By Keith Waltz
Weather has long been an enemy of auto racing, but the impact of rain on major NASCAR events was significantly reduced in 2014 with the introduction of Air Titan 2.0, the second-generation of track-drying technology.
Air Titan 2.0 uses compressed air to push water off of the racing surface. The self-contained unit is housed in the bed of a Toyota pickup truck and is more cost-effective and efficient than its predecessor. Overall, the Air Titan 2.0 emits 80 percent fewer emissions than traditional track-drying methods.
Air Titan 2.0 more than tripled the blade capacity of the original version and it delivers 2.6 times more air volume at a speed of 568 mph, while raising the air temperature by 70 degrees over ambient. With the combination of water removal and accelerated evaporation, the goal was to reduce track-drying time by 80 percent.
“Developed by our engineers at the NASCAR R&D Center, Air Titan 2.0 will help us more quickly return to racing, which serves our most important mission – the enjoyment of our fans,” Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO, said during the unit’s introduction.
Several of the Air Titan units travel together, staggered to cover the entire racing surface. The vehicles are followed by jet dryers that remove the last of the moisture, and the two brigades are positioned halfway around the track from each other running simultaneously.