NASCAR turned to RFID to power an automated system for verifying tires used in a challenging read environment.
The RFID solution delivers:
- Increased integrity of equipment inspection process
- Reduced staffing requirements
For each NASCAR event series, racing teams are allowed a set number of tires for their vehicles. Teams must practice and qualify only on the allotted tires so they do not receive a competitive advantage over other teams. Every racing chassis involved in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series also must pass a pre-event certification process. To maintain fair racing, NASCAR sought a system to verify the certification of the chassis, and monitor team tire use and detect when teams are using unauthorized equipment. NASCAR looked to RFID because the technology could offer a system that required little human intervention to verify chassis certification and proper tire use. However, the amount of metal in race cars created a difficult read-environment. NASCAR needed an enhanced reader that could overcome the challenging environment and successfully identify the chassis and all tires while cars are moving at 10-15 miles per hour, and selected Impinj Speedway Revolution readers.
How It Works
Before each event, racing chassis are certified after a detailed inspection process and are affixed with RFID tags. At the start of each event, teams are issued their allotted number of Goodyear tires which contain an embedded RFID tag with a unique identification number. At the exit of the garage, NASCAR has placed a tire station box with a Speedway Revolution reader purchased from Impinj partner RFID Solutions, Inc. Every time a team enters the track to practice and to compete, the RFID readers interrogate the tags in the tires and verify the team is using their official tires for that race. NASCAR has also built reader-portals, to read the tags in the chassis. Software shows the ownership and history of the chassis and verifies it has been certified for competition.
RFID technology from Impinj is increasing the integrity of the tire and chassis inspection process and guaranteeing that teams are only using official tires and certified chassis, ensuring level competition. The technology also provides an automated way to verify chassis certification and team tire use, which has reduced event staff at NASCAR races. Given the success of the system at the 2012 Daytona 500 race, NASCAR plans to install the RFID portals at all race tracks nationwide.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the largest sanctioning body of stock car racing in North America. NASCAR is the No. 1 spectator sport—with more of the top 20 highest attended sporting events in the U.S. than any other sport—and the No. 2 rated regular-season sport on television. NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 150 countries and in 20 languages. NASCAR sanctions over 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in the United States and Canada.
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