Could NASCAR’s Air Titan technology help pro tennis?

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Considering that tonight’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race is under a rain delay at this time, this seems like a fitting topic.

As you may recall, NASCAR recently unveiled its second version of the Air Titan track-drying technology that debuted last year. The system has been used quite a bit this season, and we don’t think there’s even one fan that would say NASCAR’s investment in it wasn’t a wise one.

Now, it appears that the system has attracted the attention of another sport that has its own issues with the rain: Professional tennis.

Earlier today, NASCAR CEO Brian France disclosed a recent meeting he had with the United States Tennis Association on the subject.

“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 at a sports editors’ conference according to USA Today.

“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.”

It sounds strange to put NASCAR and tennis together, but last year, the New York Times relayed comments from NASCAR vice president of racing operations Steve O’Donnell that suggested tennis hardcourts could eventually benefit from the Air Titan system.

And now that the system’s evolved into a more compact and greener version, that time could be coming soon.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.