Straight (racing)

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In many forms of racing, the straight is those parts of the race track in which the competitors travel in a straight line for any significant time, as opposed to a bend. The term is used in horse racing, motor racing and track and field athletics.

In athletics, a typical 400 m track features two straights and two bends. The final straight before the finish line is known as the home straight, or the pit straight in Formula One, while the other is known as the back straight.

In motor racing, both the pit lane and finish line are often located on the longest straight on the circuit. A notable exception is the 6 km Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans, which is at the opposite side of the circuit.

In the United States the home straight in athletics, and also the straight part of a motor racing track, is sometimes rather bafflingly referred to as a straightaway.