An image of the new Air Titan 2 drying the track at Texas Motor Speedway.
Image from the Toyota Racing twitter.(4-6-2014)
An image of the new Air Titan 2 info-graphic from NASCAR.(4-6-2014)
United States Tennis Association looking at Air Titan technology: The United States Tennis Association may be looking to an unlikely source to help solve the unyielding issue of rain delays: NASCAR. The Air Titan 2.0 is a track-drying technology that uses compressed air and heat, which NASCAR implemented this season. The device is attached to the back of a car that drives slowly over a wet track to make it safe to drive following rain. Now, the USTA may be considering a similar strategy. "I was just out with the United States Tennis Association because they have a similar issue with all those courts," NASCAR chairman Brian France said Friday at a conference with sports editors. "When it rains, they need about 20 or 30 minutes to dry their courts. This technology is going to have major ramifications. We always believed that it would. It's a green solution. "To give you a little perspective on that, we can clean the area the size of a football field in 20 seconds with this technology, which gives you a certain feel of why the tennis guys are intrigued to know more about this technology." So far this season, NASCAR has used it with success, as five of the first seven races were delayed by rain.(USA Today)(4-26-2014)
NASCAR Unveils Air Titan 2.0: NASCAR introduced an evolution in innovation - the results of which will continue to elevate a fan's race-viewing experience to an even greater level. The Toyota-hauled next generation of Air Titan, the cutting-edge track-drying technology, made its race weekend debut at Martinsville Speedway today. Air Titan 2.0 is a more compact, more nimble and more environmentally friendly version of its innovative predecessor - one that since its introduction in February 2013 has rescued multiple races, including this year's Daytona 500. Air Titan 2.0 signals a major step forward in NASCAR's innovation cycle. It replaces the bulky support vehicles required by Air Titan 1.0 with a single, self-contained unit that's perched on the bed of a Toyota Tundra. By addressing the size of the power source, NASCAR now has the ability to deploy up to 21 units in Toyota Tundras at larger venues and operate more efficiently on smaller tracks. The Air Titan 2.0 more than triples the blade capacity of the original version and deliver 2.6 times more air volume at a speed of 568 mph, while raising the air temperature by 70 degrees over ambient. With the combination of water removal and accelerated evaporation, the ultimate goal is to reduce track-drying time by 80 percent. Air Titan 2.0 will consume nearly 80 percent less fuel and emit 80 percent less carbon dioxides. Air Titan 2.0 works in conjunction with the Eco-Infused Elgin Track Vacuum/Sweeper and existing jet dryers. In coordination with the roll out of the Air Titan 2.0, Elgin has now become the Official Sweeper of NASCAR Green.(NASCAR)(3-29-2014)
NASCAR Announces 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Schedule:
NASCAR announced today the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule for the 2014 season, the 66th year of racing for the sport's premier series.
In addition to the schedule unveiling, NASCAR announced that its revolutionary Air Titan track drying system will be available at every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend throughout the 2014 season.
For the 13th consecutive year, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule will consist of 36 points races as well as two additional weekends featuring non-points events. The Sprint Unlimited (Feb. 15) and two Daytona 500 qualifying races (both on Feb. 20) will take place before the season officially gets underway. The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway will take place on May 17, broadcast on FOX Sports 1.
"This season has delivered plenty of drama and excitement, and we're anticipating even more for our fans in 2014 now that the Gen-6 car has competed at every track," said Steve O'Donnell, senior vice president of racing operations. "Having the Air Titan at each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend allows us to meet a very important goal set by our Chairman and CEO, Brian France: to drastically decrease track-drying time to the best of our ability and ensure our fans in the stands and those watching on TV get to see each race on its scheduled day."
The season will open with the 56th running of the Daytona 500 live on FOX on Feb. 23 before moving west to Phoenix International Raceway (March 2) and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 9). Four tracks will undergo spring date changes:Texas Motor Speedway will hold its event one week earlier and move from Saturday to Sunday (April 6). Darlington Raceway will feature its race on April 12. Kansas Speedway will hold its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Saturday night race, with its event shifting to May 10, while Martinsville Speedway will host the series on March 30, a week earlier than in 2013.
For the fourth consecutive season, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will start at Chicagoland Speedway (Sept. 14) and conclude live on ESPN on Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Developed in-house at NASCAR's R&D Center, the Air Titan progressed quickly following France's directive to improve the racing product and fan experience in every form. Following testing in the summer and fall of 2012, Phase 1 of the technology was on-site at Daytona International Speedway in February. The 2012 Daytona 500 was the first to be postponed to the following day because of inclement weather.
Its race event debut was in April at Martinsville where it successfully decreased drying time in order to hold NASCAR Sprint Cup practice rather than have it cancelled. Air Titan's biggest save to date was at Talladega Superspeedway's rainy spring races where it shaved nearly an hour off drying time for both the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, allowing those events to be completed on their scheduled days. It also was in use Oct. 3 at Kansas for track conditioning purposes while also trimming nearly 45 minutes from drying time prior to the Goodyear zone tread tire test.(NASCAR)(10-15-2013)
Air Titan put to use at Kansas Speedway: NASCAR made good use of its new Air Titan track-drying equipment at Kansas Speedway. Besides drying the Kansas Speedway track in about an hour's time after Thursday morning's rain, the Air Titan - an advanced track drying system unveiled at this year's Daytona 500 - was used on Wednesday to clean the track. "One of the things we're testing is cleaning the race track before we get to them," Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president for competition said after Thursday's Goodyear tire test. "The Air Titan gets the sand, the silt, the dirt and grime ... we did it at Chicago, at Richmond. ... The grip level was pretty good, and it's an opportunity for the track to take on the natural rubber of the tires." Pemberton said NASCAR brought the Air Titan to Kansas Speedway last July before four Sprint Cup drivers tested the new tire. "We were surprised after two prep sessions the amount of stuff that naturally comes out of the track," Pemberton said. "It's another advantage of having that piece of equipment available to us. We may continue to do it next year, too."(Kansas City Star)(10-4-2013)
News about the Air Titan track drying system: NASCAR chairman Brian France said during a Saturday state-of-union address that the new Air Titan track drying system has been a success, particularly at Talladega Superspeedway where it allowed Saturday's Nationwide Series race and Sunday's Sprint Cup event to be completed on the same day. So why doesn't every track have the system? France said NASCAR, which owns the right to Air Titan, is in the process of educating tracks on the cost savings from getting the event completed on the scheduled day versus the cost of purchasing the machines. "In fairness to different tracks, they hadn't seen that work in a real live condition [before Talladega],'' France said. "Now they have. My hope is that we will get the cost down, number one, and that every track who is in risk of having rain will be using the system.'''(ESPN)(5-27-2013)
Air Titan track-drying system passes first major test: NASCAR's new Air Titan track-drying system got its first major test of the season and had a substantial impact on the racing schedule at Talladega. Thanks to faster drying through the use of compressed air--and augmented by traditional jet dryers--Air Titan lengthened a hole between rain and darkness that allowed 110 of 117 scheduled laps to be completed in the Aaron's 312 Nationwide Series race on Saturday. When Sunday's Sprint Cup race was interrupted by rain, Air Titan went to work after two separate showers and dramatically cut the time need to dry the 2.66-mile superspeedway, NASCAR's longest closed course, and the race went the distance.(NASCAR Wire Service)(5-6-2013)
NASCAR Unveils "Air Titan" Track-Drying Technology: Less than eight months ago, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France tasked the team at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., with developing a means to shorten the delay caused by rain. The reasons for the initiative were many, but at the top of the list: Fans, whether in the grandstands or watching on television, should not have to wait long before racing resumes following a downpour.
NASCAR announced Phase 1 of France's vision, introducing the Air Titan track drying system that will debut during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. This innovative technology, steeped in science and created by the NASCAR R&D Center, will reduce track drying time, improve the racing product and enhance the fan experience - starting this week and including The Sprint Unlimited on Saturday night at 8:00pm/et on FOX.
"In a short amount of time, our talented team at the NASCAR R&D Center imagined, designed and built the Air Titan, an innovative device that will dramatically improve the race-viewing experience for our fans," France said of the initiative's first phase. "With its far-reaching potential and impact, we believe the Air Titan is a big win for the motorsports industry, and eventually will enhance many surface cleaning and drying industries as well."
With the ultimate goal of reducing track-drying time by up to 80%, the NASCAR R&D team took an advanced scientific approach during the production of the Air Titan. Using compressed air, the Air Titan efficiently and reliably pushes water off of the racing surface and onto the apron where vacuum trucks will remove the remainder of the moisture. Jet dryers will follow each Air Titan, drying any excess water that remains on the racing surface.
As part of the Air Titan's testing process, NASCAR enlisted the expertise of the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) in Auburn, Ala., International Speedway Corporation's track construction group, Racing Surface Technologies and QualPro Inc. Additionally, Elgin Sweeper Company, Sullair and Ring Power CAT also provided equipment during the testing, and will be part of the track-drying process at Daytona during Speedweeks. For the immediate future, jet dryers and vacuum trucks will continue to be used during track-drying efforts. Over time, the innovations of the Air Titan will lessen the carbon footprint of track drying, decreasing both emissions and noise pollution. The next evolution in the innovative technology will be to optimize the power source.(NASCAR)(2-12-2013)
Elgin Sweeper Introduces Crosswind Specialty Track Sweeper: Elgin Sweeper has introduced a modified Crosswind Specialty Track Sweeper that is set to make its debut at NASCAR racetracks around the country this racing season, beginning with the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24. The Track Sweeper plays a supporting role in a new racetrack drying initiative that features a combination of air power and vacuum suction to dry rain-soaked racetracks. The regenerative air Track Sweeper adapts features from Elgin Sweeper's highly successful Crosswind GRS (glycol recovery sweeper), a special-purpose sweeper used to vacuum liquid glycol from airport runways. This specialty sweeper includes unique features developed for racetrack sweeping and maintenance applications, such as a side air-blast nozzle, a reverse sweep system, a 20,000 CFM-rated blower and a hydraulically-driven side broom with plastic bristles.
During track testing conducted in conjunction with NASCAR last November in Daytona, this same vacuum technology proved to efficiently vacuum water from the pores of the racetrack, and worked even better with the new track-drying technology designed by the NASCAR Research and Development Center. Working together to remove moisture from the track surface, both technologies dramatically accelerated the drying time. Developed as a more effective alternative to the current track-drying method, the system, featuring the Crosswind Track Sweeper, is expected to expedite the process.
The specialty sweeper was modified with input from racetrack officials in the NASCAR circuit. Elgin Sweeper representatives - along with Jeff Miles from Key Equipment & Supply Company, an Elgin Sweeper dealer based in Kansas City, Kans. - worked with NASCAR to address track maintenance issues, as well as fire, safety, medical and security concerns. A lifelong racing enthusiast, Miles is also a lead driver for the Richard Petty Driving Experience and has logged more than 350,000 miles in NASCAR-style stock cars. Traveling to tracks across the country has given Miles an added appreciation for clean track conditions.(much more info at prlog.org and at Elgin Sweeper's facebook)(2-11-2013)
NASCAR will debut new track trying procedure: NASCAR will roll out a new track drying system this season that will dramatically speed up the process to get racing surfaces back to green-flag conditions following a rain shower. After NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France set a goal to improve drying times by 80 percent, the team at the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., went to work on developing the new machine. "Our group in the R&D center went right to work on that," France said Tuesday night on "NASCAR Live." "We engaged third-party help and we'll have it for Daytona. We won't be at 80 percent, but we're going to be dramatically better with a whole new system on how to dry the track as much as 60 percent (faster) and we will get to the 80 percent goal." The ultimate goal is to see a superspeedway like Daytona International Speedway race-ready in 30 minutes rather than two hours and a short track like Martinsville Speedway completed in 15 minutes. France said the new air-powered machine that is followed by a vacuum system will not only be faster but better for the environment, eventually eliminating the current process of using jet dryers powered by kerosene jet fuel that's been in place since 1976. "We're patenting some technology that (uses) air pressure," France said. "Think of it as giant tanks, scuba tanks, that drive air out and blow water - or anything else - off the surface in a dramatically better way. It's a big solution. We're not (all the way) there yet, but it's ready now."(Motor Racing Network)(1-10-2013)
Track blower, uses vacuum: After six months of research and a year of development, Rob Brush believes he has a better alternative to help dry race tracks. The project manager for a steel fabrication company in Canada has designed a track dryer that travels about twice the speed as the current jet dryers used at NASCAR tracks. Rather than just blow hot air on the track as the jet driers do, Brush's vehicle also uses a vacuum to suck up water akin to a Shop-Vac. "With eight of these units at Daytona International Speedway, we could dry the track in under an hour," Brush said, estimating he could cut the current drying time in half. Brush has built a prototype that was given a successful trial run by NASCAR when a shower followed Sprint Cup qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway two months ago. Brush is expecting to meet with NASCAR officials in Daytona Beach, Fla., in two weeks before bringing the prototype dryer to the season finale at Homestead, Fla. The invention could be a boon for NASCAR, which has been plagued by rain this year (three Cup races were delayed a day and three were shortened by bad weather). The dryer also would fit with NASCAR's green initiatives because it runs on propane. Brush estimates it would burn less than 500 gallons to dry Daytona vs. 3,000 gallons of jet fuel. Brush has attended several races over the past two seasons, taking nearly 4,000 photos in researching the dryer.(USA Today)(11-8-2009)