Inside track

Having the inside track gives you an advantage, pic: home.earthlink.net

If you run laps on a track you have an advantage if you run on the innermost track – it is shorter.  So having the or an inside track means that you have an advantage in a competitive situation.

Th idiom is actually not derived from track racing but from horse racing but the same principle applies: the inside track is shorter and give the horse the advantage.

This idiom is used frequently in business and casual conversation.  In sentenced like the following: “Parker had an inside track that’s why he got the promotion and not Lucy” having the inside track implies having a special relationship with somebody on the inside.  In this case the listener would assume that Parker knew the decision maker well and got the promotion based on that.  It doesn’t imply that Parker is not qualified, just that he had an advantage over Lucy.

A non-business related example would be:

Person 1: “We’ll never get a Saturday evening reservation at the hot new restaurant.  It is booked out for months.”

Person 2: “Don’t worry, I’ll get us in, I have an inside track.”

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