NHRA Communications Dept.
AARWBA American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association
ACCUS Automobile Competition Committee of the United States Members include NHRA, NASCAR, CART, IRL, USAC and SCCA.
aftermarket One word. The market for parts and accessories used in the repair or enhancement of an automobile
Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals
annual An event cannot be described as annual until it has been held in at least two successive years; Never use first-annual, use inaugural
Auto Club NHRA Finals
backup As in backup car, referring to a spare car.
Big Go Slang name for U.S. Nationals; no quotes
Big Three Automakers General Motors, Ford, Chrysler
bite Jargon referring to adhesion of a tire to the racing surface.
Bondo Brand of body filler. Capitalize.
bracket racing Popular type of handicap racing where each competitor uses a dial-in or performance prediction.
break out (v.), breakout (n.) Occurs when competitor has run quicker than his dial-in time.
burndown Occurs when two competitors purposely delay the staging process.
burn out (v.), burnout (n.) Spinning the tires prior to the start of a drag race to increase tire temperature and improve traction.
bye When a racer has no competition due to short field or a no-show.
Cacklefest NHRA trademark. Line of nostalgia dragsters at starting line with engines running.
car length Two words.
career-best Use hyphen
centerline One word.
chassis The plural of chassis is chassis.
Christmas Tree The electronic device incorporating calibrated lights used to start a drag race.
clutch disc Not disk.
Countdown to the Championship
cubic centimeters Engine displacement, usually written as cc on every reference with no periods or spaces.
cid Cubic inches of displacement (lower case, no periods). Used with a hyphen, e.g., 500-cid.
datelines Datelines on stories should contain a city name, entirely in capital letters, followed in most cases by the name of the state, country or territory where the city is located.
No state abbreviation with the following:
SALT LAKE CITY
Stories from all other U.S. cities should have both the city and state name in the dateline, including KANSAS CITY, Mo. and KANSAS CITY, Kan.
Several states do not use abbreviations. Abbreviate all others.
Alabama — Ala.
Alaska — Alaska
Arizona — Ariz.
Arkansas — Ark.
California — Calif.
Colorado — Colo.
Connecticut — Conn.
Delaware — Del.
Florida — Fla.
Georgia — Ga.
Hawaii — Hawaii
Illinois — Ill.
Idaho — Idaho
Indiana — Ind.
Iowa — Iowa
Kansas — Kan.
Kentucky — Ky.
Louisiana — La.
Maryland — Md.
Maine — Maine
Massachusetts — Mass.
Michigan — Mich.
Minnesota — Minn.
Mississippi — Miss.
Missouri — Mo.
Montana — Mont.
Nebraska — Neb.
Nevada — Nev.
New Hampshire — N.H.
New Jersey — N.J.
New Mexico — N.M.
New York — N.Y.
North Carolina — N.C.
North Dakota — N.D.
Ohio — Ohio
Oklahoma — Okla.
Oregon — Ore.
Pennsylvania — Pa.
Rhode Island — R.I.
South Carolina — S.C.
South Dakota — S.D.
Tennessee — Tenn.
Texas — Texas
Utah — Utah
Vermont — Vt.
Virginia — Va.
Washington — Wash.
West Virginia — W.Va.
Wisconsin — Wis.
Wyoming — Wyo.
debut This is a noun, not a verb. Correct use: It was his drag racing debut. Incorrect use: He debuted a dragster.
deep stage Describes the act of staging the car past the initial pre-stage light.
dial-in In bracket racing, a predetermined E.T. or performance prediction.
disc Reference to type of brake
DNF (n. or v.) Abbreviation for did not finish. Past tense is DNFd (no apostrophe). Use only when writing for racing audience. Otherwise spell it out.
DNQ (n. or v.) Abbreviation for did not qualify. Past tense is DNQd (no apostrophe).
DNS (n. or v.) Abbreviation for did not start.
downforce One word.
drag race Two words. No hyphen.
dragstrip One word.
dropped cylinder (v) To drop a cylinder (n) a cylinder that has too much fuel-to-air mixture, preventing spark plug from firing.
dynamometer Slang term is dyno.
E.T. Accepted abbreviation for elapsed time, not ET or e.t.
FIA Federation International de l’Automobile.
FOX Sports 1 OK to use FS1 in second reference
FOX Sports 2 OK to use FS2 in second reference
FOX national broadcasting network will air four races
Funny Car Always uppercase.
gearbox One word.
grandstand One word.
groove The preferred path of a race car on a race track.
halfway Noun and adjective.
HANS device Acronym for Head and Neck Support.
holeshot An advantage at the starting line achieved by the driver having the quicker reaction time to the Christmas Tree than his opponent.
horsepower One word.
inaugural Never use first-annual.
Internet Should be capitalized in all references.
jell/gel Do not confuse the two words. Jell means to take shape
and achieve distinctness; to become cohesive. Gel means
to change into or take on the form of a gel.
loose Jargon for a handling condition of a race car in which the vehicle’s rear tires tend to lose traction.
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
mph The abbreviation for mile per hour. It’s acceptable in all references.
motorsports One word.
motor racing Two words.
national record Avoid the redundant new record.
NHRA National Dragster monthly magazine of NHRA
NHRA National Hot Rod Association; use NHRA on every reference when writing for motorsports audience.
NHRA.com also www.nhra.com
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series
NHRA Championship Drag Racing
NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
NHRA Nitro Alley
NHRA Safety Safari
No. 1 qualifier Top qualifier in 16-car order for drag racing’s professional categories
nitromethane Monopropellant fuel used in Top Fuel and Funny Car categories; ignited by compression
numbers Spell out one through nine. Use numerals for 0, 10 and higher. Use numerals when using No. 1, No. 2, No. 8, etc.
percentages 90 percent rule, 1 percent back up. No hyphens.
pit area Location where race teams park and service their race cars between races. Also referred to as pits.
prerace Not pre-race
preseason Not pre-season
Pro Modified Always uppercase. Also OK to use Pro Mod.
Pro Stock Always uppercase.
Pro Stock Motorcycle Not Pro Stock Bike.
quarterfinal Not quarter-final
quarter panel Two words.
race track Not racetrack. No hyphen.
race car Not racecar. No hyphen.
reaction time Term describing the time it takes a driver to hit the throttle once the Christmas Tree is activated; R.T.
red-light (n. and v.) Always hyphenated; Term describing a foul start when a vehicle leaves the starting line before the Christmas Tree is activated; past tense is red-lighted.
rpm Abbreviation for revolutions per minute
runner-up Two plural uses: runners-up; runner-ups
Safety Safari NHRA safety team
scuff Jargon for a race tire that has been used previously. Refers to the fact that the manufacturers’ label, or sticker, has been scuffed off.
SEMA Specialty Equipment Market Association.
semifinal Not semi-final.
set up (n.) setup (n. and adj.)
show car Not showcar.
staged Final step for cars to get set prior to the start of a drag race.
supercharger Avoid using the slang term “blower.”
tight Jargon for a race car handling condition in which the vehicle’s front tires tend to lose traction.
Top Fuel Capitalize first letter in both words.
Top 10 Capitalized when used as a proper noun. Example: It was his first appearance in the Top 10. Lowercase in all other references. Example: He was listed as one of the top 10 drivers of the year.
NHRA Tracks (NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series)
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Pomona, Calif.
Bandimere Speedway, Denver
Brainerd International Raceway, Brainerd, Minn.
Bristol Dragway, Bristol, Tenn.
Gainesville Raceway, Gainesville, Fla.
Heartland Park Topeka, Topeka, Kan.
Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, Indianapolis
Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, Pa.
New England Dragway, Epping, N.H.
Pacific Raceways, Seattle
Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, Calif.
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas
Summit Motorsports Park, Norwalk, Ohio
Texas Motorplex, Dallas
World Wide Technology Raceway, St. Louis
zMAX Dragway, Charlotte, N.C.
victory Preferable to win, which is a verb.
Wally NHRA’s official trophy, named after NHRA founder Wally Parks (1913-2007), awarded to event winners, and special award winners.
Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Auto Club of Southern California
Western Swing Traditional trio of national events in consecutive weeks, including Denver, Sonoma and Seattle.
wheelbase One word.