John Ford has been a leading authority on slot car racing since 1965.
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S.A.R.N. - Scale Auto Racing News. The model car racing magazine that has been around longer than any other ever in the history of the world. The originator of the magazine John Ford's favorite form of racing was the high speed wing cars like the ones used in U.S.R.A. competiton, but named his magazine Scale Auto Racing News so it would be a constant reminder that the bulk of the model car racing enthusiasts were interested in Scale racing cars, and only a small percentage of the racers really liked the wing cars as he did. Since the beginning, the magazine has been a complete cross reference of all types of slot car racing, from H.O. to Scale, to wing cars.

S.D.R.A. - The Scale Drag Racing Association. A group of slot drag racers headed up by Bob and Brenda Herrick of Dallas, Texas.

S.R.T. - A company that manufacturers ibm computer operated lap counting systems.

Scale - Referrs to any item reduced in size to a particular scale. The most popular commercial slot racing scale is 1/24 while club racing is split between1/64 (HO)and 1/32 scale. A scale is also used to weigh your car and stuff.

Scalextric - A popular 1/32 scale brand of car that has been found mostly in Europe untill the middle 90's when it became known as popular in the U.S. as well.

Screw - There are lots of them in your slot car. Allen screws in the wheels, gears, motors, frame, etc. In the 60's standard slotted screws were used in abundance, but after millions were dropped on the floor, someone came up with the idea to use allen head screws instead.

Sealed motor - Any motor which has been sealed at the factory, or by a race director that cannot be opened without disqualifying the competitor.

Sebring - The name of a popular Parma controller designed for the beginning slot racer.

Second place - There are two ways to look at second place. It is the first of the losers, and it is also first place for all the rest. Take your choice.

Segments - Also known as heats. In slot car racing, it usually takes 8 timed segments to make up one complete race, allowing each racer to compete once on each of the 8 lanes.

Semi-main - There are ususally two of these, made up of the 16 top competitiors. The top four from each semi move up and make the main event.

Semi-pro - The class of group 7 racing just below the professional class. In many cases, these racers are just as good as the pro's, but prefer to run for merchandise rather than cash.

Series - Any group of races that when combined together, produce an overall winner for the total of races run. Many times a series will last for an 8 week period, then, the worst two weeks can be dropped for a 6 week series total. Any other variation on this theme is possible.

Set screw - The small allen screw used to hold the tires and gears on the axle. See allen screw.

Set-up - The set-up is comprised of the can, magnets, and endbell of your motor. While you could set up your car, this term is most often in slot racing referring to the motor set-up.

Shaft - That portion of the armature that everything is fitted down on. Or, that small round piece of metal sticking through the middie of all the parts of an armature.

Shamiga - A small but still operating company that got its start by manufacturing the first hollow axle, designed to reduce spinning weight or rotating mass in order to go quicker in qualifying.

Shopper - In Scale Auto Racing News, the shopper is the classified ads section.

Short chute - Any short straight can be called a short chute. See chute.

Shunt - A small piece of wire connecting from the buss bar to the motor brush. Shunt wires are recommend because it directs the current flow directly from the motor lead wire to the back of the motor brush. Other wise, the motor brush must get its power from the spring, hood and slider plate.

Shuttle - A style of chassis popular in the 70's. This chassis is identified by the fact that it is centered around one main rail down the center of the chassis, with the body mounts extending out to the edge of the body at the front and rear.

Sidewinder - In the 60's there was only two types of chassis design. In-line and sidewinder. The sidewinder places the motor fully sideways in the back of the chassis. A derivitive of this design is used today with the motor placed at an angle in the back of the chassis. See anglewinder.

Sign up - Tech inspection takes place when the racer signs up for the race. Clearance, tire width, side dam height, etc. may be checked using any method the race director feels comfortable with. For instance, a piece of .063 piano wire to check track clearance and calipers to check heights and widths, or simply an approved "flat" tech tool which has all the dimensions needed. The tech inspector needs to give a 30 minute and 15 minute warning before closing inspection. See Tech in.

Sign up sheet - A method used from the beginning of making a list of those who are entering a racing event. Today, the sign up sheet is obsolete as the computer has come into prominance as the primary data keeping device. Computers are so cost effective for raceways, because the programs written for data collection, race lap counting, lap time keeping, and recording of results are not of the type that require an expensive computer. Perfect racing systems are available from a number of manufacturers for Commodore 64 computers which cost under $200.00 and the older IBM clones which cost under $300.00.

Silicone - A substance used for slot car tires of the 60's. When the motors became so fast, the silicone began to explode on the rims, different substances had to be used that would hold up under the high rpm's. Silicone tires are still used in the HO scale slot cars.

Silky tracks - Jim Silknatter is the builder of Slilkie tracks. Jim is a retired railroad worker that has had building tracks as a hobby for many years.

Silver solder - A favorite type of solder used by chassis manufacturers. There is solid silver and variations in blend.

Sit-out - When there are more than 8 racers, it is possible to run a round robin or sit out race where one or more racers are rotated off and then back on the track untill all racers have had a chance to run on all 8 lanes. Sit-out racing can be done easily with up to 12 racers, but is not recommended for more than 14 racers. Sit-Out racing is easily programmable on most computer systems available today, but if you don't have one of these systems, it is simple to set up. After qualifying, the racers pick their lanes as normal except that they now have a sit-out position to choose as well as any of the 8 lanes. The sit-out positions should be numbered and chosen by number so as to determine when the racer sitting out would come into the normal 8 lanes of rotation. (i.e., Choosing the 1st sit-out means the racer would sit out the first heat and come in on the second.) Racers sit out after racing on Black lane, and come in after their sit-out on the Yellow lane. The up-side to sit-out racing is that it takes less time than normal elimination races. The down-side is that you can never really tell who is in the lead until the beginning of the last heat.

Slick 7 - One of the top suppliers of slot racing equipment, especially those items used in the high end classes of racing. Rudy Garriga is the owner of this Northern California based company. Slick 7 has been the recipient of many world record breaking records.

Slide guide - A type of plastic guide used on HO cars that allow the cars to slide in the corners and allows the cars to run on small tracks built like a 1/32 scale home track with no magnetraction allowed.

Slider Plates - That portion of the endbell hardware that the motor brush rests and "slides" on. The brush hoods rest on the slider plates. Better electrical contact can be acheived by soldering the slider plates to the brush hoods.

Slop - The amount of "backlash" in your gears. See "backlash".

Slot - Originally, a slot car had the slot in the bottom of the car and the car followed a rail. Later, this system was modified by placing the slot in the track and installing a guide on the car to fit down into the slot.

Slot Car · The original patent for a slot car was taken out in 1938 by Albert Cullen of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. Mr. Cullen was offerd a small sum of money for his patent but held out for a better offer. It never came, and he never made any money on his patent.

Slot-jocks - Just as in any sporting event, there are those competitors who take things very seriously, and are very vocal about it, especially in a positive way. In slot racing, the clear cut definition of a slot jock is Paul "Bueford" Pederson. Watching him compete makes you glad you are involved in the same sport.

Slug- Slang term used for an air gap tool.

Smoking - Caution, smoking can be hazadardous to your slot car motor. However, it is also a term used to imply that your car was moving way fast.

Soft Walls (sometimes tongue in cheek referred to as "Soft Wall Technology") - Use of flexible plastic material for track retaining walls instead of traditional wood or other hard materials. The advantage is that a slot car can survive a crash into a soft wall that would leave the car totally destroyed if crashed into a wooden wall. Thanks to MG Brown for this.

Solder - The choice method of attaching metal to metal for slot cars. Good soldering techniques should be learned by every racer no matter what their age.

Solder on - A term used referring to the type of pinion gear that must be soldered on the armature shaft.

Sonic - Phil Hackett is the originator of this company. Sonic has always had a name for their tires and specialized tools, but what most people don't know is that Sonic makes many different slot car parts for many different companies who then take the parts and put their name on them. They do this for so many companies that it would be hard for you to be involved in slot racing at all without using an item with the Sonic touch.

Sovereign - The name given to the 220 ft. American slot car track. More commonly, this track was called the "purple mile" because of its side color and the fact that 220ft is a 1/24th scale mile.

Spacer - Anything that takes up space. On a slot car, it could be used on the axle, or on the motor, it could be used on the armature shaft. Made from aluminum, brass, bronze, copper, steel, plastic and phenolic.

Spackle - A woodworking filler used to fill small scratches to large cracks in a slot car track before painting or re-painting. Spackle is preferred over bondo, because it sands easier, and when the time comes to take the track apart, it is easier to remove from the seams. See Bondo.

Speed Sport - Originated by the late Ron Granlee, this Southern California based slot car distributorship has been around since the 60's and started out as Speed Sport Raceway before expanding into one of the most respected distributor of slot racing supplies around.

Spoiler - On a modern day U.S.R.A. slot car this term has come to refer to the front plastic piece added for strength to wing cars, whereas the rear spoiler is more likely to be called the air dam. This is not the case on non-wing cars, where any air control device added to the rear of the car is the spoiler.

Sponge - This is the racer that is always borrowing from you? No, most likely it is filled with water, and used to properly clean your soldering iron tip.

Sponges - An old term no longer in use that referred to the rear tires on a slot car. This distinction was needed because there was three different types of rubber used for slot car tires of the 60's. Sponge, silicone, and standard rubber.

Spray glue - A mixture of your favorite brand of tire glue is diluted with coleman fuel, or pure naptha. The mixture varies with the brand of glue used. For Camen's Brown Stick-it, one ounce to one pint of naptha is the correct mixture. This is then sprayed on the track prior to the race and only around the turns. When the naptha evaporates, it leaves the thin layer of stick-it on the track. Much the same as if you laid down a layer of double stick tape. Then, glue is not necessary during the race. This is the perfect solution if your racers want to go fast, but you don't want them to apply glue directly to your track.

Spring cup - This term is used define that shallow cut in the motor brush that holds the motor brush spring centered in the back of the brush.

Spring post - That small post on your endbell that keeps the motor spring from falling off. The coils of the motor spring fit over the spring post.

Spring post insulator - Not used often, but in aluminum endbells, there must be an insulator between the endbell and the spring post or the current would pass from the spring to the endbell causing a short.

Springs - In slot racing, the only springs used today are those holding in the motor brushes. They come in many various strengths and sizes. Which one is best can only be known by experimenting on your own track's power and racing conditions.

Spring Steel - A very high tensil strength steel used in the manufacturer of some slot car chassis.

Spring tab - A small tab either attached to the motor brush hood, or slider plate that holds the long end of the motor brush spring, allowing the tension or pressure to be applied to the motor brush.

Spur - The gear that fits on the axle and properly aligns with the pinion gear on the motor when the motor is placed cross ways on the chassis. Usually at some degree of angle.

Spudger - A purpose built tool to evenly apply or redistribute glue on the race track. Thanks to MG Brown for this.

Square bushing - A new item invented by Parma International. This rear axle bushing or oilite fits inside a square hole and no soldering is needed to keep it from rotating. Off center axle holes also allow the builder to make the wheelbase minutely shorter or longer depending on where they are centered.

Square can - An early Koford Group 7 motor was square, and the design caught on for a while. There are still some of these little wonders around. Mostly used today on drag strips.

Squeaker - Any race which is won or lost by a small margin.

Stacks - Sometimes called plates, these are small laminations of metal that when "stacked" together and wrapped with wire, make up the poles of your armature.

Stage - When you stage your drag car, you are placing it in the right spot to light both staging lights in preperation for a "run".

Staging area - The area directly behind the christmas tree in drag racing is called the "staging area"

Staggered rotation - Originally developed in Europe, and first adopted in the United States by Jim Honeycutt of San Antonio, Texas for use in the Texas Championship Series. This method of lane changing is currently adopted by nearly all racing orginazations. Using this method, the racer skips every other lane travelling down the track from red, to green, to blue, to purple, and then moving one lane over to black and back up the track to yellow, to blue, to white. Then, one lane over to red and repeat. No matter what lane you start on, you follow this rotational pattern until, after 8 rotations, you get back to where you started. The primary advantage of this rotational pattern is the fact that you do not race beside the same racer during the whole race. See European rotation.

Stamped steel - This refers to a mass production type of chassis used in the lower classes of racing. An inexpensive production method of taking lower tensile strength steel and stamping the design out in quantity.

Standard colors - This referes to the 8 lane colors. The standard is from the drivers out, red, white, green, orange, blue, yellow, purple, and black.

Start line - I'm not sure.... could this be the place where all the cars start from in a race? Interstingly enough, in slot racing, since most races are timed events, there is no finish line.

Starter kit - Various manufacturers offer these kits. They are comprised of a carrying box, a car, controller, spare parts, and in general all the little things you will need to get started in slot racing.

Static pan - A bat pan that is attached either directly to the main rails, or to a plumber rail, with no hinges.

Steel - The choice material for all slot cars. In the past, aluminum and brass have both been used, but modern slot cars are nearly all made of steel of varying tensil strengths.

Straight - The section of the track with no turns involved. The Main straight is that section where the drivers stand.

Straight rotation - The original method of moving from lane to lane during competition. With this method, you move one one lane over to your right until you get to black and then go to red, continuing to move one lane over to your right for 8 segments until you get back where you started. The primary disadvantage of this system is that you must race beside the same person through all 8 heats. If they are an unskilled, or inconsiderate driver, it can hinder your chances of finishing well. Still used today in some areas where the race director hasen't totally gotten the hang of the universally adopted staggered rotational pattern.

Straight up - This is a reference used to define many conditions that is usually negative in its terminology. For instance, if your car goes straight up the bank, it is not in the slot which is not good. If you car hits the glue zone and goes straight up it is not in the slot which is not good. Another use for the term is when you are running group 7 and disconnect your choke to run the power "straight up". Usually this condition will cause your car to leave the slot which is not good, or it will cause smoke to pour straight up out of a car sitting very still but still in the slot. You guessed it, a condition which is not good.

Strap - A term referring to a type of enclosure for magnets, developed in the early '80's as a method of making the group 7 motors even lighter than the newly developed "Feather". Rather than a complete "can" enclosure, there was simply a strap of "U" shaped metal that connected to the endbell on either side. See Feather.

Strombecker - Thanks to Wayne Mc Dowell for noticing that I had left out this listing. Strombecker was a major player in the slot racing industry of the '60's. They had many of the same cars as Cox, Revell, etc. in both 1/32 and 1/24 scales. They also made complete race sets with track and cars as well. Popular body styles were the Chapparel and the little red Midgets which were 1/24 in size but looked more like 1/32 beside a regular 1/24 car. Strombecker cars sold originally for undr $5.00 but a mint condition model today will bring you well over $100.00.

Subscription - This is what you get when you get the magazine at your home. Usually, magazine subscriptions are sold in 12 issue blocks.

Super 16D - A type of imported motor with higher density magnets and a faster armature than an original 16D.

Super II - Back in the days of the "Big" H.O. manufacturers, this was Aurora's H.O. factory muscle car. Hot right out of the box.

Sweeper - A large banked turn is called a bank, a large flat turn is called a sweeper.

Swoopy track - A rather new term first used to describe a track built for Garry Johnson of Sydney, Australia by John Ford of American Tracks. This track was quite radical at the time it was built and was given its name because the track swooped down out of each turn, and up into the next turn. The banking was quite high. Garry Johnson used the knowledge gained and went on to become one of Australia's premier track builders. Reggie Coram, professional slot racer from St. Marteen, the Netherlands, was the first person to break the 2 second barrier on the Australian swoopy king. About 6 of these "Killer Kings" were built by American through the endof 1998. No other track builders have tackled the high banked technology except Hasse Nilsson who built a somewhat radical version with oversized turns. See K2K.

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