Automated pit road officiating won’t slow down race
NASCAR is making a monumental change this season in the way pit road is officiated across all three major series.
Moving away from the traditional boots-on-the-ground approach, NASCAR has implemented a high-tech camera system in hopes of making the entire process more efficient and safer for the officials on pit road.
"With this technology, we know that we’re going to be safer, we’ll be more exact, and we’ll realize a fairer and more balanced playing field," said NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell.
While the system is fed instantaneously to NASCAR officials at the track, is the potential there for added caution laps due to video review? In other sports, video review has slowed the pace of the game as officials and teams review footage to make an accurate ruling.
Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president, innovation and racing development, does not foresee that happening in NASCAR, however.
"Our sport is different than other sports, football or hockey or whatever. They have breaks in the action; we don’t. We keep rolling," he said. "We needed to make sure that if we had 43 cars and they pit at once and they all had a violation, that by the time they all got around in one lap at Bristol, bing, bing, bing, we’re through. It could happen if … but from everything we’ve done, we don’t foresee an issue of having to add extra caution laps to a race to get through this."
NASCAR has already put the new system to use behind the scenes, using it during the final 10 races of the 2014 season, as well as during this past weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Stefanyshyn also said the new system will be used during the upcoming Sprint Unlimited, Budweiser Duel, Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona and Xfinity Series race at Daytona before making its official Sprint Cup debut in the Daytona 500.