NASCAR testing technology to officiate pit road in 2015

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The 2015 NASCAR season is shaping up to be one where there will be numerous state-of-the-art changes to the sport of stock car racing.

Already announced are plans to reduce engine size and horsepower.

But perhaps the biggest and most anticipated change will be implementation of what sanctioning body officials are calling “Automated Pit Road Officiating Technology (APROT).”

It’s not exactly robots replacing human race officials, but the new APROT will be a significant step forward in officiating races — and in particular action on pit road — making NASCAR the first professional sport to have such extensive use of technology to officiate its events.

“Innovation helps drive NASCAR, and it is central to the sport’s evolution,” NASCAR Executive Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O’Donnell told attendees of the Front End of Innovation conference in Boston earlier this week.

“There are several examples of it improving the sport, none more recent — and impressive — than Air Titan 2.0. The next wave of NASCAR innovation is the pit road officiating technology, which will increase the overall quality of in-race officiating.”

NASCAR is currently testing the new system that is reported to include multiple video cameras and enhanced data collection from numerous sensors placed along pit road. The system will be used on every lap.

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Here’s who were picking to win the Indy 500 — who are YOU picking?

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Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?

Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!

Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden

Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.

Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)

Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.

Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.

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