily, causing the back end of the car to fishtail out towards the wall.  Opposite of “Tight”.  Called oversteer in other forms of motorsports.

(in the) Marbles—the non-“Preferred Line”, usually on the outside of the “Groove”.  Named for the burned-off rubber that rolls toward the wall, looking like small black marbles.

On a Rail—a car that seems to be set up perfectly, especially to run the “Preferred Line”.  The car will adapt to the “Groove” perfectly, making it seem like very little steering is required, thus running like a train on a railroad.

Open Entry—a non-Chartered team (see “Charter”) that has to qualify for a race on time.

Pace car—the car that paces the field during pre-race and caution periods.  Occasionally driven by a dignitary during pre-race, but driven by a Nascar official at all other times.  Called the safety car in other forms of motorsports.

Pack Racing—a side-effect of “Restrictor Plate Racing” at Daytona and Talladega.  Reduced engine power means all cars are roughly the same speed, but can go faster in the “Draft”.  The more cars in the draft, the faster they can go.  This leads to very compact racing in close quarters, often precipitating “The Big One”.

Paint Scheme—how a car looks.  Comes from when all cars were painted—now most are created as vinyl wraps.

Pay Driver—a driver who either brings sponsorship attached to him or is self-funded by a family business.  Pejoratively sometimes called a “Daddy’s Money” racer.

Pit Box—the large metal contraption located behind a team’s pit stall.  Contains spare parts, video equipment, and space for team members to sit.  Also called a “War Wagon”.

Pole Position—the driver starting first in a race.  The driver starting second is said to be on the “Outside Pole”.

Polish Victory Lap—a post-race lap by the victor run the opposite way (clockwise), putting the driver closer to the fans.  Popularized by Polish-American driver Alan Kulwicki.

Preferred Line—the “Groove” that provides the fastest way around the track.

All parts mentioned in this Glossary

Quarter-panels—the sides of a race car.

Race Shop—the race team’s headquarters. (check out sister site www.raceshopreviews.com!)

Restrictor Plate Racing—Restrictor plates restrict (hence the name) the amount of air flowing into the engine, reducing power and, thus, maximum speed.  This leads to “Pack Racing” and increases the importance of “The Draft”.  Restrictor plates were used at Daytona and Talladega due to concerns that cars were going so fast, they could fly over the “Catch Fence” and into the stands.  While restrictor plates have been largely replaced by tapered spacers to get the same result, the term remains.

Road Course Ringer—a non-Nascar driver—typically a sports car driver, but occasionally an IndyCar driver—hired by a team to run one of the road course events.

Rolling Chicane—a derisive term for a “Backmarker” car that runs slower than the leaders, becoming a moving hazard every time he’s lapped.  In road course racing a “chicane” is a tight turn meant to slow down the field.

Room of Doom—Nascar’s inspection station at the track.

Note the Rookie Stripes on car 88

Rookie Stripes—yellow stripes put on a rookie’s back bumper to denote to other competitors that the driver is a novice.

Roval—a combination road course and oval track.  Is almost always a road course INSIDE an oval track.  Trademarked by Charlotte Motor Speedway to refer to its own Roval course.

Rubbins Racin—popularized by the movie “Days of Thunder”.  Refers to how unlike in other forms of motorsports, contact between cars is allowed and, to a certain extent, encouraged (see “Bump and Run”) in Nascar.

Runnin Wide Open—running at full-throttle (an “open throttle”) for maximum speed.  See “Banzai Lap”.

Satellite Team—a race team that receives some sort of support from a larger team.  This support can range from engines to complete race cars.

SAFER Barrier—Steel and Foam Energy Reduction Barrier.  Adopted by Nascar following the death of Dale Earnhardt Sr., it is a system of metal cushioned by foam held in front of the traditional concrete wall.  This absorbs energy from a head-on collision, reducing the impact on the driver’s body.  Standard at all Nascar oval tracks.  Sometimes called a “soft wall”.

Scanner—a radio device fans can rent that allows them to listen in on team communications between the driver, “Crew Chief”, and “Spotter”.

Scuffs—tires that have been run for a few laps, then allowed to cool in order to toughen up the rubber.  Opposite of “Stickers”.

Silly Season—any off-track news in reference to drivers or sponsors switching teams.  Popularized by the website Jayski.  Originally referred to the offseason but now refers to news and rumors at any time.

Slide Job—when a driver goes low in a turn, then attempts to slide in front of the car they’re passing.  Popularized by Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the start of his broadcasting career.

Splash and Go—a late-race pit stop made for fuel only, only stopping for the time needed to add the amount of fuel needed to finish the race.

Splitter—a piece that juts out from the bottom of the nose of the car, meant to provide extra downforce.

Spoiler—piece located on the back of the car between the “Decklid” and the “TV Panel”.  Essential in creating downforce to give the car control and better handling.

Spotter—team member who stands high atop the race track (usually above the press box) and “spots” trouble on the track to the driver.  One of two team members in constant contact with the driver, along with the “Crew Chief”.  Conversations can be heard on a “Scanner”.

Start and Park—a team that qualifies for a race, then after only a few laps pulls in with a mysterious mechanical issue (vibration, handling, etc.).  The team makes more money by finishing last than by finishing mid-pack after using up valuable equipment (most notably tires) and risking damage.  Related to “Field Filler”.

Stick-and-Ball Sports—term used to differentiate other sports (baseball, football, etc.) from auto racing.

Stickers—brand-new tires.  Named for the labels still present on the tires.  Opposite of “Scuffs”.

Tear-Off—a clear piece of plastic on the windshield.  Gets torn off during a pit stop to eliminate the need to clean the windshield.

Tight—a car that doesn’t want to turn, causing the front end of the car to point towards the wall.  Opposite of “Loose”.  Called understeer in other forms of motorsports.

TV panel—the space on the back of a race car between the “Spoiler” and the bumper.  So-called because it shows up on a trailing car’s in-car camera.

Vortex Theory—the idea that race cars going in circles creates enough of a disturbance to ward off oncoming rain.  Popularized by Darrell Waltrip and usually mentioned with a degree of levity.

War Wagon—slang term for a “Pit Box”.