The most competitive racing in the world. The greatest stock cars drivers. They race right here at Chicagoland Speedway.
Want to know how the cars work and what key words to know while watching NASCAR? Check out the graphics below. Click them to download and print out.
The more you know about NASCAR, the more you'll love watching every lap!
AERODYNAMICS – The study of
airflow and the forces of resistance
and pressure that result from the
flow of air over, under, and around a
BANKING – The sloping of a race track, particularly at a curve or
corner, from the apron to the outside wall.
BURNOUT – Stunt performed by
the winning driver. The driver spins
the car around, generating smoke,
and leaves burnt rubber on the
track in the form of a circle.
CAUTION FLAG – Flag waved when there is
an accident on the track to
slow down the cars.
CHECKERED FLAG – Black and white flag waved when the first
place driver crosses the finish line.
CREW CHIEF – The coach of the race team, in charge of all things
related to the race car including the driver.
DOWNFORCE – A combination of aerodynamics and centrifugal
force on each tire. The more downforce a car has
the better grip they have on the track.
DRAFTING – The practice of two
or more cars, while racing, to run
nose-to-tail, almost touching.
GATORADE VICTORY LANE – Location of the victory celebration
for the winning driver and crew.
GAS N’ GO – A quick pit stop for gas only, where no other work can
be done to the car. The pit stop is short and allows the driver to
get back on track as quickly as possible.
GREEN FLAG –
Flag waved to start
the race and restart after
GROOVE – A specific route around the racetrack where the drivers
prefer to race. The preferred line is often visible as the
darker areas in the corners. Drivers like to search for a
fast groove, and that changes depending on track and
HANS DEVICE – Short for “Head
and Neck Support Device” and can
also be known as a head restraint.
This device helps reduce the
chance of head and/or neck injuries
to drivers in the event of a crash.
LOOSE – Can also be known as oversteer. This is when the rear
tires of the car have trouble sticking in the corners and
causes the car to fishtail.
PIT CREW – The team of
men and women that go over
the wall to change the tires
and service the race car
during a pit stop.
PIT ROAD – The area where pit crews service the cars and
generally located along the front straightaway.
PIT STALL – The area along the pit road the designated team’s use
during pit stops. Each car stops in their team’s stall
before they are serviced.
NASCAR RACING 101
POLE – The first position on the starting grid, awarded to the
RESTRICTOR PLATE – The thin metal plate with four holes that
restricts airflow into the engine. It is
used to reduce horsepower and keep
SAFER BARRIER – Short
for “Steel and Foam Energy
Reduction Barrier.” It is
intended to absorb and reduce
kinetic energy during impact of
a high speed crash, and lessens
injuries sustained to drivers
SLIDE JOB – It’s a maneuver where one car takes the low line
around a turn and allows their car to drift or “slide” up in front of
a car taking the high line, completing the pass and blocking the
overtaken car from crossing over. It was also the phrase that Dale
Jr. used during the 2018 Overton’s 400 when Kyle Busch took out
Kyle Larson before taking home the win.
SPLITTER – Runs the entire width of the car at the front.
The splitter provides downforce to the front. If the
splitter is damaged during a race it can be difficult
to overcome because of the important role it plays in
the aerodynamics of the car.
SPOILER – A metal
blade attached to the
rear deck lid of the car.
The spoiler helps restrict
airflow over the rear of
the car, providing the
car with downforce
SPOTTER – The person responsible for letting the driver know
where cars are on the track, they generally stand up
above the track on the spotter’s stand.
TIGHT – Also known as understeer. This is when the front wheels
lose traction before the rear wheels. It causes the race car
to have trouble steering sharply and smoothly through the
turns. The front end of the car pushes towards the wall.
TRACK BAR – Offers a way to “tighten” or “loosen” the race car by
adjusting the car’s rear role center. The Track Bar is
used to change the handling during a race.
New in 2019
In 2019, we are adding some new activities to the already action-packed weekend.
For the first time ever, Carnival Rides, Pit Bike Racing and a BBQ SmokeDown will make a pit-stop for the NASCAR Summer Festival Weekend.
There will be family-friendly rides, multiple youth attractions and games including bumper cars, a Tilt-A-Whirl, Ferris wheel and more. For $20, fans can purchase an unlimited ride wristband for the day. Carnival will be open Friday-Sunday with wristbands available for purchase.
Pit Bike National:
Headlining the Inaugural Chicagoland Pit Bike National will be seven-time AMA National Champion Ryan Villopoto and a three-time AMA Motocross/three-time AMA Supercross National Champion Jeff Stanton. To purchase tickets to watch these Hall of Famers, click here.
The Inaugural BBQ SmokeDown will take place during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekend June 27-30, featuring BBQ Hall of Famers like Myron Mixon, "Dr. BBQ" Ray Lampe and Chris Lilly as well as Champions BBQ Teams and leading brand like Big Green Egg, Treager Grills, Weber and More!
BBQ SmokeDown at Chicagoland Speedway will feature:
• KCBS Contest and Additional Categories
• BBQ Star Demonstrations, Classes, Q and A
• Driver Grilling Challenges
• Celebrity Meet and Greet, Book Signings
• Samples, Bites and BBQ from Top Chefs and BBQ Greats!