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The IndyCar Whatdya-Call-It?

It’s not a Scandinavian flick. It’s not Hooning. So what is it?

What’s the name for the fairly common practice among IndyCar drivers of executing a power half-spin in a runoff area when they make a mistake and run too long into a braking zone?

The Spin-Flick. The Snap-Spin? The Roasty-Table-Top-180?

“Hmmn, I have no idea,” said Panther Racing IndyCar driver JR Hildebrand. “That’s a good question, and it needs a name, for sure.”

I figured if Hildebrand, IndyCar’s resident drifting expert (he’ll compete in two Formula D rounds later this year driving for his friend Tyler McQuarrie) doesn’t know what to call the maneuver, it’s time to take it to the fans for input.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below and maybe it will get picked up by drivers and commentators at the next street race, held one week after the Indy 500 on June 1-2 in Detroit.

And while we’re at it, like drifting, this IndyCar Whatd’ya-Call-It move is worthy of being judged. Five drivers took trips into the runoff last weekend in this clip from the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and perform the yet-to-be-named turn, so which one do you think did the best job from start to finish?
Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s James Jakes kicks things off and does a nice spin but doesn’t power away after getting pointed in the right direction. Big loss of points on my scorecard.

Brazil’s Ana Beatriz is impressive in how close she executes the move next to the barrier—risked bashing the right rear wheel of her Dale Coyne Racing car—but takes her time getting back to the action. Also a big loss of points.

Next up is four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais, who is pretty smooth and fluid every step of the way and does a marvelous burnout in his Dragon Racing machine to leave the runoff. It’s a contender for the Whatd’ya-Call-It win.

Three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti gets high marks for the start of his move, but the Target Chip Ganassi driver only turns the car about 130 degrees—not even a proper rotation—but does keep the car moving and pulls back onto the track. He might make the podium, but certainly not the top step.

The champion, at least during qualifying at Brazil, is Andretti Autosport’s E.J. Viso. He brings the car to a stop, lets the revs rise, drops the (hand) clutch, spins the car and even gasses it up with a bit of opposite lock once he’s on the course.

Which one do you like most and why? Share your rankings below.

Marshall Pruett is a contributor for and also writes for, Racer and Road & Track.

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The IndyCar Whatdya-Call-It?
The IndyCar Whatdya-Call-It?
It’s not a Scandinavian flick. It’s not Hooning. So what is it?
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