Charlotte, North Carolina
"Gentlemen start your engines"
NASCAR, the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing, has begun scanning racecar tires embedded with RFID chips with handheld RFID readers from ACC Systems Inc. of Bohemia, N.Y.
NASCAR, the second-most-watched sporting event behind the National Football League has three major divisions; the Craftsman Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series. While none of the vehicles in the three different divisions look the same, nor do they perform equally, all three groups share one thing in common - each NASCAR vehicle must use Goodyear Racing Eagle tires.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR
That's a lot of tires - and Goodyear can identify each one thanks to an RFID chip embedded in every tire.
Goodyear and NASCAR work together to develop tires for each of the three NASCAR series. Since tires are so critical for safety, NASCAR and Goodyear have determined the best compounds for the inside and outside tires for each track, and these are the tire compounds that the teams are required to use. At any given race, there are several thousand tires involved. A Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) computer chip is implanted in the sidewall of each NASCAR radial racing tire. With these individually numbered RFID chips, Goodyear has the ability to insure that every tire brought to the track is returned. *
When Goodyear tests tires, they select certain drivers from each of the four manufacturers in NASCAR and pick tracks they would like to use to acquire data. These drivers bring their own cars and teams and run lap after lap at the designated tracks. Tire engineers record tire temperature and other data to take back to the manufacturing plant where chemists will determine the proper compound to use when they make new tires.
Prior to the 2006 racing season, NASCAR teams purchased tires from Goodyear at each race event. Some of the well-funded teams, such as Hendrick Motorsports, Rousch-Fenway Racing (Rousch Racing then) and Joe Gibbs Racing were purchasing more tires than they could use during a race weekend and would often use their excess tires during testing throughout the season. NASCAR officials believed the big teams were getting an unfair advantage through this surplus tire testing method so they implemented a leasing program at the beginning of the 2006 season. Since then, Goodyear has leased tires to every NASCAR team during race weekends. Once the tires are used, the teams return them to Goodyear for recycling. **
In order to keep track of the tires, Goodyear implants small radio frequency identification, or RFID chips, inside each tire.
In addition to race day tires, Goodyear also leases 200 tires to Sprint Cup, 160 tires to Nationwide Series teams and 120 tires to Craftsman Truck Series teams to be used on non-sanctioned tracks for tire testing. The RFID chips allow NASCAR to monitor the testing.
In the past, tire testing was seen as a nuisance by some teams. But in an attempt to equalize the competition and lower costs, NASCAR continues to limit the number of tire tests that teams can conduct throughout the season. Tire tests are suddenly a hot commodity as testing is now at a premium.
Teams can go through as many as 12 sets of tires during a race, depending on which track the cars are racing on.
Goodyear chooses what tire to bring to each race track based on the data gathered from testing and past races.
The Nationwide and Craftsman Truck series have tire rules that limit the number of sets of tires teams can use for each race.
At every race, NASCAR officials use the ACC570 RFID handheld readers to verify that each team car is using only authorized Goodyear tires.
* From the article How NASCAR Tire Technology Works by Josh Briggs
ACC Systems Inc. is an international Distributor, Manufacturer and OEM Supplier of RFID Readers, Tags, and Accessories to Systems Integrators, VARs and government agencies serving the Supply Chain, Healthcare, Asset Identification, tracking and Real-Time Inventory, ACC Systems Inc. is also the producer of the first Tri-frequency handheld reader.
For more information contact
Victor M. Sackett
ACC Systems Inc.
125 Wilbur Place
Bohemia, NY 11716