The new NASCAR pre-race inspection process
Is a big deal.
Why? It takes a 6 minute process and cut’s it down to just 90 seconds. This particular station is now 400% faster.
In recent months, pre-race inspection has become an issue. There were 5 stations. If a team failed station 4, they had to all the way back to station 1 and start over.
That resulted in several teams, in multiple events, failing to exit inspection in time to turn a qualifying lap. The new system will dramatically reduce the time is takes to inspect cars. In addition, it will reduce the number of stations.
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New pre-race inspection station
3 stations; 1) engines 2) chassis 3) templates / LIS
The old system was a string of 5 inspection stations. 2 have been reduced with the new system. The LIS portion of NASCAR inspection is what has been adjusted, combining 3 stations into 1.
No more templates. The new LIS tent houses at least 17 high-definition black and white cameras. Those camera’s scan the cars at a rapid rate.
The camera system is similar to the system that has been used at the NASCAR R&D Center for years. Until this weekend, they’ve used a different system to tech cars at the racetrack than the system in Charlotte. Now, they mirror each other. Templates have been replaced by cameras.
It checks more than just bodies. It also checks weight as well as skew of the rear end.
The new station scans the entire car. A light appears. Green is good. Red is bad. Red means the car has failed. In that case, the team must make changes and roll through inspection for a 2nd time.
The scan data will be sent to the race teams after the inspection is completed.
Timing of inspection debut
You might think that the first playoff race is an odd time to made such a big change.
However, NASCAR is doing it the right way. The playoff drivers will continue to use the old inspection station for the remainder of the 2017 season.
This new station is used for everyone else. It will have no effect on the playoff’s. They are simply getting the bugs worked out before 2018. Next season, this new station is expected to roll out for the entire field.
Author: Shane Walters