throw off the track

throw (one) off the track

To misdirect one away from their pursuit; to steer one's investigation or suspicions in the wrong direction. The mafia accountant managed to throw the authorities off the track of the mob's money laundering for years, but they finally caught up with him after an anonymous source tipped them off. That outlier data threw me off the track for a while, but I think my research is back on solid ground now.
See also: off, throw, track

throw someone off the track

1. and throw someone off the trail Lit. to cause someone to lose the trail (when following someone or something. See also put someone off the track). The raccoon threw us off the track by running through the creek. The robber threw the police off the trail by leaving town.
2. Fig. to cause one to lose one's place in the sequence of things. The interruption threw me off the track for a moment, but I soon got started again with my presentation. Don't let little things throw you off the track. Concentrate on what you're doing.
See also: off, throw, track
References in periodicals archive ?
Don't use too much, though, because you can throw off the track and balance of your aircraft.