laying down a stretch of rubber on the street

minhduc

Senior Member
vietnamese
Hi all, please explain to me the meaning of the bold one in this context. It's from Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick.

“He can find his own ride home,” I said through a quivering jaw. I punched the gas, laying down a stretch of rubber on the street.

thanks
 
  • Tazzler

    Senior Member
    American English
    It's probably referring to the fact that the car took out so fast that rubber from the tires (either actually or figuratively) burned off the tires.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    If a car starts up very quickly, the tires leave rubber marks on the street.* That is what happens here. He "punches the gas" (steps hard on the gas pedal) and starts off quickly.

    (*Actually, I am not sure this is true. If a car stops quickly, it skids and leaves tracks, but I don't think I've ever seen a car start so quickly that it skidded. Maybe they do. In any case, that is what the author says this car did.)

    Added: Cross-posted with Tazzler. :)
     

    mathman

    Senior Member
    English-American/New England
    If a car starts up very quickly, the tires leave rubber marks on the street.* That is what happens here. He "punches the gas" (steps hard on the gas pedal) and starts off quickly.

    (*Actually, I am not sure this is true. If a car stops quickly, it skids and leaves tracks, but I don't think I've ever seen a car start so quickly that it skidded. Maybe they do. In any case, that is what the author says this car did.)

    Added: Cross-posted with Tazzler. :)
    I used to do that when younger. Set the emergency brake, put the car in first, stomp on the accelerator with the clutch out, then let the clutch back in (you "pop the clutch"). The rear wheels spin (and leave rubber on the road), and then you release the emergency brake, and accelerate. You need a car with enough power to do this, of course. If a car is powerful enough, you can leave a patch of rubber on the road whenever you shift gears. It's called "patching out" or "getting/leaving rubber."

    There is the Beach Boys song "Little Deuce Coupe," in which the car is so powerful that

    "I get pushed out of shape and it's hard to steer
    When I get rubber in all four gears"
     
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