Roger Penske: “One thing I will say, that the (OSS) process has really made a whole different week out of this.”
The new Optical Scanning Station (OSS) further enhances the sentiment of a level playing field. There’s less areas of the car to play with. In addition, it’s a quicker process overall.
NASCAR has launched the new inspection system across the board. The OSS uses computer scans to check the entire surface of the car.
In the case of an area failing pre-race inspection, a disc like object will be placed over that area by NASCAR. In that case, the team must go back and work on that highlighted area.
Ahead of qualifying, Jamie McMurray’s #1 team had to pull out the 3M body putty. They applied the quick drying substance to the noted areas of the body. 10-15 min later they were sanding it down and putting the body back into legal shape before second attempt at the OSS.
Of note, the templates are no longer in use. That means teams don’t have matching templates for checking the body back in the garage area. When teams fix the body following a failed inspection, it takes 20 minutes for the teams to change the body.
The combination of all of those things will likely mean that changes after a failed inspection will be more toward the safe side of legal with less boundary pushing. I don’t think we’ll see too many instances of a team failing inspection 4-5 times, like we did in 2017.
“I can say so far — I don’t want to sound like I was planning on the worst there — but it’s worked out better than I had hoped actually so far,” said John Probst. “We’ve run well over 220 scans by this point and so far, so good. No major issues.”
How does it look from the perspective of the NASCAR team owner?
“One thing I will say, that the (OSS) process has really made a whole different week out of this,” Roger Penske told NASCAR.com. “There’s been less work on the cars. The machine says where you are, and everybody has got to be there. So I feel that we’re all racing on a level playing field, which is a big step for NASCAR and what they’ve tried to do.”
The new NASCAR OSS system is a work in progress. Not so much the flawless system itself, more so the process leading up to the scan.
“It’s worked very well, but we learn every day, almost with every car,” Probst said. “We’re students every day. We’re going to learn and get better. We’ve already changed some things that we do here with lineups, how we roll the cars on and how we stage the cars, where we stage the crew members. So yeah, this will be a process. We’re going to continue to work with the garage to continue to make it better and better.
“The way it looks in Atlanta will be even better than it was here, and when we get to Homestead, I’d like to say we’ll be done but we won’t. We’ll continue to do the things that make it more efficient and a better result for all of us.”
The Optical Scanning Station used for NASCAR inspections was designed by the NASCAR Research and Development team. They worked with Hawk-eye Innovations to complete the new system.