Mountain Speedway adds new communciations, transponders

Electronic Age Comes To Mountain Speedway ST. JOHNS, PA -- February 16, 2002 -- Coming into the 2002 season, Mountain Speedway will look to maintain an already high driver safety record as well as improve the weekly race program. In car...

Electronic Age Comes To Mountain Speedway

ST. JOHNS, PA -- February 16, 2002 -- Coming into the 2002 season, Mountain Speedway will look to maintain an already high driver safety record as well as improve the weekly race program. In car scanners, with one-way communications from the pit tower and a scoring transponder mounted underneath the car will be mandatory for drivers in all five of the regular divisions.

With the help of the scanners, officials will be able to alert drivers of spins or debris on the speedway. It will also be used to re-position drivers during caution periods. The transponders and scoring system will replace the manually intensive job done by a handful of scorers. Official race finish will be finalized quicker and much easier, speeding up the payout to drivers. This system will also remove any potential for accusations of favoritism.

Based on the high approval rate from drivers, promoter Joe Callavini decided to make the $40,000 investment in the computerized scoring system and transponders. By the first points race on April 7, drivers will be required to have their car equipped with a scanner and transponder. The location of the transponders is currently being finalized for each division. As part of the post race inspection, drivers can count on the location of the transponder being checked.

The speedway has negotiated prices so that drivers can purchase a programmable scanner and/or lease the transponder for the season. There will also be scanners and transponders available for visiting drivers. The transponders purchased by the speedway will be battery powered. Drivers will be required to turn in their transponder every week in order to receive their payout. The speedway is also purchasing a 32-unit recharger for the transponders. There is also a version of the transponder that is powered off the car's electrical system, that drivers can purchase. Prior to doing so, drivers should contact the speedway for details.

Callavini and the Director of Operations, Billy Bartley recently met with track officials to discuss the upcoming season. Bartley kicked off the meeting, posing the question, "What is the number one complaint from our fans?" A couple different responses were offered, but in fact, the length and flow of the weekly race program was the correct answer. That resulted in a discussion in improving the race program that lasted hours.

"We being realistic, and expect a few bumps in the road along the way. During our meeting we tried to think ahead of potential problems and have plans ready in the event they occur." says Callavini. Procedures will constantly be reviewed and adjusted when appropriate. There will be scorers poised and ready to go if the transponder system acts up. Having drivers turn in their transponder will ensure they get fully charged every week.

Drivers can get more information by contacting Callavini at 1-800-750-1247. He, as well as other track officials will also be available at the Mountain Speedway Car Show at the Laurel Mall in West Hazelton from Thursday, February 21 through Sunday, February 24.

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Series Automotive , Stock car