Air Titan works double duty
NASCAR made good use of its new Air Titan track-drying equipment at Kansas Speedway.
Besides drying the Kansas Speedway track in about an hour’s time after Thursday morning’s rain, the Air Titan — an advanced track drying system unveiled at this year’s Daytona 500 — was used on Wednesday to clean the track.
“One of the things we’re testing is cleaning the race track before we get to them,” Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president for competition said after Thursday’s Goodyear tire test. “The Air Titan gets the sand, the silt, the dirt and grime we did it at Chicago, at Richmond. The grip level was pretty good, and it’s an opportunity for the track to take on the natural rubber of the tires.”
Pemberton said NASCAR brought the Air Titan to Kansas Speedway last July before four Sprint Cup drivers tested the new tire.
“We were surprised after two prep sessions the amount of stuff that naturally comes out of the track,” Pemberton said. “It’s another advantage of having that piece of equipment available to us.
“We may continue to do it next year, too.”
The aging process
When Jeff Gordon was a Sprint Cup series rookie in 1993, James Hylton was nearly 30-year veteran in the series. On Friday, Hylton, 79, will compete in the final race of his career, in the Kansas Lottery 98.9 ARCA race at Kansas Speedway.
“Working for AARP, I have a new appreciation for him,” said Gordon, who remembers competing against Hylton.
Gordon doesn’t anticipate racing when he’s 70 years old.
“I don’t think I’ll be racing when I’m 50,” he said. “But I said I wouldn’t be doing it at 40, and here I am at 42. So you never know.”
The Richard Petty Driving Experience announced that its Junior Ride-Along program will now be available to children 6 to 13 (and at least 48 inches tall) on Oct. 12-13 and Oct. 18-20 at Kansas Speedway.
The youngsters can ride with a professional driving instructor for three laps in specially equipped two-seat NASCAR race car. These racing seats feature built-in shoulder and head protection and a five-point safety harness with the same design used by NASCAR drivers.
The rides cost $59. For more information, call 800-237-3889 or visit DrivePetty.com.